Canada, A New Addition To The Family Of Civilized Nations

The Velvet Revolution of 1989 brought most Czechs and Slovaks the first opportunity to speak freely, without fear of prison or loss of property, that they had enjoyed in fifty years.  We agree with Benjamin Franklin that the freedom to speak as one wishes is the lodestar by which one judges a nation civilized, or barbarous:

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government; when this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins. Republics and limited monarchies derive their strength and vigor from a popular examination into the action of the magistrates.

Indeed, the freedom to voice one’s opinion, no matter how foolish, is nearly as important as the freedom to bear arms as a check on tyrannical government.

So it behooves us to congratulate the people of Canada on their ascension to the ranks of civilized nations. Canada has abolished its national speech code, also known as Section 13 of the Human Rights Act:

For decades, Canadians had meekly submitted to a system of administrative law that potentially made de facto criminals out of anyone with politically incorrect views about women, gays, or racial and religious minority groups. All that was required was a complainant (often someone with professional ties to the [Canadian Human Rights Commission itself) willing to sign his name to a piece of paper, claim he was offended, and then collect his cash winnings at the end of the process. The system was bogus and corrupt. But very few Canadians wanted to be seen as posturing against policies that were branded under the aegis of “human rights.”

That was then. Now, Section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act, the enabling legislation that permits federal human-rights complaints regarding “the communication of hate messages by telephone or on the Internet,” is doomed. On Wednesday, the federal Conservatives voted to repeal it on a largely party-line vote — by a margin of 153 to 136 — through a private member’s bill introduced by Alberta Conservative MP Brian Storseth. Following royal assent, and a one-year phase-in period, Section 13 will be history.

To appreciate the horror that was ancien regime Canada, imagine a nation run like a modern American liberal arts college. Under the old code, the Canadian tribesman lived in fear that the merest off-color joke might provoke a lawsuit, in which he might be deprived of his property for offending his privileged betters. A Canadian might even be placed in a dungeon for recording an offensive message on the primitive Canadian device known as a  telephone answering machine.

It’s true that the savage Canadians are taking baby steps into the waters of liberty.  The repeal of Section 13 requires the assent of a person known as The Queen, a hereditary chieftain whose ancestors were given the office by virtue of their skills at tribal warfare. And the repeal doesn’t take place for a year, to allow time to adjust to life in a world where the Canadian cannot freely indulge his natural instinct to rob and imprison those with whom he disagrees.

Now, Rome was not built in a day. It will take the Canadian more than a year to emerge from his mud wattled hut, but this is a fine start on the road to a higher culture.

If you’re an American living on the northern frontier, and you see one of these primitives walking the street, gazing in awe at the majestic skyline, be sure to approach, cautiously, to congratulate him on his newfound freedom.

Spotted on Overlawyered.

2 thoughts on “Canada, A New Addition To The Family Of Civilized Nations

  1. Nearly as important as the right to bear arms? My friend- the right to bear arms is an outdated and unnecessary tyranny against peace in itself. It may be essential in the breaking out years shortly after the defeat of oppression to help retain newly gained freedom, but here in England we live safe in the knowledge that nobody carries a gun. Not even police carry firearms- only a select few are cautiously deployed with such force where absolutely necessary.

    As to the monarchy- a harmless institution with no power. If it tried to assert itself it would not survive.

    Oh, and well done Canada on free speech.

  2. @AJ says:

    > the right to bear arms is an outdated and unnecessary tyranny against peace

    By my way of thinking, either a right is a right in perpetuity, across
    all times, places, and peoples, or it is not a right.

    If we start playing the game of “X is nice to have, in some
    situations, and for some people, but it’s not a RIGHT”, then we uncork
    a dangerous bottle.

    Is the right to travel a real right? Or is it just carbon-wasting
    foolishness? After all, if the government determines that travel
    isn’t in the best interest of society, then perhaps it’s not REALLY a
    right, and you should stay in your home village or city.

    Is the right to religion a real right? Or is it just socially divisive?

    Is the right to publish your opinions a real right?

    Is the right to marry a real right?

    How about the right to have children? Perhaps you have sub-optimal genese.

    Once we start pruning away rights, it gets a bit hard to stop.

    Also: who is in charge of deciding which rights are superfulous?

    How are these people selected?

    Even if you are sure that the people who prune the rights today share
    values with you, are you sure that the people who inherit these powers
    later will?

    Picture your worst ideological nightmare. Now imagine that he and his
    friends constitute 51% of the voters, and 51% of the government.

    What right that you had before the pruning will you most miss now?

    > here in England we live safe in the knowledge that nobody carries a
    > gun.

    And what safety it is!

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1196941/The-violent-country-Europe-Britain-worse-South-Africa-U-S.html#ixzz1yTa2tCra

    Britain’s violent crime record is worse than any other country in the
    European union, it has been revealed. Official crime figures show the
    UK also has a worse rate for all types of violence than the U.S. and
    even South Africa – widely considered one of the world’s most
    dangerous countries.

    Except, actually, there are lots of guns in England.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2008/aug/30/ukcrime1

    The gun shown here, a Webley, is up for sale in London for £150, one of hundreds of such weapons that are easily and cheaply available on the streets of the UK’s big cities, a Guardian investigation can reveal.

    The variety of weapons on offer in Britain is extensive and includes machine guns and shotguns, as well as pistols and converted replicas. A source close to the trade in illegal weapons contacted by the Guardian listed a menu of firearms that are available on the streets of the capital.

    > Not even police carry firearms

    I entirely endorse the idea of police being disarmed. They are – almost to a man – a violent band of thugs.

    …but I disagree with your assertion of fact.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police_use_of_firearms_in_the_United_Kingdom

    In the year 2007-08, there were 6,780 Authorised Firearms Officers, 21,181 police operations in which firearms were authorised throughout England and Wales

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