You look around the Western democracies over the last decade, and you will see free speech under attack, be it in the European nations, or the former Soviet Union, China, India, the dominions of Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United Kingdom, and yes, in the United States of America. Freedom of speech is under attack.
The culmination of outrage and protest that ended up denying the free speech of others at UC Berkeley in California a couple of weeks ago, ended up erupting in violence and managed to stop the evening presentation by a controversial speaker from the political right. The leftist anarchists restored to violence, intimidation and verbal and physical assault in order to stifle and deny free speech on the university campus, who legacy in defending free speech went up in the very flames of this violent anti free speech protest. Oh, the irony of it all. These leftists did not have the desire for public debate, and as such did all they could including the use of force and violence to shut down the right to free and open debate. There is something quite wrong in a democracy when the right to free speech is so blatantly denied by those who protest that is ignited and fueled by hate and anger and leaves no room for face to face dialogue about the issues. Instead they resort to mass riot and violence to tune out the voices that dissent and want to have a dialogue and debate. The rights of one group of people should not quash or restrict the views and the right of expression of those views who are from the other side. This is supposedly a democracy, except when you oppose their views.
The three worst scenarios in recent memory (at least since June of 2016) are found in the United Kingdom and the Brexit referendum and its aftermath that sent shock waves across the globe, and resulted in the vote to leave the EU.
In the United States, it was the meltdown and fallout from the Democrats being outflanked and outmaneuvered by Donald Trump and the GOP, where the Republicans gained not only the White House, but the House of Representatives and the Senate, essentially wiping out the Democrats. The response of angry Democrats and their supporters resulted in violent protest as the new President moved into the White House at the end of January. The left wing political agitators and protesters and the social activists seemed to lose their voices of protest and seemed to not know how to intellectually respond to the Right taking over the government of the nation. They could not speak. There was only outrage, riots, vandalism, destruction of public and private property and physical attacks, and especially the verbal attacks in trying to shut down all the free speech of those who do not see the world through their lens, only underscores the reality that “free speech” is under attack.
In Canada, it is the most recent reactions to the murder of six Muslim men in Quebec City while in attendance at a mosque, and the resulting reactions by provincial and federal politicians, including our very own Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, that has made the greatest threat to our right to free speech in Canada. Their incoherent outrage and ramblings about Islamophobia, which has not been proven, are causing or right to free speech to be under threat. The politicians of the land seem to forget the foundation of country is based on this fundamental right to free speech enshrined in our our Charter Rights and Freedoms. The Liberal MP who tabled the controversial Motion 103, which includes the inflammatory word “Islamophobia”, refuses to drop the word. As such our country is divided over language and meaning. The debate unfolding not legally binding, but is up for debate on the floor of the Commons and it is already polarizing the country inciting anxiety, anger and outrage from all sectors of our Canadian multicultural community. Of course those right of centre are opposed to the motion as it threatens the very existence of free speech. The motion centres on Islamophobia and their narrative that it was Islamophobia that drove the gunman to murder six men at a mosque/community centre in Quebec City. It has galvanized the Muslim community as well as outrage against the violence. But that doesn’t mean we censure public debate, or that we redefine free speech and give special status to Muslim Canadians. The Charter of Rights applies to all Canadians equally or not at all!
Free speech is all free or not at all
I oppose any restriction, change to, or removal of, or redefining of “free speech” as guaranteed under the Canadian Charter of Rights and our Constitution. I am for the free and open debate on the public square, in print, on digital media, broadcasting, of all and any views, be they considered “hate speech” by those who would otherwise want to control or stop the discussion of any subject of thing that may offend the sensibilities of offended Canadian citizens.
All persons in Canada have a protected right to free speech and to be challenged for their views
I defend the rights of all persons to not only hold but publicly debate, any and all speech on matters they deem important or infantile or what I may consider deplorable.
I defend the right of all Canadians to speak it out their views freely without legal attack or restriction
I also will speak out in opposition to those views I deem which are not right, or may even cause others harm. I will stand for the freedom to speak, and I would ask that all Canadians stand for the rights of all people in Canada to speak freely, with good conscience and passion about things that matter to them.
The government should encourage this kind of exchange, and not seek to restrict it in any way, shape of form, or demonize those who speak things they deem to be offensive or “un-Canadian.”
When voices rise in the nation that create fear, anger, suspicion, racial, religious, or ethnic disharmony, you don’t shut down those voices. You confront them in a fee and open debate on the public square and you deal with the issues and the emotions around them, and you work toward understanding and resolutions of the conflict.
You do not shut down “free speech” or try to redefine it! Demonizing the free speech of others only empowers it all the more
I defend your right to speak freely about your opinions, even if I don’t agree with them.
Welcome to democracy!
I have a right to speak out my disagreement of you and your opinions, or to speak my views on all matters of belief and conscience. I defend your right to do the same. We do so in a Western democracy, in an atmosphere of mutual respect & accommodation of diverse views and opinions as well as vigorous debate is good for a growing and flourishing democracy.
Long live freedom & the free exchange of ideas!
~ Samuel M. Buick
#FreeSpeech #CharterofRights #CanadianConstitution