Saturday, August 06, 2005

Free Expression in Canada

From the Calgary Herald:

Harper bumper sticker stirs up controversy

An Edmonton man won’t be charged for having a rude bumper sticker that insults Conservative Leader Stephen Harper.

The sticker has a four-letter synonym for intercourse followed by the name Harper.

Back in June, Rob Wells [received] a letter from Mounties in Ponoka saying a resident had seen the sticker while driving near Red Deer and was offended.

He was asked to remove the sticker but refused, accusing the RCMP of trying to suppress political dissent.

Police have since backed off on charging Wells.
We aren’t convinced that free speech requires tolerating obscenities imposed on unwitting people who are just going about their business in the public square.

But we suppose one could say that, at least, Canadian officials are bending over backwards to protect free expression.

But that’s not the way Canada works. In Toronto, Miss Universe was forbidden by municipal officials to appear in a public square unless she concealed her title. The politically correct crowd there felt that the Miss Universe contest engages in “sexual stereotyping.”

Indeed:
In 1992, then Toronto mayor June Rowlands banned the Barenaked Ladies from playing in Nathan Phillips Square, saying she felt the name objectified women.
This, of course, is typical of contemporary liberalism.

They are happy to defend speech the gratutious, useless vulgarity of which offends the vast majority of citizens, but quick to outlaw expression that offends their politically correct sensibilities.

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