In a poll that otherwise showed a stark generational divide, younger and older Canadians can agree on one thing when it comes to terrorism: that the majority are not ready to give up their civil liberties in order to curb it.
Sixty per cent of Canadians disagree with the statement ďin order to curb terrorism in this country, I am ready to give up some civil liberties,Ē according to a new poll of 2,200 Canadians commissioned by the Association for Canadian Studies, and it was the only result that was relatively consistent across all ages of people surveyed.
ďCanadians are very protective of their rights. They value their rights to a considerable extent and are reluctant to make compromises,Ē said Jack Jedwab, the executive director of the Association for Canadian Studies.
Otherwise, the results of the poll seem to indicate that younger Canadians are less concerned about attacks and more flexible in their views on terrorism, but perhaps less knowledgeable compared to older cohorts of those surveyed.
When asked if they were worried about the possibility of a terrorist attack in Canada, 44% of respondents said ďyes,Ē but when broken down by age, that number ranged from 30 per cent in people aged 18-24 up to 50% in people age 65 and over.
Just over half of respondents, overall, said they think terrorism is most attributable to religious fundamentalism.
But that number was much smaller in Canadians age 18-24, where only 31% said religious fundamentalism was the most important factor, and 25% attributed terrorism to poverty and economic inequality, and another 25% attributed it to Western foreign policy.
Further, 86% of Canadians agreed that terrorism cannot be justified under any circumstances, but that number ranged from 70% in those aged 18-24 and increased incrementally over the cohorts up to 91% in those aged 65 and over.
ďThereís likely a tendency for young people, based on the survey results, to think that the older cohorts are more alarmist about this, and the older cohorts probably think that the younger people are a bit more naÔve about it,Ē Jedwab said.
ďSomewhere we need to have some meeting of the minds on this.Ē