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Lesson # 2: Rights and Responsibilities in a Democracy.

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1 Lesson # 2: Rights and Responsibilities in a Democracy

2 Situation Last year, there was a lot of bullying amongst the students at Harrison Public School. Students were not treating each other with respect. There was fighting, teasing and tears almost every day and it was very disruptive to the school community. Over the summer, parents, teachers, the principal and members of the school community held meetings to find a solution. After lots of discussion, it was decided that students would not be allowed to choose their own friends anymore. Instead, parents would make those decisions and teachers would enforce them.

3 Discussion Why did the students lose the right to choose their own friends? How would you feel if you lost the right to choose your own friends? Would a better solution have been reached if students had been involved in the decision-making process? How important is it that we are allowed to make our own decisions? How important is it that we do so in a responsible manner?

4 Rights and Responsibilities What is a right? What is a responsibility? What are some of the rights we have in the classroom or at school? What responsibilities come with these rights?

5 What is a right? In Canada and other democracies, citizens have certain rights. A right is a privilege or freedom that is protected. Rights are not usually provided automatically; they are usually fought for and claimed. Example: Every child has the right to learn (UN Convention on the Rights of the Child).

6 Discussion Can you think of any rights you have at home or at school? Have you ever had to fight for any rights or argue for any privileges?

7 Rights and Freedoms in Canada In Canada, citizens’ rights and freedoms are protected by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, a part of the Constitution Act that was signed by Queen Elizabeth II in 1982. Pierre Elliot Trudeau was responsible for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in 1982, to be ENTRENCHED into our constitution.

8 Seven Sections of the Charter The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms has seven sections that define our rights as Canadians: Fundamental (or basic) freedoms Democratic rights Mobility rights Legal rights Equality rights Official languages of Canada Minority language education rights

9 Fundamental Freedoms (Basic Rights) The right to worship your god or no god (freedom of religion) The right to form your own opinion (freedom of thought) The right to share your opinions (freedom of expression) The freedom of the media to report on all matters and events The right to join or leave groups (freedom of association) The right to gather and protest (freedom of peaceful assembly)

10 Our Democratic Process There are too many people in Canada for everyone to have a say in every political decision, so we vote for representatives to make decisions and pass laws on our behalf. This is called a REPRESENTATIVE DEMOCRACY. Elections are the processes by which those elected representatives are chosen.

11 Our Democratic Rights Every Canadian citizen, 18 years and older, has the right to vote in a Canadian election and to be a candidate in a Canadian election. Our democratic rights also include the requirement of the federal government to hold an election at least every five years.

12 The Right to Vote The right to vote has been fought for by various groups throughout our history. Initially, only men who owned land or a house could vote. After much protest by men and women who thought this was unfair, women received the right to vote federally in 1918. The last limitations for various ethnic groups and religious groups were not removed until 1960. Universal suffrage is the expansion of the right to vote to all adult citizens. archives/?search=telling+times+documentary+women% 27s+right+to+vote archives/?search=telling+times+documentary+women% 27s+right+to+vote

13 What is a responsibility? A responsibility is a duty or obligation. It is something you should do to show that you respect your rights. Example: Your right to an education comes with the responsibility to show up to school prepared and on time.

14 Responsibilities in a Democracy It is the responsibility of all Canadians to respect and follow the rules set out in the Constitution. The right to vote comes with the responsibility to vote and to make an informed decision.

15 Federal Voter Turnout YearVoter Turnout 201161.1% 200858.8% 200664.7% 200460.9% 200061.2% 199767.0%

16 Homework - Journal Questions Record in your social notebook and title entry with “Democratic Rights and Responsibilities” What does it mean to live in a democracy? What is a right? What rights and freedoms do we have in Canada? What responsibilities come along with our rights? How is voting both a right and a responsibility?

17 Extension Record in your social notebook and title entry with “extension” How important is it that individuals behave as responsible members of society? Why? Will you vote when you turn 18? Should voters lose the right to vote if they choose to ignore their duty to vote in an election?

18 Videos Women’s Right to Vote” Telling Times documentary archives/?search=telling+times+documentary+women%27s+right+to +vote archives/?search=telling+times+documentary+women%27s+right+to +vote School house Rocks -

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