The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Canada: Free Speech Free

This is amazing:

The case is Warman v Fromm. Warman is Richard Warman, an attorney who worked for the Canadian Human Rights Commission who routinely brought "hate speech" cases against individuals and organizations under Canada's already existing speech laws. Fromm is Paul Fromm, the head of the Canadian Association for Free Expression and an opponent of those hate speech laws. Fromm is a staunch critic of Warman, calling him an "enemy of free speech." And just to prove him right, Warman sued Fromm for defamation over such speech and the Ontario court ruled in Warman's favor. Seriously.

Read the whole, pathetic thing. This is a good example of "government granted rights" v. "natural rights." Natural rights are those unalienable Rights that Jefferson talks about in the Declaration of Independence. These are the same rights that the Framers of the US Constitution sought to protect from government usurpation when they ratified the Constitution. They specified some of these rights in the Bill of Rights portion of the Constitution. First among these Rights is Freedom of Speech.

In America, we do not have Freedom of Speech because the government says that we do. We have Freedom of Speech because the government is forbidden from taking this Right away. There is no such history or tradition in Canada, where your ability to express yourself rides on the collective whim of a government bureaucracy.


  • I agree, totally terrible. However, don't lump that in with hate crimes, which I believe are worthy statutes, provided they are well written and the prosecutor doesn't abuse her discretion, as is the case with all laws.

    Hear me out, if the klan burns a cross in a city park after dark, without hate crime legislation, then all you can do is get them for maybe trespassing and vandalism. But, they did much more than that, by burning the cross they intentionally terrorized and threatened an entire population. I would argue hate crime legislation allows the state to punish the actual crime that was committed. Of course, done incorrectly, it can be used to punish thought and speech, instead of actual crimes like assualt.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:20 PM  

  • I didn't mean to imply that your post had anything to do with hate crime legislation, but it reminded me of that topic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:22 PM  

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