[oclug] Should we invite Microsoft to an OCLUG Meeting
Francis J. A. Pinteric
linuxdoctor at linuxdoctor.biz
Wed May 12 08:04:00 EDT 2004
On Wed, 12 May 2004 11:55:27 +0200
Christian Gross <mailing at devspace.com> wrote:
> I actually beg to differ. Referring to the Canadian Constitution:
> . Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
> (a) freedom of conscience and religion
> (b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and
> expression, including freedom of the press and other
> means of communication.
> (c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
> (d) freedom of association.
> It does not say only in public, or a mailing list, or some place as
> defined by somebody. THIS IS THE POINT. Otherwise we could say this
> club is for white males only!
Actually, freedom of association and assembly DOES mean that we can make
this club whites only or bald women or guys and gals who like whips and
chains (oooh.). Freedom of association means freedom of association.
The charter is there to prevent the governement from interfering with
that white only club or that bald women's club or those guys and gals
with whips and chains (oooh).
What prevents us from doing that is the Human Rights laws, not the
constitution. The Human Rights laws prevents us discriminating on
certain grounds, so we cannot suddenly turn our club into a "whites
only" preverve. On the other hand we could turn it into a club for bald
women or the .... (oooh).
However, the Human Rights laws are in direct conflict with the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms. The tie is resolved by the very first paragraph
of the Charter, to whit, "The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such
reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in
a free and democratic society."
Your freedoms are subject to "reasonable limits" that can be
"demonstrably justified" in a "free and democratic" society. One of
those "reasonable limits" is that freedom of speech and association
cannot be exclusive of race, but bald women and whips and chains
fanatics can discriminate all they like.
Paragraphs 1 and 2 of the Charter were actually put to the test in the
1990's in the now infamous Keegstra trials. I certain Jim Keegstra, a
high school teacher in Alberta, was teaching his students that the
Holocaust was a lie. The school board fired him, so he sued claiming
right to free speech. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that Keegstra's
right to free speech WAS violated under section 2 of the Charter of
Rights and Freedoms, however, they also ruled that such a violation was
reasonable based on section 1.
So, the gist is this. While OCLUG cannot discriminate on the grounds of
"race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual
orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction
for which a pardon has been granted" (RSC 1985, c-H6; as ammended) we
can discriminate based on women's baldness, degree of infatuation with
whips and chains or ... if you're a rep of Microsoft, unless you can
prove that such discrimination is unreasonable in a free and democratic
Considering that Microsoft represents, in themselves, that very danger,
it would be prudent to prevent them from speaking.
Ideology is the starting point in the march to power, not the end.
Ideology fuels the revolution once victory has been achieved.
But ideology cannot be relied upon to sustain the new order
once the revolutionary phase has been completed.
Here the hard and fast realities of life and politics take over,
and this is when a bankrupt ideology will fail.
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