You say Wildrose. I say Progressive Conservative. Who best to defend human rights for all?
I’m increasingly unable to tell who stands for what between the PC’s and the Wildrose. The lines are extremely blurry when you look deeper.
I’ll give you a couple of guesses who said this in a lengthy interview:
Q. But you have no moral objection with the issue of rights being put to a popular vote — gay marriage, swingers clubs?
A. Those aren’t rights, those are rights claims.
Peter Russell did some work that just confirms common sense. What typically passes for rights disputes and rights litigation are disputes about the outer boundary of rights, not the core meaning.
If a country is divided about the core meaning of such things as freedom of religion or freedom of speech, you are probably pretty close to civil war, and judges aren’t going to make much of a difference anyhow.
So what really goes on is a game of rights claiming in which groups try to take their policy preference and, kind of like putting lipstick on a pig, dress it up as a “right” to give it moral authority. Instead of it being just a group interest claim, they try and claim that it is actually a right and it has a certain moral dignity. And it may have some, but the key to the game is to try to turn policy claims into rights claims. I don’t have any trouble with referendums on that.
Basically, what you’re doing is having sort of an ongoing amendment of the Constitution by interpretation. Constitutions are made difficult to amend for a reason, and so to have it easily amendable by judicial interpretation, I think, is wrong in principle.
Q. What about the issue of parliamentary supremacy versus “judicial activism”? If we agree with a court’s Charter decision to overturn a law, then obviously it was the right one — but if we disagree it’s judicial activism. What is the principled position?
A. I think that when courts make a [personal rights] decision they have the right to be listened to and listened to carefully, but not the right to dictate a particular public policy once and for all. Elected governments in the end should have the right to decide how we’re governed or how we’re not governed.
I don’t know about you, but I’m voting for real change, here and I’m getting a little cranky again (as usual).
Miss Cranky Pants (aka Jody MacPherson) is a communications consultant, politico, soccer mom, divorcee (is it any wonder?) and coffee addict who gets a little testy without regular caffeine.