Rejecting the Principles of Liberalism Why might liberal democracies choose to reject the principles of liberalism?
Should Governments Always Adhere to the Principles of Liberalism?• Canadian military against soldier use of Facebook: – Give enemies information or, – Censorship of situation in Afghanistan.• Is liberalism as valuable in times of conflict? – Are limits on rights and freedoms justifiable?
The War Measures Act• First passed in 1914 (World War One). – Gives the federal cabinet emergency powers. – Government can govern by decree rather than through debate in Parliament.• It has been invoked three times. – Reasons: • Necessary for good of society. • Justified due to extreme threat. • Essential to protect other principles of liberalism.
First World War• First use of War Measures Act. – Used to round up people of Central Powers descent. – Enemy aliens: Immigrants from these countries residing in Canada. – Placed in Internment camps (property confiscated and many went missing). These camps did not close until 1920.
Second World War• Second use of War Measures Act. – Used to place people of Japanese descent into internment camps. – RCMP dismiss fears of Japanese disloyalty but public fears cause relocation to continue. – Property seized (no compensation).
October Crisis, 1970• Third use of the War Measures Act.• Quiet Revolution: In the 1960’s, Quebec went through a period of social, economic, and political modernization. Meant to enhance the opportunities of Francophones in Quebec. – Some people felt the pace of change was to slow.
Front de Liberation du Quebec (FLQ)• Founded in 1963, the group supported the use of violence to achieve their goal of an independent Quebec.• The bombed several targets during the 1960s.
FLQ• In October 1970: – Abduct James Cross (British Trade Commissioner) – Abduct Pierre Laporte (Quebec cabinet minister) • Laporte is later found murdered.• Pierre Trudeau evokes War Measures Act in response on October 16th. – Nearly 500 people are arrested and held up to 90 days with no charges (many are supporters of Quebec nationalism).
Pierre Laporte. He is Executed on October 17th.James Cross
Controversy• One side sees it as a necessary step taken to ensure peoples safety.• The other side sees it as an attack on civil rights. They felt the Act was to powerful and should not be used for cases that the police would normally handle (kidnapping etc…)
Current Security Legislation• Emergencies Act (1988): – Safeguards civil rights (defines emergency) – Limits government power in times of emergency. • Actions approved by Parliament. • Specify location of emergency (if not national). – Emergency measures must take into account the rights of Canadians (Charter of R+F).
Current Security Legislation• Anti-Terrorism Act (2001): – Deals with perceived security threats.• Canada’s No-Fly List: – List of people identified as a potential threat to aviation safety. – List is not public.
Maher Arar• He was arrested in New York after his name appeared on a No-Fly List. – Claimed he had links to al Qaeda. – Deported to Syria (despite having Canadian passport). – Tortured and jailed there.• Canadian inquiry finds him innocent (compensated financially) – Still on American No-Fly List.
The USA PATRIOT Act (2001)• In response to attacks on 9/11. – Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism.• Criticized for its potential threat to civil liberties.