Rights and democracy


Speaking at this weekend’s Conservative convention, Jason Kenney explains the Conservative ethos.

“We don’t depend on the bloated bureaucracies of the nanny state; we thrive on our freedom and are upheld by the law,” he said. “We don’t assume that history began in the Summer of Love; we honour a tradition reaching back to the Magna Carta … Our adversaries were focused on the obsessions of the chattering classes – like Taliban prisoners – rather than the practical bread-and-butter concerns of hard-working families.”

Though neither are as old as the Magna Carta (established in 1215), both the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (adopted in 1948) and the Geneva Conventions (agreed to in 1949) predate the Summer of Love (1967).

Article 39 of the Magna Carta is translated as follows.

“No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.”

Article 5 of the Universal Declaration outlaws torture as well as “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” Upon the declaration’s adoption at the United Nations, Eleanor Roosevelt placed it within the tradition of the Magna Carta.

We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind, that is the approval by the General Assembly of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights recommended by the Third Committee. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta of all men everywhere. We hope its proclamation by the General Assembly will be an event comparable to the proclamation of the Declaration of the Rights of the Man by the French people in 1789, the adoption of the Bill of Rights by the people of the United States, and the adoption of comparable declarations at different times in other countries.


Rights and democracy

  1. “We don’t depend on the bloated bureaucracies of the nanny state; we thrive on our freedom and are upheld by the law …. ”

    Who is ‘we’, Kenney, because I am conservative and think our current Con government is rather left wing.

    Conservative Party members are shameless, having victory party for winning election, while they have overseen huge increase of State and debt.

    I have no idea what Cons think they have to celebrate – they are awfully self-satisfied and seem to think it is all about the Party and show no concern about country – because they are slowly bankrupting Canada. 

    How does our freedom increase when State takes more money from our pockets than ever before to pay for bloated State? 

    Mr. Clement said that: “Governments are doing their part. Universities are doing their part. Where’s business? When is business going to do its part?”

    The first is a significant increase in the number of public servants. The federal government’s civilian workforce grew by 35 percent between 1999 and 2009, while the Canadian population increased by only 11 percent. Jobs in the for-profit sector of the economy increased by 14 percent during this time period.

    The aforementioned CD Howe report notes that total compensation per civilian employee in the federal government reached $94, 000 in 2009/2010, nearly double the average of $47,500 in the private economy.”

    • They have power to celebrate–the only thing that matters.

  2. Never mind the page, this is performance art!

  3. We are all the Conservative government’s children.

  4. Eleanor Roosevelt was a Red

    • A red what?

      • I am joking

      • A red herring.

  5. Kenney slept through history class I see.

    There were rights long before the Magna Carta….even in England

    • I wish Kenney had cited the Magna Carta following the G20. He’s a bit late pulling out the reference. But there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that Conservatives have ever seen the Magna Carta passage quoted by Wherry.

  6. Even as they invoke the rights against improper arrest and seizure, they continue with the right of Kings to spend however they damn well please.

  7. If that’s their ethos, how come they don’t apply it to governing?

    By the way, yesterday I made a very crass and unfair comparison of the Liberal Party of Canada and the Conservative Party of Canada. I said, quite in the heat of the moment, that there were absolutely no differences between them. 

    I was wrong.

    The Conservative’s signs are blue, while the Liberals tend to use red. 

    I apologise for my unfair blanket statement.

    • And, the Liberals are the party of the Charter, while the Conservatives are the party of the Magna Carta.  This changes everything, I’m sure.

  8. Sanctimonious windbag? Pompous douche? It’s so hard to decide.

    He’d fit right in as a commenter here, though.

    • “Sanctimonious windbag? Pompous douche?” 

      Ever since Theodor Adorno came out with his scandalously flawed Authoritarian Personality in 1950, liberal and leftist social scientists have been trying to diagnose conservatism as a psychological defect or sickness. 

      Adorno and his colleagues argued that conservatism was little more than a “pre-fascist” “personality type.” According to this school, sympathy for communism was an indication of openness and healthy idealism. Opposition to communism was a symptom of your more deep-seated pathologies and fascist tendencies. 

      According to Adorno, subjects who saw Nazism and Stalinism as similar phenomena were demonstrating their “idiocy” and “irrationality.” Psychological counseling, many argued, could cure these maladies.

      Perhaps the more revealing psychological insight can be found in the fact that so many liberals think disagreeing with them is a form of psychosis.


      • It’s just adorable that you would cite Jonah Goldberg as a source for… well, anything substantive, really. Honestly jolyon, you need some fresh material, that crap is clearly rotting your brain.

        As you’re perfectly aware, none of “sanctimonious”, “windbag”, “pompous” or “douche” amount to even an informal psychological assessment. Your comment is even weaker than the Jonah Goldberg article you cite.

        • Post script: you just referred to a 60-year-old paper as “scandalously flawed” (not that I doubt that assessment) and turned right around and cited Jonah Goldberg.

          Cognitive dissonance: you should try it sometime.

      • You seem like such a pleasant person, TJ Cook. 

        Maclean’s why does Alfanerd have comments deleted for language but you have no problem with Cook’s language? What is your policy, exactly? 

        • Perhaps you could specify what “language” has you calling for my comment’s deletion?

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