Remove in Order to ProtectHumanities 30Mica Pettibone<br />Modern Liberalism is a system that is built around the rights a...
Position paper   mica
Position paper   mica
Position paper   mica
Position paper   mica
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Position paper mica


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Position paper mica

  1. 1. Remove in Order to ProtectHumanities 30Mica Pettibone<br />Modern Liberalism is a system that is built around the rights and freedoms of every individual and is built in such a way to try and compromise between different individuals rights as best it can. So when we are in a situation that requires that we suspend the rights and freedoms of individuals it becomes a very complex issue. To begin with, the consequences of removing rights and freedoms are steep, at what point are we giving up too much, when does the government have too much power? People have been able to abuse the ‘suspension’ of rights and freedoms in the past. Hitler rose to power legally, by asking for ultimate power and never giving it back he removed the rights and freedoms of Germany’s, and the Reich’s, people. When is it appropriate to suspend rights and freedoms? When our right to life and safety is threatened should we then be allowed to suspend the people’s rights to freedom and privacy? To what extent can we justify taking this ‘suspension’? What limits need to be placed on these powers? These are all questions that do not have simple yes or no answers, as they apply to every individual involved the multitude of opinions results in the inability for there to be a clear answer, the best thing to do is find the common ground and compromise. <br />Having our rights and freedoms stripped from us is never going to be an easy subject. When we do this we are giving up the founding principle our system is formed on. The ‘suspending’ of rights and freedoms is something that can be done without the consent of the individual. In the past we have seen the idea of ‘suspending rights’ abused. Hitler is the most notable and widely recognized example of this as his rise to power has been thoroughly documented and scrutinized by most countries. Hitler gained his power by legal means, he asked the people for the power to do anything, and they gave it to him. Unlike what some might think they did not do this without good reason. Hitler promised to give the power back, he said he needed it to restore Germany, to fix the problems that were rampant in the country that was suffering under a devastated economy. The risk is always there when we give up our ability to control our government. The amount of power we give them should never exceed our ability to say it is no longer necessary. In the case of Germany Hitler was able to commit one of the worst genocides in history and instigate a war that consumed the globe. These consequences of giving up all power to one individual are something to be seen as a warning. There needs to be a ‘safety’ a way of taking back the power given, without this we risk losing our freedom and our rights not just as humans, but as living beings. <br />With this some may argue that it is then better to never go against the base ideals of our system by removing rights and freedoms. This is not advisable; the circumstances that require such suspension are those when our rights and freedoms are being threatened. Our right to life and to safety should take far more precedence than our right to privacy. Simply because if our right to life or safety encroached upon it is not something that crosses the line of injustices that do not leave lasting harm. If you are dead, there is not much point in still having a right to not be detained without just cause, or to not have people tapping your phone lines. By this logic it is reasonable to say that when the peoples safety is threatened other less consequential rights should be suspended in order to preserve the basic right to life. This brings up the idea of ‘Common’ or ‘Greater good’. The good of the whole is more important than the good of the one. This is generally accepted, because it’s true the majority needs to be put before the individual if we intend to coexist, or even if we intend to survive as a species. This is the justification behind the suspension of rights. An example of when such a suspension has been necessary is in the October Crisis in Quebec. The FLQ, a radical group more appropriately titled terrorists kidnapped two high-ranking ministers and killed one. The War measures Act was enacted in order to try and preserve the remaining officials right to life. The measures did not result in the successful capture of the individuals directly involved in the kidnapping, rather we settled with the kidnappers and gave them free passage to Cuba for the safe release of the remaining minister. Some might argue that this is why we should not be allowed to suspend rights, because they failed in this scenario, they failed and the people responsible were not punished. Is the life of someone not worth letting some ‘bad guys’ go? It is, on the assumption that these same criminals will not be able to cause any more damage in future if left alone. We must always be weighing the results and effects of our actions in order to try and make decisions that have the most benefit. In this case 497 were arrested and detained only 62 of which were charged, there was much criticism of this, as it meant hundreds of people had been subjected to a removal of their rights, however; the hundreds that were not charged were released when the war measures act was removed and no permanent harm done. As to the War Measures Act being ineffective and even unjust in its use during the October Crisis, it is better to have something and not need it than to need it and not have it. If being able to arrest without cause could help catch the criminals and save a life, why not use it. Why not use the resources available to us? There is no reason not to, so long as we do not cause more damage than good in our use of such terms. <br />It is necessary under certain conditions to suspend rights the question is to what extent we take this power. We have already seen modifications to the scope of power available in a situation that might call for the suspension of rights. The War Measures act was remodeled into the Emergencies Act which places restrictions on the government’s ability to enact and use the power available. It required that the declaration of an emergency be approved by parliament and that any temporary laws made had to be in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Later the emergencies Act was replaced with the Canadian Anti-Terrorism Act after the ramifications of the attack on the world trade center made the idea of Terrorism and the question of how to deal with it come to the forefront. This legislation was more invasive than the Emergencies Act but most of it was limited to 2007 where it was not renewed. These are all examples of us putting reasonable restrictions on the amount of power our government can have and how they can use it in order to preserve our rights and freedoms and keep the suspension temporary. This is to ensure two things; when the measures are no longer needed they must be removed and when the measures are doing more harm than good they must be removed. This is the basis for our limitations, in order to prevent the abusive of power and in order to protect our rights and freedoms. <br />The idea of restricting or suspending rights and freedoms is a controversial, but necessary action when the safety of our people or our nation is threatened. The risks that come with having too much power given to a small group or one individual by allowing the suspension of rights can be combated by placing restrictions on legislation that prevent the abuse of power. Suspension of rights becomes necessary when our more influential rights are placed under threat in order to protect our basic rights to life and safety as well as too protect the structures keeping our society stabilized. So long as we continue to keep limits on the amount of power given to the government when they suspend our rights we can be assured of their return. Although our rights and freedoms are important their suspension is at times necessary and at these times we need to have the legislation in place to respond to the best of our ability while being assured that power cannot be abused. <br />