Freedom of Speech protects democratic process



Dear Editor:

This reflects on last weeks editorial in The Columbia Valley Pioneer. It appears that someone holds the view that controversial issues ought not be discussed in newspapers, but, rather, should be forwarded to specialist groups for a worthy opinion.

Seven hundred and ninety-nine years ago, Magna Carta introduced a process whereby citizens would influence how they were governed.

Canadians generally take pride in our Bill of Rights and the Constitution of Canada, both of which enshrine, among other guarantees, the right of free speech and freedom of the press.

Most could not voice an opinion on many issues if they were not exposed to a variety of ideas. Such exposure is often the result of media comment.

Surely, it should be obvious to all that Freedom of Speech was not put in place to protect popular opinion.

Freedom of Speech is intended to protect the society whole; including fringe views from persons with new and different perspectives. The intent is to foster debate.

Moreover, it is the duty of the press to lay before us such a variety of views so we individuals can sift and sort as we search for our own conclusions.

Being mad at a reported issue can be good. If we are right in opposing a view, we still need to debate the pros and cons in our mind, a process that tests our resolve.

We should want to test our thoughts as this is the process that allows for certainty or adjustment. Anyone who strongly disagrees with an idea should counter that view. No one should seek an approach where disagreeable thoughts are blocked from exposure. If controversial debate were to be smothered, what would such an advocates response be when his/her opinions could never be examined?

In a pluralistic society, we expect a range of viewpoints, but that is both the joy and the burden of democracy.

To assume that we would hive off tough decisions to some so-called specialists is an abdication of the democratic process. Moreover, it would be a short time before the specialists became our enemies.

Democracy requires broad-based thinking, and thinking cannot take place without information.

Information that favours only safe majority opinions advocates for a place where we watch change and excuse ourselves from participation. Some democracy that would be!

Arnold Malone

Invermere

Just Posted

Radium water restored after boil-water advisory

Pioneer tours through the plant to learn how the water quality was affected and what was fixed

Short term rentals divides opinion in Radium

Wildlife survey also on the agenda at last Council meeting

Clickety clack originals

James Rose fundraising for upcoming race through writing original one-page stories at farmers’ market

RCMP Report

Some of the more notable files from Columbia Valley RCMP week of August 12-18th

For the love of reading

Join the End of summer read-a-thon at Invermere library Wednesday, August 28th

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

B.C. father tells judge he did not kill his young daughters

Andrew Berry pleaded not guilty to the December 2017 deaths

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

New ‘Matrix’ film set with Keanu Reeves and Lana Wachowski

Fourth installment to feature Reeves as Neo and Carrie-Anne Moss as Trinity

Most Read