Individual or Group rights?


I think not
#1
I found this post very interesting, I hope Sanch doesn't mind my cut and paste.

Quote: Originally Posted by sanch

This semantic game as to what constitutes rights is the same one I encountered on the expatriate voting issue. One poster stated that a particular ideal should be adhered to less the definition of what constitutes rights on voting be construed too broadly. The issue in question was residence and voting. Here the question is marriage and sexual orientation. Same problem with different words. Split hairs to differentially define rights. This is a very common Canadian trend.

The reason why in Canada conflicting standards are frequently used to determine rights is that Canada does not recognize individual rights. Canada recognizes group rights and this is what the Charter protects. And even for group rights to be acknowledged members of the group have to mobilize and lobby for recognition. The best example of this are “visible minorities.”

The Charter is very different than the US Constitution in the way it recognizes rights. The ACLU for example takes cases where rights are violated irrespective of political considerations. It’s position is based on the premise that all individuals in the US have equal rights. In Canada the CCLA will only take cases identified with certain groups that they consider are entitled to being defended on human rights In other words only individuals belonging to certain groups in Canada have human rights. Individuals outside these groups have no way to seek redress if their rights are violated other than first mounting a Charter challenge.

So Canada really does not have a universal humans rights system. Rights a re calculated in terms of potential political gain and for self interest on the part of various groups.

There was an interesting article in the Economist I believe in September 2004 on the limited way that human rights are defined in Canada.

On the election I think it is important not to let corrupt and inept liberal politicians tarnish the ideals of the party platform. The next government should go into caretaker mode and clean up government as its main priority. They have to get these morons out of government.

Can anyone comment on this, I find this topic very interesting.
 
Colpy
Conservative
#2
I would have to disagree that the Charter is worded to exclusively defend group rights. I think the SCOC often decides in favour of group rights as opposed to individual rights, but the SCOC seems to pay attention to the constitution only when it suits their interests.

Of course, group rights and individual rights wind up being mutually exclusive. If only the group has rights, the individual has none.

I am a strong believer that the only rights worth defending are individual rights.
 
Jersay
#3
I do think the charter does protray both group and individual rights, but I do think the charter leans more towards the groups which is okay some of the times but also causes problems.
 
I think not
#4
I would have to agree with you Colpy, it struck me as odd the Charter of Rights Freedoms is worded in a way that Sanch is describing, I hope when Sanch sees this perhaps can add some more to it.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#5
Rights and Freedoms in Canada

I would have to disagree with the assertion that the Constitution Act, 1982 (in particular, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms) caters more toward groups than it does toward individual citizens.

The Charter guarantees rights to everyone, both as individuals and as groups, depending on how one wishes to pursue rulings in relation to the interpretation of the Charter. Nowhere in the document are groups given any sort of "benefit" in relation to rights and freedoms.

Quote: Originally Posted by The Constitution Act, 1982,

Equality Rights

15. (1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

(2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability.

As can be seen, the Constitution makes references to both individuals and groups; for further certainty, subsection (1) of the section cited above refers to "everybody." While the Supreme Court of Canada may interpret this text as it may deem appropriate, I would assert that, by and large, the Court has defended the rights of the person, as an individual, and the rights of groups as several individuals. Either way, the rights of the individual are protected.

The Supreme Court of Canada

I would disagree entirely with the assertion that the Supreme Court of Canada "seems to pay attention to the constsitution only when it suits their interests" (an except from a post made by Colpy). In relation to the protection of rights and freedoms, I would argue that our current Court has been one of the most progressive yet, protecting rights even before they have been expressly enshrined into legislation.

We are lucky in Canada, in my opinion, to have a Supreme Court that would use its authority for the common good, while working within the framework of its power within the Constitution and the Acts establishing the Court; we need to work to protect the rights of Canadians, notwithstanding whether or not such rights are determined on an individual basis, or as a group.

To re-iterate my point more eloquently than I would myself be able, I would like to quote the Right Honourable Beverly McLachlin, our Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and Privy Councillor :

Quote: Originally Posted by The Rt. Hon. Beverly McLachlin, P.C.,

To make equal worth a reality we need more than what Michael Ignatieff calls “rights talk”. We need to look beyond the words to the reality, or context of the individual and group, to understand the other in his or her full humanity. This requires an open and honest mind, a willingness to bridge the gap between groups with empathy. Only when we look at the member of a different group in this way are we able to give effect to the promise of equal worth and dignity.

Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to consider my opinion.

Sources
  1. Click here to view the Constitution Act, 1982; this is an off-site link, under the domain of the Ministry of Justice .
  2. Click here to view the remarks of the Rt. Hon. Beverly McLachlin, P.C., regarding the Civilization of Difference; this is an off-site link, under the domain of the Supreme Court of Canada .
 
I think not
#6
I'm having a hard time swallowing this myself FiveParadox, although I will do some research on the topic.
 
Machjo
#7
Individual rights looks good on paper, but it always leads to assimilation into the majority community, which in turn leads to fear of assimilation on the part of the minority, which as a result leads to ethnic conflict.

So from that standpoint it would seem that we have the folloing options:

1. 100%individual rights, including the right of self-preservation, which might mean minority groups organizing themselves and trying to keep the majority out of their group in the name of self-preservation.

2. A balance between individual and group rights so that the minority feels enough at ease to open up to the majority rather than to take a fighting stance.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#8
I believe the latter of the options that you provide, Machjo , is what the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms endeavours to accomplish.
 
poligeek
#9
Canada since 1971, can in may ways be described as a nation of minorities. When the Constitution Act of 1982 came into play including the the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, that Charter attempts to strike a balance between individual freedoms and protecting vulnerable groups in society.

It is completely false to state that in Canada
Quote:

only individuals belonging to certain groups in Canada have human rights.

The Charter itself clearly outlines universal human rights as accepted in the UN declaration of human rights.

Quote:

Article 3.
Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.
No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.
No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html

Quote:

Legal Rights
Life, liberty and security of person
7. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice.

Search or seizure
8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

Detention or imprisonment
9. Everyone has the right not to be arbitrarily detained or imprisoned.

Arrest or detention
10. Everyone has the right on arrest or detention
a) to be informed promptly of the reasons therefor;
b) to retain and instruct counsel without delay and to be informed of that right; and
c) to have the validity of the detention determined by way of habeas corpus and to be released if the detention is not lawful.

http://laws.justice.gc.ca/en/charter/

The above also demonstrates that to say:
Quote:

The reason why in Canada conflicting standards are frequently used to determine rights is that Canada does not recognize individual rights.

is blatantly false.

The section that was quoted by Five Paradox out of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms is used to be able to defend vulnerable groups against discrimination, and at the same time go further to allow for programs to be set up that apply a reverse discrimnation allowing for the amelioration of minority discrimination.

For example if individual rights always trumped group rights in every case, it would be very difficult to extend benefits only to the homeless, the illeterate, new immigrants, francophone communitites, women, homosexuals, people who don't speak english or any other minorty you can think of. Becuase, if these programs were exclusively offered to any one group with the purpose of helping that group to overcome discrimination an individual could claim that they were being discriminated against by not being allowed to obtain the same benefits.

We would like to hope that no individuals would infringe upon a program aimed at helping a marganilized group, however experience and history has taught us that in some cases when there is the intention to help a marginalized group there are those in society who may not want to see help extended to particular minority group.

In such a case the assertion of individual rights that all individuals should be able to equally access government benefits and government programs that are intended to ameliorate a discrimination particular to one group, being simeltaneoulsy extended to the entire population would, in most cases negat the effect of the original assistance and render the program moot and ineffective.

This is why group rights in some circumstances as outlined by the charter are protected, in addition to not instead of, individual rights.
 
Triple_R
#10
We don't value assimilation, or broad shared culture, enough in Canada, in my view. Too many of our perpetual problems - the existence of Quebec seperatism, Aboriginal issues, and so on - are due to how we value groups over individuals, in my opinion.

There's certainly nothing wrong with subcultures within a broader culture, but it's also important to have a broader culture that as many people within your country as possible buy into... and that broader culture has to include more than just the acceptance of other cultures, because that alone does not provided much of a basis for uniting.

We need more Quebecers to think of themselves as Canadians, first and foremost, and Quebecers second. We need aboriginal Canadians to think of themselves as Canadians, first and foremost, and aboriginals second. The problem is that, to some extent, we're lacking a shared broader culture within Canada.

We do have some things - love of hockey, love of particular types of music, love of Tim Horton's, a belief in diplomacy over military action - but even with these things, there isn't a great push to get people to buy into this shared broader culture.

Also, it seems to me that aboriginal issues and Quebec seperatism are neverending problems. Clearly, we're doing something wrong here. We've been trying the mutliculturalism angle for ages (so much so that we even have a ministry of mulitculturalism in Canada) ... maybe it's time to try something different?

I do think that we do need to put a greater emphasis on individual accountablity, and individual identity, apart from any one particular minority group, here in Canada. In many ways, this is why I dislike the focusing on "broader social problems" aspect of crime. While there is value in doing so, I do think that it feeds into an almost entitlement-like thinking on the part of certain groups. I think that it makes them think that they're entitled to get government assistance/hand-outs, and not to want to go out and get things done for themselves.

That may sound harsh, but that is how I feel right now.
 
I think not
#11
Machjo

I have to disagree with you that assimilation eventually leads to ethnic conflict, quite the opposite is true as evidenced with the recent uprisings in France. What you are suggesting is every group distance themselves from the whole to preserve their own "indentity" which in my opinion eventually leads to isolationism as opposed to being "assimilated".

Diversity or multiculturalism are actually the ones that sound great on paper or a topic of intellectual conversation when in fact the opposite is true. Diversity stemming from the same root words as divide or division are by definition very divisive.

Also, self-preservation (I'm not quite sure what you meant) is instinctive in all living things and doesn't constitute a "right" per say but rather a mechanism of survival when one's life is threatened. I don't think it is a fair analogy to apply self-preservation into society's constructs of groups.
 
Triple_R
#12
I think not - I largely agree. There is value in mutliculturalism insofar as you have just enough of it to make immigrants feel comfortable assimilating into the broader new culture of their new land, and insofar as it simply adds a nice variety of flavour to your country. For example, I have no problem with Sikhs wearing their religious head garb everywhere in public - I think that it adds some dynamism, and flavour, to a scene. It would be kind of drab if we all went around wearing the same sort of attire.

However, I do dislike the emphasis on groups over individuals, and I do dislike the lack of emphasis on a shared national identity, here in Canada. It's too easy, in my mind, for a member of a minority group in Canada to blame his misfortunes on his minority group status, and not take responsibility for his own actions, and even for his own situation in some cases.

Beyond that, I really think we need to start strongly encouraing aboriginal groups to start assimilating into the broader Canadian culture. The fact that we're actually debating land agreements that were signed over a hundred years ago is head-shaking to me.
 
I think not
#13
Triple_R

I have begun researching this issue that was brought up and the more I look into it, the more I am leaning towards some of the claims sancho made although I think it isn't quite accurate. So far I have been able to find a couple of posts from law professors in Canada and according to them, rights obtained by a group are not "trickled down", pardon the phrase to individuals. Hence if an individual within a group has certain rights, once no longer part of that group, those rights cease to exist, or something along those lines. I will continue researching this issue because I find it incredibly interesting being an advocate of indvidual rights myself, but before I post anything I want to make sure this is the case. Legal verbage tends to be rather confusing at times, for me anyway
 
poligeek
#14
I think the first thing to point out is that the vast majority of rights as outlined in the Charter are individual rights not group rights.

Section 15 only give the government the ability to provide rights to a particular group to ameloriate a group based marginalization.

I think it would be almost impossible to argue that group based marginalizations can be remedied by extending the exact same rights to everyone equally.... if a group is being marginalized then there is a reason for it and a solution to it, but the group must be recognized and the issue must be recognized.

Example:

Women's pay equity: The general history is that women who were preforming the exact same job as men were systematically being paid less. Sometimes women and men had the exact same job title, sometimes is was simply the job function and responsibilities that were the same but a different title (i.e. woman=secreatary, man=clerk). The special amelioration given to women was a raise so that thier salaries matched males preforming the same job (within the same job experience bracket). If the raise had been given to both men and women, men would have still been paid more than women.

(In addition to this measure the practice of gender differientiated hiring salary scales was also made illegal).

The issue of Quebec and Aboriginals is not an issue of individual rights vs. group rights.... it's an issue of collonization.

The British and the French collonized Canada, enslaving and killing most Aboriginal people, then we took their land, didn't honour our treaties, put them on reserves, took away resources and left them to extreme poverty having taken away almost every measure that they had previously used to survive. When we recognized the poverty we took an entire two generations of children off the reserves away from their parents, institutionalized them in religious schools where the rate of abuse was astronomical, then returned them to the communities where they no longer knew their culture, language or parents and did not offer any way for them to integrate into Canadian jobs off the reservations.

Canada has a very poor record when it comes to recognizing and respecting the aboriginal first-nations community.

It's not a matter of first-nations not integrating into Canada, it's a matter of they don't want to, and should a collonizer have the ability to force collonization in the post-collonial era? We thought it was wrong when Hitler did it... why is it right for us to do it?

Quebec has a little bit more say in how they became a part of Canada, but the fact that they didn't sign the constitution and that they refer to the night the constitution was signed as "the night of the long knives" implicating a deliberate act on the part of the Canadian government to get the constitution signed when they knew Quebec would not sign is a very serious problem beyond the level of group rights vs. individual rights.
 
TenPenny
#15
I think the true difference between Canada and the US is this very issue. Canadian society is based more on group rights first, individual rights seconds. What is good for us overall. US society is based first and foremost on individual rights. And as part of this, it is important to know that legally, a corporation is an individual.

For example, we, as a society, decided that access to health for everyone was an important goal, and that's where Medicare came from. In the US, they are dead set against this idea. In the US, before anyone acts to do anything like, for example, save thousands of people from a hurricane, flooding, and destruction, the most important question must be answered: who's going to pay me to do this?

I'm quite happy with our perspective on society; others may differ.
 
sanch
#16
The group/individual rights dichotomy can be looked at from a number of perspectives. Generally I believe individuals who belong to a discriminated against group have to present and argue their grievance either through the judicial or political process and have their grievance recognized as legitimate. Then they are entitled to either special status as some aboriginals and visible minorities are now. Or they are entitled to equal status as are gays in respect to marriage rights. This is one way to look at this topic.

This is another way. My children are visible minorities and Canadian and so have special status under the charter. They were also born abroad and so as members of this category have to go through a special process to have their status recognized as Canadians. We had to do this even though the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional to deny foreign born Canadians the same right to citizenship enjoyed by Canadians born in Canada. But despite the granting of citizenship they still will not have the right to vote. They are who they are as Canadians because of their membership in the above groups. In this sense group rights prevail over individual rights in Canada.

Basically the various acts of legislation in Canada are one huge exercise in segmentation. In respect to aboriginals there are members of this group whose rights are protected and defined by treaty and there are those who are considered non-treaty and have very different rights. Rights are also differentialy defined among aboriginals depending on who one’s parent is, what their status is and what gender that parent is.

My concern here has been on how voting rights are defined. I pointed out in another thread that most countries recognize expatriate voting rights yet Canada does so only under certain conditions. Why in the vast majority of countries are all individuals entitled to vote and in Canada they are not? The answer to me is that in most countries the constitutional provision which usually states all individuals are equal is complied with to a greater degree than it is in Canada. Canada prioritizes group rights.

Does this type of system benefit certain groups whose members have been discriminated against? Of course it does. But it has ts limitations. I don’t think it is sufficient to just recognize a group as disadvantaged. There needs to be other remedies as well such as access to educational opportunity and to jobs. Why is there 40% unemployment among Jamaicans in Toronto between 18 to 30 even though they are a “visible minority?” To me it is because just as certain castes in India can have their status elevated and formally recognized and still not have de facto recognition, certain groups in Canada are subjected to the same treatment. Thus special recognition is a hollow gesture.
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#17
I would hardly consider expatriate voting to be an issue of human rights. This is an issue to be more appropriately discussed in the "Expatriate Voting" thread, in my opinion.

Please, to those posting here, at least read the rights and freedoms sections of the Charter; it names groups and individuals, and extends its protection to both.
 
Machjo
#18
In response to I Think Not

"I have to disagree with you that assimilation eventually leads to ethnic conflict, quite the opposite is true as evidenced with the recent uprisings in France. What you are suggesting is every group distance themselves from the whole to preserve their own "indentity" which in my opinion eventually leads to isolationism as opposed to being "assimilated"."

I think we need to make a distinction between 'assimilation' and 'integration'. There is plenty of evidence of how 'assimilation' leads to ethnic conflict. Just observe the First Nations. Observe how Quebec reacted decades ago when they noticed that Montreal was assimilating to English (they introduced Bill 101!). Observe the bitterness of Uighurs who are now not allowed to study cources in their native language in the University of Xinjiang, and the refusal of Uighurs in Shanghai to speak to their Han counterparts in Chinese if they can speak English at all, etc. You need to do a little travelling to areas where cultural assimilation is in fact occurring (e.g., Montreal, Urumqi, Lhasa, and I'm sure many other parts of the world. I wouldn't be surprised if there are even places in the US where there might be a certain pressure to learn Spanish which might lead to some resentment as well.

"Diversity or multiculturalism are actually the ones that sound great on paper or a topic of intellectual conversation when in fact the opposite is true. Diversity stemming from the same root words as divide or division are by definition very divisive."

I agree that to have peace, we need a common culture. But it's not up to one group to impose it on the rest. Sure it would be wonderful if all Canadians could agree on a common second language, or agree on a common set of cultural referents, be they Christian or otherwise. But if such a common culture is merely imposed by the majority, conflict is sure to ensue (an example would be if Canada suddenly decided that from now on English was to be its sole common language or, as really happenned, when Quebec decided on French whithout really consulting with their minorities). Yet to lack a common culture, as is the case with Canada, with the French doing their thing, the English theirs, and the natives just being squashed in between, obviously dialogue is difficult due to the lack of common ground. Possibly a compromise would be a commonly agreed upon second language and culture.

Also, self-preservation (I'm not quite sure what you meant) is instinctive in all living things and doesn't constitute a "right" per say but rather a mechanism of survival when one's life is threatened. I don't think it is a fair analogy to apply self-preservation into society's constructs of groups.

I in fact meant what you just typed here. I agree 100% that this has nothing to do with legal rights or lack thereof, but rather human nature, and no law can do anything to stop that. Therefore, it's wise for any government to proceed with tact and wisdom, care and caution as it attempts to establish a common culture, as it follows a middle road of moderation while avoiding the extremes. To impose a common culture would be just as damaging as not trying to establish a common one. The only solution, inasmuch as many, especially among the majority, might hate this, is to find common ground through mutual consultation. If everyone can agree to some common auxiliary culture, then we can finally have a common foundation upon which all are willing to build. But that's not easy.[/b]
 
Machjo
#19
[b]
Quote: Originally Posted by Triple_R

The fact that we're actually debating land agreements that were signed over a hundred years ago is head-shaking to me.

Sorry I have to seriously disagree here. An agreement is an agreement (inasmuch as some like to ignore agreements when convenient!), regardless how old it is. And this agreement was signed between the British and the First nations before Canada even existed. thus, Canada is in fact founded upon these agreements. If these agreements are ignored, then Canada breaks its side of the Contract, and the land goeas back to the natives, entirely!
 
FiveParadox
Liberal
#20
I agree entirely, Machjo . We, as citizens of Canada , should feel compelled, in my opinion, to ensure that the agreements between our founders and our First Nations people are honoured whole-heartedly.
 
poligeek
#21
Obviously this thread has gone off in several different directions.

However, I have noticed several people posting assertions that Canada favours group-rights over individual-rights.

There have been two posts referring to the Charter which overwhelmingly deals with individual rights but does have a clause in section 15 that allows the government to take measures to ameliorate a discriminatory situation of a particular group.

I would argue that Canada, in most instaces protects an individual's rights. However, unlink the United States we do have allowances for situations where protecting group-rights above one individuals rights will serve a greater social good.

That being said, for all the people who are claiming that the Canadian Charter protects group rights over individual rights I'd be particularly interested in seeing where this argument is founded in legislation.
 
I think not
#22
Machjo

Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

I think we need to make a distinction between 'assimilation' and 'integration'. There is plenty of evidence of how 'assimilation' leads to ethnic conflict. Just observe the First Nations. Observe how Quebec reacted decades ago when they noticed that Montreal was assimilating to English (they introduced Bill 101!). Observe the bitterness of Uighurs who are now not allowed to study cources in their native language in the University of Xinjiang, and the refusal of Uighurs in Shanghai to speak to their Han counterparts in Chinese if they can speak English at all, etc. You need to do a little travelling to areas where cultural assimilation is in fact occurring (e.g., Montreal, Urumqi, Lhasa, and I'm sure many other parts of the world. I wouldn't be surprised if there are even places in the US where there might be a certain pressure to learn Spanish which might lead to some resentment as well.

Agreed, there are differences and very important ones. Assimilation means to be absorbed, incorporated, to become synthesized, to become just like everybody else, to have no identity any longer whereas integration means bring different parts together, to blend, to orchestrate into a whole, yet not lose essence or identity. You can they say that integration is the essence of American society as evidenced by hyphenated Americans. And in the historical context you mentioned above, it is of up most importance in my opinion that integration or assimilation cannot be forced upon, it evolves naturally or it simply doesn’t work.

Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

I agree that to have peace, we need a common culture. But it's not up to one group to impose it on the rest. Sure it would be wonderful if all Canadians could agree on a common second language, or agree on a common set of cultural referents, be they Christian or otherwise. But if such a common culture is merely imposed by the majority, conflict is sure to ensue (an example would be if Canada suddenly decided that from now on English was to be its sole common language or, as really happenned, when Quebec decided on French whithout really consulting with their minorities). Yet to lack a common culture, as is the case with Canada, with the French doing their thing, the English theirs, and the natives just being squashed in between, obviously dialogue is difficult due to the lack of common ground. Possibly a compromise would be a commonly agreed upon second language and culture.

Here is the problem I have with what you said, first one needs to be able to define culture, culture is very complex and emboldens many social interactions, music, art, food, traditions, language, religion etc… It is impossible to “integrate” all these cultures without losing some of the interactions. Hence in order to preserve culture, you must create a multicultural society or a diverse society which we agreed already is inherently divisive. So the question now arises, which is the lesser of two evils? Integration or Diversity?


Quote: Originally Posted by Machjo

I in fact meant what you just typed here. I agree 100% that this has nothing to do with legal rights or lack thereof, but rather human nature, and no law can do anything to stop that. Therefore, it's wise for any government to proceed with tact and wisdom, care and caution as it attempts to establish a common culture, as it follows a middle road of moderation while avoiding the extremes. To impose a common culture would be just as damaging as not trying to establish a common one. The only solution, inasmuch as many, especially among the majority, might hate this, is to find common ground through mutual consultation. If everyone can agree to some common auxiliary culture, then we can finally have a common foundation upon which all are willing to build. But that's not easy.[/b]

To find common ground you need to be able to incorporate many aspects of many many cultures into one “melting pot”. I can’t see any other solution to it.
 
I think not
#23
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms at Twenty: The Ongoing Search for Balance Between Individual and Collective Rights

And

Beverley McLachlin - Chief Justice of Canada

Quote:

GROUP IDENTITY
Secondly, Canada’s Constitution states that rights belong to individuals and individuals as part of groups.

"We have some positive endorsement of religious rights in our constitution, while you have absolute separation of church and state," McLachlin said.

"We come from a different historical background, where the French-speaking Catholic province of Quebec united with the English-speaking Protestant province of Ontario.

"Under American law, the individual is the focus; but in Canada, the individual is seen as part of a group, and the right to maintain that group identity is protected."

 
jimmoyer
#24
If you think about it, any enhancement of group rights
enshrines any grievance that group has. This then
leads to separation and independence at the expense
of unity ---- regardless of whether you think that group
is right or wrong.

In the end if the individual is not held more important
than any identifiable group then you also have the
problem of accountability in that responsibility for
one's own action is watered down or blamed on the
problems and vicissitudes of said group.

I believe you must hold paramount the INDIVIDUAL
who must own his own actions and no excuse must
be passed on to a victimized group or an aggrieved group
right or wrong.

It will sink the law and all ethics into an endless morass
of discrimination and reverse discrimination ---- an endless
spiraling cycle of reaction and overreaction.
 

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