“Canada's high ranking on the United Nations human development scale would dramatically drop if the country were judged solely on the economic and social well- being of its First Nations people. According to a new un report, Canada would be placed 48 th out of 174 countries if judged on those criteria.” This states that the country is not taking care of the first Canadians as well as they should be. With the way the First Nations people of Canada have been treated over the years there has become different perspectives formed on how and what the liberal way works.
* There is an assumption that a pattern of change exists in the history of mankind that it consists of irreversible changes in one direction only and that this direction is towards improvement. The idea of always moving towards improvement and the principles of liberalism may contrast to those of traditional aboriginal cultures. * All parts of creation are interconnected and manifest in the spirit of the creator. * Humankind must live in respectful relationship with all that has been created. * Spiritual forces are gifts intended to aid survival rather than threaten it.
* This act was to consolidate all of the pervious colonial laws governing the First Nations in 1876, the government of Canada passed the act. This was the most important piece of legislation affecting the First Nations. This act essentially separated the First Nations people from the rest of the population. It was written what the First Nations could and could not do, it also said who was or was not First Nations. The Indian act was an assimilation, used to destroy the culture and traditions of the people it affected.
* In 1968 federal election, Trudeau campaigned on the platform of creating a society for all Canadian’s. This was meaning for all Canadian's to be treated fair and just. Trudeau wanted the First Nations people to become apart of the society Canada was made of. This paper was never talked over with the First Nations people. This was a great thing to try to do if the people that it concerned knew about it.
* This was the stand against white paper. The First Nations people didn’t like the fact that they were not told of the happenings of this paper and said they didn’t want to be assimilated. * The legislative and constitution bias of Indian status and rights should be maintained until first nations and Inuit are prepared and willing to renegotiate them. * Only First Nations and Inuit and their organizations should be given the resources and responsibility to determine their own priorities and future development lines. * The Indian act should only be reviewed when treaty rights issues are settled and if there is a consensus among First Nations and Inuit peoples on such changes regarding their historical and legal rights
* “The will of the people…is only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object” -Thomas Jefferson Liberal principles is an ideal toward which many governments aim. Liberal democracy was born in the countries United States, France, Great Britain and adopted elsewhere.
* “What I want is to get done what the people desire to have done, and the question for me is how to find that out exactly? “ * This a question Lincoln asked. It was a pertinent one: How can government determine the will of the people? In Canada where a party forms the government though it receives less than 50 % of the votes is governed according to the will of the people? * WHAT IF you were in charge? How would you answer these questions?
* Democracy is a form of government in which power is ultimately vested in the people.
* Direct Democracy operates on the belief that every citizen’s voice is important and necessary for the orderly and efficient operation of society. Liberal principles are expressed in this system.
* Representative Democracy elects officials who represent us and make laws based on their interests. This is how Canada and many other areas run. We elect who we think represents us best. In Canada we are lucky to have many parties to chose from that suit our ideologies
* Proportional Representation Is the system where citizens vote directly for a party and then representatives are assigned based on the amount of popular support obtained. Countries with proportional representation do have more parties than countries using single-member constituency. Country examples: Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Argentina, Greece, Peru, Swedan
* Oligarchies * Are a form of government in which political power rests with small elite segment of society.
* One-Party State * Is a type of system where only one party forms the government and no other parties are permitted to run candidates for the election. * Example: China, Cuba, Laos, Syria, Vietnam
* Military Dictatorship * Is a form of government in which political power resides with the military leadership. * Examples: Burma, Fiji, Libya and Mauritania
* Propaganda * A technique most dictatorships – and indeed, most governments in general – use to gain and maintain power is propaganda. It issues a message designed to influence the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people. * Terror can also be used to influence the will of the people.
* Over the last few years voter turnout has been decreasing. In 2008 only 59% of eligible voters voted. * Something to think about: Should voting be mandatory? Voting is a free choice for us, why aren’t people voting?
* The system of representative democracy is not a perfect method of reflecting the will of the people. However mechanisms which attempt to do so are in place, such as responsible government. * Does the will of the people necessarily indicate the right course of action?
* Nineteenth century thinkers Alexis de Tocqueville and John Stuart Mill used tyranny of the majority to describe one of the potential problems in democracy: that the will of the majority may be imposed on minorities to the detriment of other liberal principles. * Example: When Canada introduced legislation into parliament to recognize same sex marriage, some Canadians wanted a referendum to be held on the issue so they could voice their opinions. However it was denied.
* One of the most important aspects of any ideology, including those of authoritarian governments, is a vision: Vision of what the country could be if led by a leader who could obtain the vision.
* Sometimes when governments are trying to pursue the common good they tend to ignore the rights of individuals. * In times of war, emergency, and environmental crisis, liberal democracies may not reflect principles of liberalism. * Restricted people’s movement, controlled people’s access to information, and limited rights, freedoms, and choices.
* The illiberal policies were maintained in effect for years and these polices were often not applied to all citizens equally rather certain groups received different treatment. * Ex. The War Measures Act-passed in 1914 * In response to Canada’s involvement in WWI in which the government suspended and limited rights, freedoms, and the basic principles of liberalism in necessity for the good of the society.
* In 1988, emergencies act introduced to include more safeguards protecting the rights of Canadians in case of an emergency situation. * This act limits government power during these crisis so that temporary emergency measure are to be taken into account of the rights of Canadians (follows Canadian charter of rights and freedom).
* Canadian charter of rights and freedoms (1982): establish rights to life, liberty and personal safety * Necessary for individual to enjoy free will or personal autonomy * Strongly protected by law and can’t be easily modified without public consent * One limit: no individual has right to infringe on rights of others
* American bill of rights (1791): first 10 amendments to US constitution confirmed by the 13 states * Based on John Locke’s concept of natural rights all individuals have to life, liberty, and protection of property
* Quebec charter of human rights and freedom (1975): statutory bill of rights and human rights code passed by national assembly of Québec. * Stands at the pinnacle of Québec's legal system
* Documents such as charter of rights and freedoms and the Quebec charter focus too much on individual rights possibly at expense of collective rights. * Sometimes words in documents have little power like in dictatorships or totalitarian countries individual rights and freedoms are overpowered for state needs even though they might have documents similar to democratic government.
* Group rights are achieved by extension of individual rights * Collective rights are individual rights applied to groups not persons * United states: “affirmative action” in 1960s to address minorities and women inequalities. * Canadian charter of rights and freedoms: collective rights refer to rights of official language groups and aboriginal peoples.
* Including collective rights and recognizing them are different things * Since the canadian charter came into place groups in canada had to right to collective rights respected * Ex. Establishing francophone schools in alberta. * Ex. Aboriginals in having rights to hunt and harvest recognized even after they are constitutionally guaranteed.
* Quebec: requires that public signs and commercial advertising must be in French. They may be in French and another language but French has to be predominant. * According to Canadian charter of rights and freedom, the freedom to thought, belief, opinion and expression as well as freedom of press and other media communication is being limited.
* It can be argued that the contemporary western world is a product of early liberal principles in action, which makes the modern industrialized world also the result of the implementation of liberal principles. * Access to resources, health care, and quality of life available to individuals varies greatly in liberal societies and throughout the world. * This modern industrial world is faced with environmental issues and must deal with the impact of economic development. * Debt and poverty exist among wealth within liberal democracies, and there’s a significant disparity among countries. * Not all individuals and groups are treated equally. Racism and censorship exist in some form of all countries.
* Even though modern liberalism is imperfect, many people illiberal democracies consciously or unconsciously assume that principles of liberalism themselves are beyond criticism. * People who live in liberal democracies generally have a bias in favour of such liberal concepts as the worth of every individual, the power of human reason, the limits of a governments reach into individual’s lives, and a belief in human progress. * Additional challenges to liberal principles can be found in the examples of postmodernism and extremism.
* the period that follows modernism in the fields of art, literature, and philosophy in western societies. * It is a school of thinking that questions and rejects the principles of modernism and liberalism. * Postmodernism argues that rather than a process for discovering truth, modernism has constructed “governing narratives” that tell us stories about our modern society. * It claims we are under a “veil of deceit” that hides alternative ways of thinking from us.
* refers to a belief system that is outside the main stream spectrum of beliefs and it may advocate actions that are considered socially or morally unacceptable, such as the violent targeting of those perceived as innocent civilians.
* unanticipated consequences of economic freedom and development have developed within countries on a world wide scale. * Many colonized countries were forced to reduce their own food production in order to grow cash crops for export. * They were not treated in ways that reflected the principles of liberalism. * These feelings have also created conditions that support violence, illiberalism, and terrorism. * The unequal treatment of some countries and their citizens by liberal democracies especially those most closely associated with the principles of democracy has left a troubling legacy in many former colonies.
* in response to environmental change, many individuals and groups have resorted to activism to focus media attention problems caused by industry and societal practices. * Environmental groups have been exposing some of the offences that threaten the wellbeing of our planet; we share a significant relationship with all other people on earth through the environment.
* an outbreak of disease on a global scale. I * t is another example of how the principles of liberalism may be challenged but how at the same time, they may also offer solutions. * While mass communication had increased our awareness of pandemics, the ease of international travel has also precipitated their spread. * Liberal democracies are faced with a difficult situation when attempting to address pandemics. * On the one hand, limiting travel and restricting visitors, tourists, and new immigration to a country can provide greater protection against pandemics. * On the other hand, such actions will hamper trade and development, severely restrict the basic freedoms of citizens and potentially create other issues related to human rights violations.