- Capitalism and Alternatives -

If there is to be freedom of the press, then the press must be free from government coercion.

Posted by: David on November 11, 1999 at 10:46:11:

In Reply to: Corporatist Omissions posted by Quincunx on November 08, 1999 at 18:38:10:

: : : Qx: If you're so against hate-speech laws then try to tell us why they're bad. Most Canadians are familiar with their speech codes but if you respond we can expect some real doozies and this could get fun. The spectacle of you digging your self ito a deeper hole in this debating room may not have reached it's deepest point yet.

: David: It has been 5 years since I lived in Canada so I am not up to date on the recent political actions going on in Ottawa. However, there are a lot more censorship laws out their. A good friend of mine works for the Waterloo Record and one of the laws that I can think of off the top of my head is they are not allowed to publish opinion polls three days before an election in fear of causing "bandwagon mentality"
: amongst the readers.

: Qx: Which may be a good thing when one looks at the antics of the likes of Conrad Black and Southam Inc. BTW, The Kitchener-Waterloo Record's recent history is a bit on the corporatist side and its questionable as to whether or not it is truly an independent newspaper. With groups such as the Fraser Institute attempting to prostitute Canada it's not surprising that people feel that corporate media should be regulated. If there is censorship it's certainly not the kind of censorship that mainstream media in Canada acknowledges.

I think the biggest problem right now is that a lot of the mainstream Canadian newspapers are owned by Conrad Black. The recent introduction of The National caused a large stir and to their credit a lot of people boycotted it.
Right now, I think that the best thing is to separate the government from the media. There are huge conflicts of interest, especially in the CBC between whether the government should continue funding even though the CBC had done a fairly good job of smearing Jean Chretien.
If there is to be freedom of the press, then the press must be free from government coercion.

: David: In regards to the hate-speech laws, there is a quote by Moliere (or Voltaire, damn I cannot remember which) that basically does like this; "Though my very essence may detest what you have to say, I would lay down my life to defend your right to say it."

: Qx: Nicely said but did he ever meet Ernst Zundel or Magazine's hateful bunch of writers? I think not. We're living in a different era in which rightwingers of various sorts are doing their damndest to smear anything and anybody who they deem to be the enemy. I feel that Canada still has to exchange its libel laws which are basically the same as the UK's but the are needed in a country where tolerance is absolutely necessary. Indeed with the intentions of the likes of Conrad Black, Southam and even the Byfelds mainstream Canadian media is much more under the control of monopolies than mainstream media in the USA. Of course, it's interesting how hate sppech laws seem to cover only racial and ethnic miorities but not workers organizations.

Once the media is no longer the puppets of the Canadian government, the speech laws can be revoked.
I think that the frequency of seeing hate literature would be very low. Granted it would be more common in certain areas (probably smaller towns with a predominatly white population) but for the most part, I think it would all but disapear. My reasoning for this is that 1) there are not that many people with the means or inclination to create and distribute hate literature (working on a newspaper myself, I know the pains that it takes to get just one issue out) 2) many stores would choose not to carry it either out of principle or because it would alienate their customers.

: David: I suggest you read the Federalist No. 10 for a good essay by James Madison on factions in a federalist republic.

: Qx: I suggest that you read Stephen Leacock and other Canadians if you really want to understand Canadian politics. Dredging up some dead rich dude from the States doesn't cut it. Taking on the American model has resulted in the likes of Brian Mulroney, Mike Harris, and Ralph Klein. How many more ingrates does a country need?

Well, after Bob Ray and his Keynsian flops put Ontario into a very large debt, I would argue that Mike Harris is merely trying to reverse the effects of a spend-spend-spend government.

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