Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Human Rights and Wrongs

Email to the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, December 2009. In May 2011, the Museum of Human Rights replied with a request a donation. No reaction from the Royal Society.

To determine the nature of a corporation, commission, institution, or tribunal, one must look beyond its proclaimed mandate, and examine its core. What is the policy of those who created it? What is the essential behaviour of its operators today? Do all involved have a broad knowledge of matters at hand? Or do they represent special interests?

Wesley J. Smith, a Fellow at the U.S think tank Discovery Institute, observed: "Expert commissions to advise on contentious issues of public policy are usually political tools designed to come to a predetermined conclusion in order to pave the way for desired policy changes."

The Smith Principle has general application. Witness the Royal Society of Canada, a gathering dedicated "to encouraging education and the advancement of knowledge in the social sciences and the humanities." That is its proclaimed policy. Does its behaviour reveal its core?

This gathering of the learned appointed an expert panel to "assess the pros and cons of permitting physician-assisted death". Contradicting its mandate of neutrality, the panel's mission was to evaluate "arguments deployed against decriminalization by opponents of voluntary euthanasia and/or physician assisted suicide".  Does this represent the open mind one would expect of such a gathering?

What objectivity should we expect from the Society's panel when five of its six members are euthanasia advocates? What does this tell us of the Society's core? Objectivity or predetermination? Needless to say, the panel produced the desired pro-euthanasia manifesto in its November 2011 report.

Apply the Smith Principle to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. The concept of human rights covers a diverse and ever-widening spectrum of interests. Will the Museum represent this diversity?

Examine the Museum's Content Advisory Committee -- a panel that will recommend what the public will see. Of the sixteen members of this committee, eleven are activists with feminist and homosexual agendas. Is that representative of broad Canadian opinion? Dare we fear the Museum will become a platform for special interests?

May we expect from the Museum a balanced and objective approach to highly contentious issues, such as the right to life for the unborn? The rights of family-oriented women who have been marginalized by activists with little or no family experience? Misandry as well as misogyny? The rights of women forced to abort healthy females because their ethnic communities prefer boys? Will there be tolerance for the diversity of views on other rights issues?

The Museum's core behavior so far indicates a special-interest mandate.

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