Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Law Must Earn Respect

Society is in poor shape when citizens, such as in a recent incident involving homeschooling in Alberta, are ordered by law to “honour and respect” the law.

Carve this in stone: Those who enact, enforce or interpret law receive only such respect as is commanded by their performance, not by what they demand.

The situation becomes toxic when families in Quebec must fight for the obvious -- that they, the family, not the government or the courts, are the primary teachers of their children.

The Supreme Court of Canada recently approved the soft totalitarianism of a Quebec law conferring on the government exclusive rights of religious education. These same Supremos claim to uphold religious freedom. In the crunch, they have wilted when called on to defend that freedom.

It's time for a revolution to limit the power of anyone in authority -- political, bureaucratic or judicial -- to clearly stated basics. Governmental intrusion into education must be limited to setting standard tests in core subjects. Activist judges must be reined in, along with empire-building bureaucrats.

To realize a revolution, laws that refer to human rights, diversity, multiculturalism, and other vague notions of how society should operate, must be re-written The re-write will contain strict limits as to interpretation and manipulation by the troika -- politicians, officials and judges, especially our activist Supreme Court. The Russian troika is a carriage powered by three horses, but controlled by one driver. In Canada, that driver must be the people.

Light occasional shines in dark places. The Alberta Human Rights Act gives parents the option of removing children from classes dealing with religion, sexuality, or sexual orientation without academic penalty, something the Supremes denied Quebec citizens. The bad news is that Alberta's appointed Premier, under the influence of radical elements of the province's teacher union, wants to relieve parents of that right.

We can only hope that one day a streak of enlightenment will penetrate the darkness of the Quebec government and the Supreme Court of Canada. It will not happen voluntarily. On occasion, noses must be pushed into the mud of reality. Such a challenge now confronts us.

Sidebar. "... Ontario's provincial judicial appointments system scores much better than the federal system, which is still heavily tainted by political partisanship and conspicuously lacking in transparency." --- Jacob Ziegel, law professor emeritus, University of Toronto. (The National Post, March 7, 2012)

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