Friday, July 08, 2005

One Disadvantage in Canada

One freedom that Americans take for granted is our freedom to say stupid shit. In Canada, you can be fined heavily, or even go to jail, if you say something stupid that "incites hatred" . So, imagine if you got fined everytime you said something stupid that made other people hate you. Brittney Spears would be in a debtor's prison by now! If I was a Canadian and I said that I hate parking attendants, that I think they are the lowest form of vermin and are not fit to lick the shoes of lepers, just for example, I could be fined, or even jailed. Which would make those damned parking attendants really happy I bet.

Anyway, the link is to a story about an aboriginal leader, and freelance moron, named David Ahenakew (gesunheit!) who decided, like so many other morons, to share with us all his thoughts on the Jewish people, something a Saskatchewan aboriginal is in a position to know a lot about. Anyway, he said some truly repellent things about the Holocaust in that funny Saskatchewan accent and promptly got charged with inciting hatred. The judge has reduced his fine and decided against jail time, so as not to make him a "martyr" to other stupid people. Ahenakew has claimed that this proves that aboriginals cannot get justice. Maybe so, but it might not be a good time to point that out after your jail time was thrown out. We have some bitchy criminals here. Let me tell you about how ballsy Karla Homolka has been lately!

Anyway, as much as I hate bigots, I'm sort of glad that we don't jail them for saying stupid or repellent things. I don't like the idea of "dangerous speech" one bit. Especially becuse it's just what those parking attendants want.


Jordan said...

I think you are a little misinformed. You can say "I hate parking attendants..." in Canada all you wish!

But you cannot repeatedly praise Hitler for when he "fried six million Jews". HUGE DIFFERENCE!

I don't feel comfortable with censorship laws either (i don't like the state deciding what is history), but the legal reaction to his comments are at minimum understandible.

Nine times out of ten, the offender would apoligize publicly, attend a Holocaust memorial, and that would end the matter. But this nut really went out of his way to antagonize the jewish community and canadian government.

Mental note: Never defend your statements during a Hate trial. Oh, and blaiming the jews (media, lobby groups) for your verdict is also a bad strategic choice :)

Really, Canada is very free! You should see our daily news... we get more CIA agents taking about policy than you guys! (but in fairness by that time they are usually fired) And you should hear the things we say about our own government... bitching is our number one export!


Rufus said...

Thanks for the response! I wasn't so much misinformed as making a very bad joke about parking attendants. I do understand the law as you've explained it, and I certainly understand that the creep did everything he could to get fined. And, you're right- nobody would ever get arrested for criticizing parking attendants (hoo-ray!). But, I'm still uncomfortable with the law as it is, even though I should also mention that it is virtually identical to laws throughout Europe.

Canada is certainly quite free, and I dare say even more free than my own country at this time. But, since I openly criticize the excesses of the War on Terror (see Gokal and Shiela) I feel okay criticizing this particular law. I definitely hear the bitching about the government! Remember, I live in T.O. with a Canadian wife.

Thanks again!