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Canada (158,169)
Sociology (1,471)
SOC323H5 (22)

SOC323 ReadingONE.doc

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

Democracy and the Rights Revolution Rights Revolution: A fundamental change that has come over us in our lifetime that began in the 1960’s in all industrialized countries and is still running its course. - Method of inclusion where previously excluded groups obtained rights of equality thereby, deepening our democracy - In another sense it has been protecting certain groups from the effects of democracy (aboriginal rights to land are given to protect what is essential to their survival from the power of the elected majorities) - Double sided: About enhancing our right to be equal and protecting our right to be different – The challenge - Rights are an expression of our moral identity as humans Longing Global Phenomena – People are fighting for rights beyond our boarders - 1948 Declaration of Human Rights - Aboriginal people’s struggle to achieve self government - Human beings are willing to die for rights (also mentions that they would die for language which is a part of rights – to have a voice) - 1989 Berlin Wall was pulled down How they deny rights? In the most effective way, they claim that they are denying them of their own rights (giving you rights denies my own rights) - The price of freedom then becomes eternal vigilance Canada is one of the most distinctive rights culture in the World. - Prime Minister Trudeau’s desire to anchor Canadian unity in equality of individual rights – by the time the process was finished Canadians’ insisted that individual rights were not enough - Rights on moral questions granted: abortion, capital punishment, gay rights, legal codes are all notably liberal, secular and pro-choice - There is an emphasis on group rights – Quebec’s Language Act (Bill 101)  Lead to issues on secession (not intended to make the process easier but to avoid a civil war) - Everything is put in writing – the supreme court’s decisions and in federal legislation Canadians are experts on Rights Talk! - John Humphrey at McGill University helped draft the Universal Declaration of Human rights - Canadians play a role in the global rights revolution - Arbour – struggle to contain inter-ethnic war - General Romeo Dallaire – struggle to contain inter-ethnic war - Affirmative action and aboriginal rights are accepted and a part of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms - We do not have enemies from the past even though our legal culture has the three great legal traditions of France, Britain and America - Even though Quebecers and English Canadians may disagree they do so within political cultures that are remarkably similar Rights Revolution distinguishes us as people and it has changed our politics: - Gender, sexual orientation may be central to a persons’ identity but it should not change the way we treat them as a person - Our ideal should be the way we treat people should depend not on who they are but only on what they do and say (new idea in history) - It is character, not skin color and conduct, not identity that should matter when we size up people - There is a gap though between what the rights revolution has promised and what has actually happened – Aboriginal people have had their treaty rights acknowledged but it does not make their lives better on their native land Rights talk may have become a substitute for reform - More intellectual and moral attention has been given to treaty rights and aboriginal self-government than to the appalling social conditions on reserves - Its not even clear that people are getting more rights because some people are losing theirs – there is not only a problem with the gap between the rhetoric and the performance, there is a problem
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