Quirk: Who had the right response to the Boston Marathon attack, Justin Trudeau or Stephen Harper?

By: /
April 19, 2013
Phil Lind Chair in US Politics and Representation, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia

The National Post, whose headlines I rarely cite, has it about right in saying that Trudeau "reveals his inner sophomore." His position was, in effect: "Let's not track down and punish mass murderers of innocent people. Let's make a just world, where no one would want to commit such an act."

By junior year, a good student can contemplate two simultaneous strategies: condemn, apprehend, and punish terrorists; and yet work to change policies that produce alienation. By senior year, the student might even notice a fundamental constraint: not every policy or condition that produces grievances is simply unjust.

President Obama and Prime Minister Harper made appropriate statements, and Mr. Trudeau has severely undermined his credibility with the U.S. and many Canadians.