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Author Faces Canadian Tribunal For Hate Speech 818

Posted by kdawson
from the can't-say-that-here dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A Seattle Times editorial notes that the British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal will put author Mark Steyn on trial for his book 'America Alone,' which has angered Muslims in Canada. Steyn is a columnist for the Canadian magazine Maclean's. According to the editorial, British Columbia bans all words and images 'likely to expose a person... to hatred or contempt because of race, religion, age, disability, sex, marital status or sexual orientation.' Steyn is unapologetic, and is advertising his book as a 'Canadian Hate Crime' and daring the tribunal to 'pronounce him bad.'" The Canadian tabloid the National Post has coverage of what it calls "a media storm."
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Author Faces Canadian Tribunal For Hate Speech

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @03:50PM (#23363172)
    Last I checked you had to actually action the hate.

    Like I can write "I hate all jews," but I can't say "I hate all jews, lets set fire to their homes."

    Talking negatively about a person, or a group, is not a "hate crime" because it's not a compelling enough reason for a reasonable person to be driven to some sort of criminal activity.

    Like if I say, "most muslims don't respect women like we do in the West" (which in and of itself is up for debate) doesn't mean I think we should then chase after Muslims, show them contempt, etc.

    Likely this will fail a Supreme court test. The REAL problem is how easy to file a complaint is, and how costly it is to defend against. Since these are not criminal proceedings you're not specifically provided with council. So you have to pay for that yourself.

    Meanwhile, the person doing the complaining gets the government to pay for their legal council. ... odd that.
  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Saturday May 10, 2008 @03:58PM (#23363258) Homepage Journal
    http://www.indoctrinate-u.com/intro/ [indoctrinate-u.com]
    Great flick.
    Political Correctness is about doing the wrong thing for seemingly proper reasons.
    Or, it's passive aggression writ large.
  • by kaynaan (1180525) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @03:59PM (#23363262)
    while in the EU you go to jail for holocaust denial ... and the U.S government tramples on every human right there is ... some ppl on /. point finger up north. maybe its time to invade canada ?
  • by dreamchaser (49529) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @03:59PM (#23363268) Homepage Journal
    People have the right to engage in offensive speech. It's an absolute right, though not one recognized by the Canadian Constitution. You have NO right to to not be offended by someone's speech. Don't like it, don't read it.

    If you are not just trolling and really believe the crap you just spewed then I am highly offended by your attitude and plan on taking you to court. You obviously hate people who believe in Free Speech and you should be duly prosecuted under the laws you seem to think are a good idea.
  • by Dutch Gun (899105) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:10PM (#23363364)

    which ATM I am still able to post without fear of getting my door kicked in (I hope),YMMV
    Not unless you live in a Texas compound with a wacky religious leader, at least.

    There are some egregious examples of our (US) government overstepping their bounds, of course, but by and large, this sort of worry is not a current concern for most first-world citizens. But all you have to do is look to a country like China, where *real* political censorship and oppression occurs, and you then see how easily things can go astray.

    Are people in China inherently more susceptible to authoritarian regimes, or somehow less capable of existing in a democracy than other peoples? Do they desire freedom less than we do? I suspect not, but I fear too many people simply assume that it could never happen to us. I'm not talking about some tin-foil hat government conspiracy, but a slow and gradual erosion of our rights - a slowly boiling pot to the frog, as it were.

    I'm always astounded at those individuals who, while at the same time espousing fear of government censorship, are all too eager to cede so much power to the government in various guises: social programs, education, health care, financial control, and taxation. Power inevitably tends to corrupt, yet people are so easily deluded into thinking "yes, but we'll use that power to make our world better!" All the good intentions in the world won't prevent a powerful government from becoming at best bloated, inefficient, and uncaring, and at worst, tyrannical.

    It's pretty easy to see with an example like this how well-meaning intentions can go so badly astray. Only foolish reactionaries talk of radical change the government. Such changes will likely never happen, and while I'm sure it feels great to take a principles stand, it affects nothing in the long run. Instead, the true battle is incremental - every new power ceded to the government must be carefully questioned... Will this really make the lives of our citizens better in the long run, or is this just another potential method for a government to oppress and control it's population?
  • by c6gunner (950153) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:10PM (#23363368)

    We have a more efficient system in the USA: any violation of political correctness will get you fired, pilloried, and defamed mercilessly. In certain careers, your career is often destroyed. And of course whether what was said is true or not is irrelevant.
    You're exaggerating, but you do bring up a valid complaint. However, we Canadians are WAY ahead of you, since we face the same perils in the workplace, AND we have "Human Rights Commissions" (Orwellian speak for "thought-crimes inquisitions"). We're way more progressive!
  • by pipingguy (566974) * on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:12PM (#23363392) Homepage
    But the REAL issue of why he's on trial is because McLean's magazine (Canada's largest circulated magazine) has him as a regular contributer while refusing to let anyone offer a rebuttal. So, people complained.

    So a privately-owned business should be forced by government to give away wordspace because of some peoples' hurt feelings? Do you know much about this issue? Do you know the conviction rate of the HRCs? Are you aware of the tactics used by the HRCs?
  • Re:Hate Speech? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:14PM (#23363414) Homepage Journal

    As a practical matter, yes it does. To date the conviction rate for the so called 'human rights tribunal is 100%.

    I'm afraid you might be right there. And even if the courtroom acquits, public opinion can be a career-ender. I think he's doing the best thing here by taking the fight to them instead of sitting back and letting it happen to him.

    You know, what gets me about this is that some groups deserve to be hated. What about Robert Mugabe or Kim Jong-Il? I have no problem whatsoever with exposing them to ridicule or hatred because, well, they've brought it on themselves. Even the "protected classes" from the story have members that have it coming to them, such as people whose sexual orientation is toward children or animals, or maybe the Kansas school board who wanted to teach creationism in science class because of their beliefs.

    You can't be free unless you're able to hate someone and convince other people to do the same. It's not pleasant and usually not good, but it's still a necessary evil.

  • by Mr. Beatdown (1221940) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:29PM (#23363566)
    About point #3: The Muslim growth rate IS much higher than the growth rate of developed nations as a whole, and Muslims in Western and European nations OVERWHELMINGLY favor Sharia law.

    A recent poll shows that 36% of Muslims in the U.K. support the death penalty for any Muslim apostate. That's extremism, and it has far too wide of support within a certain community. If you can't confront an ideology because it is associated with a religion, or with a culture, you are bound to have that ideology spread without meaningful resistance. The prosecution of "hate speech" without an incitement to violence is a war on ideology, where one side is demanding that the other drop their weapons and run.

    When a third of Muslims in civilized nations support DEATH for those who leave their religion, and half of the blacks in America either believe the government created AIDS or are unsure if they did, there is a disturbing spread of ideas that must be opposed. The removal of repudiation of ideals, simply because those ideas are associated with a religion or culture, feels nice to some, but silences others.

    Also note that this is not just academic, because our (possible) next president was born to a Muslim father and left Islam for irreligiosity at a young age. Though most do not support the death penalty for prepubescent apostates, some do.

    The restriction of criticism of religion or cultures, in any form, does not contribute to, and has no place in, a society that allows it's participants to choose from a marketplace of ideas.

    The marketplace of ideas should not be a single podium, but a bazaar.
  • Ezra Levant's Blog (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Observer2001 (447571) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:36PM (#23363630)
    I would suggest checking out the blog [ezralevant.com] of Ezra Levant, mentioned in the National Post story. Levant was brought up before the Alberta Human Rights Commission for publishing the Danish cartoons and follows the "human rights" commissions closely.

    Here [ezralevant.com] is a short video from his interrogation and a quote from his blog: "And after I made [my point], [Human Rights] Officer [Shirlene] McGovern said 'you're entitled to your opinions, that's for sure.' Well, actually, I'm not, am I? That's the reason I was sitting there. I don't have the right to my opinions, unless she says I do."

    And here [ezralevant.com] is another video from the interrogation in which Levant expresses his disgust at being directed to answer to the government and characterizes the human rights officer as a thug.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:36PM (#23363632)

    the almost absolute support for free speech in its system remains one of the best things about US.

    You're kidding, right? You get mega-fines for saying naughty words on television, you get mega-fines for showing a nipple on television, you let the Church of Scientology censor Google and Slashdot, you let the MPAA censor websites so that they can't even link to websites with DeCSS on them, you have "free speech zones"... that's just off the top of my head, the list goes on and on.

    The USA censors even benign things on a daily basis. It doesn't have anywhere near "almost absolute support for free speech". Please attempt to come to terms with that instead of submitting to your creepy state indoctrination.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:43PM (#23363694)
    I for one am a Muslim who is not offended by satire or whatever. Draw the prophet all you want. But this issue is not about satire.

    The problem here is that blatant hate of Islam has earned a spot in mainstream media. Obviously, it has become ok to say, Muslims are uneducated, backwards, fundamentalist scum who ought to be rounded up.
    Honestly, try saying half of what Steyn is saying about Muslims, about Asian-Americans or Jews, and I assure you wouldn't keep your nationally syndicated column for long. Racism is racism.

    These hate speech tribunals are ridiculous, but Muslims ought to have access to the same civil protections provided to other minorities. It's hypocritical to define hate-speech based on whether you like the constituency at stake. If you dislike tribunals then fine, but don't pick and chose who you can bash on and who you can't.
  • by jd (1658) <imipak@noSPam.yahoo.com> on Saturday May 10, 2008 @04:57PM (#23363814) Homepage Journal
    I believe in the right to say what you want, balanced by an equal and opposite right for someone not to have defamatory remarks likely to create a false impression in a reasonable person made about them. In this case, I would say the argument isn't nearly strong enough to meet the defamatory criteria in general (groups in the UK have created Sharia Law enclaves) but if specific, well-defined denominations have distanced themselves from that and yet been tarred by the same brush, they might merit some Government support to assist in their distancing so that the accusations don't affect them.

    You notice I said Government support, not legal action, nor slander suits. I do not believe this is a legal issue as much as it is a political issue and an image issue, and Governments are masters of both.

    I do not approve of "hate speech" even when it is legal and acceptable at large - it is a commmon brainwashing technique to dehumanize your opponents. World War I was infamous for it, and the legend of the soccer match on Christmas Day was an attempt by someone to fight such degredation. The current conflict is filled with terminology aimed at eliminating the human factor. Both sides are guilty of such psychological warfare, warfare aimed at their own people so that there is unwavering support for their actions.

    If there is ever a "just war", then it is hardly going to be necessary to use such techniques. It will be accepted as necessary, by all who are reasonable, without ever having to dehumanize a single element in the conflict.

    Of course, stopping such tactics once started is very hard, and stopping others from continuing the cycle is even harder. They are not guilty of a crime, only guilty of being gullible. They're as much a victim as anyone.

    So, in this case, I would not consider hate sppech to really be present, but if it were, then it is merely the repetition of hate speech from the political masters, and it is they who should be held fully responsible. They are the trigger-man, those who believe in political hate-speech are merely the victims of conditioning and should be pittied, not punished.

  • Re:Hate Speech? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by BitterOak (537666) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @05:03PM (#23363880)

    I'm afraid you might be right there. And even if the courtroom acquits, public opinion can be a career-ender.

    Actually, if you are an author, I think quite the opposite is true. Nothing will make people want to read your book more than being told by the government that they aren't allowed to. I'm sure the publicity resulting from all this nonsense has done wonders for the sale of his book in Canada.

    But on to the larger point. I think it is perfectly legitimate for public opinion to have an influence on sales. In a free society, I don't think government should be deciding what books you are allowed to read, but the public does have a right to an opinion, and consumers have the right to decide whether to follow it or not. That's as it should be.

  • Re:Hate Speech? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by causality (777677) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @05:16PM (#23364020)

    If you adequately explain why you dislike someone, it would be a specific and explicit threat, rather than hate speech.

    It takes a pretty god damned insecure individual to feel threatened merely because someone does not like him/her. "We have nothing in common, your attitude annoys me, and your political views are appalling" is NOT a threat. I'm really tired of how fragile and candy-assed and otherwise cowardly people are becoming. It is a trend that does not bode well.

    This may or may not be illegal, although, for instance, threatening to kill or assassinate somebody does carry penalties under most jurisdictions.

    Now that hypothetical example would constitute an actual threat. That example goes far, far beyond merely disliking or hating someone.

    As much as I'm for freedom of speech, there seem to be a few clear-cut cases where it's not a terrible idea. The Nazis come to mind pretty quickly as an instance where hate speech spiraled out of control, and many were killed for crimes that their race was perceived to have committed.

    The Nazis are an instance where the size and power of the state spiraled out of control. The persecution of the Jews and the Reichstag fire and the climate of fear and distrust were means to that end -- if they were unsuccessful, different means would have been used. Having a "tribunal" of people who can decide whether you have committed a thoughtcrime or not (face it, this is what "anti-hate" laws are) is another means to increase state power. The Nazis would have approved.

    How about we instead expose the unstated assumptions that are behind all of this? All of it assumes that just because you hear an opinion, you have zero choice but to believe it and to act on it. All of it assumes that just because you dislike or even hate someone or something, that you have no choice but to act on those feelings without regard to the harm that it might cause. In other words, you're all mindless idiots with no hope of deciding anything for yourselves.

    Or, from the politician's point of view: "some of you seem to think you should be able to think for yourselves; well that might interfere with the expansion of state authority and the uniform, homogenous society it demands, so we have set up a tribunal to tell you what thoughts you may express and which thoughts are thoughtcrimes and have given it the power to persecute anyone who says something too controversial. That way, we can get you to think in terms of emotional outrage and whether or not you are 'offended' which suits us far better than if you were to think in terms of facts and reasoning. Rest assured that this is all for your own good and that our motives are entirely pure and that this power will never ever be abused." Will we ever wake up and get tired of this?
  • Re:Hate Speech? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Saturday May 10, 2008 @05:23PM (#23364068) Homepage Journal

    Canada has a different history and set of laws regarding hate speech than the US.

    So does North Korea, but that doesn't mean I can't condemn them.

  • by ISurfTooMuch (1010305) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @05:27PM (#23364106)
    ...a Canadian citizen filed a formal charge against the members of one of the Human Rights Commissions alleging that they are violating his human rights by limiting his ability to read material he would like to read? No, seriously, I'm not joking. It sounds like anyone may bring charges against anyone else, so what would happen if someone actually did this? Would it have to enter the court system? Who would hear such a case?
  • Re:Hate Speech? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by KDR_11k (778916) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @05:37PM (#23364178)
    Hate crime is when an act was done in order to create hatred, violence or fear towards a group. When a white guy beats a black guy up because the black guy took his wallet that's normal assault, when a white guy beats a black guy up because he's black that's a hatecrime as it depends on an arbitrary trait of the victim that is shared with a crapload of people. Hatecrimes are worse than regular crimes because the perpetrator will likely do it again when encountering another member of the target group or may be attempting to get others to do the same.

    Inciting a riot is against the law even if it is just attempted, the same goes for inciting hatred to cause violence.

    If you want another area of the law where the intent of the crime plays a role in sentencing try manslaughter and murder, the mental state of the attacker has a big influence on the sentence.
  • Re:Hate Speech? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @06:13PM (#23364450)

    We have the 1st Amendment!' Wake up, it's long dead and Hate Crimes is THE big new growth area for the State.
    Nah, you still have to commit an actual crime, and the prosecution has to show that the primary motivation is hatred of some protected class. If I don't like jews, but I beat one senseless because, I dunno, he grabbed my girlfriend's ass, that's not a hate crime, it's assault/battery, maybe aggravated.
  • by unity100 (970058) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @10:59PM (#23366222) Homepage Journal
    You should have gone through the entire post, before making sweeping statements like you did. the AK party you mention, the islamist party have got their votes from 23 % traditional islamist (very hardliner) voter base, 10% from reactionary votes and carryover votes (from genc party) and 10 % or so new generation brainwashed kids.

    that makes for around 42% of the vote in total. that is nowhere near majority.

    additionally a lot of shady goings on happened in general elections the municipial districts they held for a long time - huge number of caucuses were discovered dumped in trash, huge number of printed fake ballots were found (that were not printed by election institution). yet somehow, all of these issues have went under the carpet during the investigations that ensued, when the AK party have regained power.

    because they have been drastically improving the economy and human rights,

    drastically improving the economy ? as in pardoning HUGE tax debts their finance minister's PERSONAL company has, by passing through FOUR laws through the assembly, and then installing new taxes to the public ? like taking unbounded amounts of debts from international sources to the extent that they are now trying to piecemeal sell EVERYthing that they can get ahold of ? did those idiots also tell you that the government is now trying to sell the lands that are under national part protection due to being the remaining little amount of forests of turkey, in western parts, to the construction industry so that those trees are going to be hewed down to erect apartment blocks that are not needed ? did they also tell you that they are trying to change constitution to pull that sh@t ? did those idiots tell you that in turkey the credit debt turkish people have is whopping in proportion to capita to the credit crisis that is taking place in america ? credit card debts are SO bad here that, bureaucratic regulatory boards had to put out special rules in order to remedy the debt load on people because of credit cards so the suicides would stop. yea, 1-1.5 years ago every month and a half a major suicide news of a citizen due to credit card debt was making the national press here. now they are not making any such news. you know why ? because ENTIRE turkish media has been piecemeal dismantled and sold to the supporters of the AK party. thats why the idiots (actually fools, naive personas) who are chanting that happy song to you there do not know about what really goes on in the country. the press is ENTIRELY owned by big corporations that are from the islamist core now. last piece of the press that was not affiliated with them, sabah group, last remaining national big group, was appropriated under phoney charges by bureaucratic regulatory boards they staffed, and sold to Calik group, which is an islamist company since the last 20 years. you know where did they find the money to buy it ? AKp has loaned them HUGE amount of cash at almost NO interest from the STATE bank that is used to pay government employee's wages and loan to government branches so that the country can go around. (ziraat bankasi). this scandal hit the press, DESPITE the stranglehold they have on the press, but guess what happened - nothing. every regulatory board, ministry, financial police even, are staffed by islamists now. calik group now owns the last block of turkish media that has the power to do impact on national level. others were appropriated and sold much earlier.

    the corruption, im not going to even go into details of it, it takes PAGES long. just a municipial district of akp in s turkey had produced FIFTY corruption scandals that hit the national press. (actually that was a bit earlier before than the time sabah group was sold to calik, so we were able to learn it on the national level. now what goes on, god knows.) suffice it to say that one example is kanal 7, an islamist channel that funds akp, also runs a 'charity' named 'deniz feneri' that collects donations in turkey and in europe. the branch of 'de

  • I'm Read the Book (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Blakey Rat (99501) on Saturday May 10, 2008 @11:43PM (#23366416)
    Given, I'm not a Muslim, but I don't see it as being offensive. I don't agree with Steyn's opinions, but it's obvious to me that he's no racist, and it's even more obvious that the book is... his opinion.

    I dunno, I live in the US. Maybe having an opinion and sharing it is illegal in Canada.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2008 @01:06AM (#23366840)
    Similarly, one could say that Right-wingers like to initiate wars and redistribute wealth from the poor to the rich under the guise of the supporting free market and upholding traditional values.

    How does this work, redistributing "wealth" from those that don't have it, to those that already do? Or is this the kind of imaginary-land logic that only a liberal can understand? In the United States, about half do not contribute to any meaningful payment of the government through income taxes. They're actually given money from the upper half in the form of tax "rebates" (no payment, but a gift for being underproductive, taken from those who worked harder), food stamp cards so they can buy groceries with their neighbors money while buying beer, smokes and lotto tickets with "their" money, and numerous other items redistributed to them from others who committed the sin of working hard.

    Speaking of right-wingers initiating war, Kennedy (Viet Nam), Kennedy (Cuba Bay of Pigs), Johnson (Viet Nam), Clinton (Yugoslavia), Truman (Korea), Roosevelt (Japan/Germany/Italy), and Wilson (Germany, Austria-Hungary, etc.) were all leftists, not right-wingers. In the 20th Century, "right wingers" were brought in to clean up the messes in many cases, as left-wingers instigated and made a mess. Right-winger incursions were minor and asymmetric compared to the left, but then again, the left was responsible for over 100 million deaths during WW-II and immediately following. The left's blood thirst in the Soviet Union, Viet Nam, Kampuchea, etc. was unprecedented historically. Liberals, as history has demonstrated, just can't seem to get along with other viewpoints without wanting to kill someone.

    One wonders, if all liberals were forced to learn history and economics, would any be left (save for the population of Oppositional Defiance Disorder suffers which probably represents a large number of the unwell left).
  • by Webspit (798042) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @03:57AM (#23367522)
    It's about time someone started cracking down on the neocon hate mongers. I always hated this guys columns in the Times because they basically read like the views of your average school bully. Hopefully it's a capital crime.
  • Ridiculous (Score:2, Interesting)

    by darCness (151868) * on Sunday May 11, 2008 @09:25AM (#23368582)
    Religion, like culture, what your favorite color is, or what foods you like is a choice, and is therefore open to ridicule, mockery, criticism, reuse in art - anything. The "British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal" is a complete sham. Many religious beliefs and written works are anti-human rights or hate speech. Why are these religions not on trial?

  • by mevets (322601) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @10:12AM (#23368822)
    A little fact checking: Ezra Klein is a ultra conservative media whore; if he were pretty he would be a "Hilton". Mark Steyn is little better. A clever friend once said "wrong isn't controversial, its just wrong", but it does get puny ideas published (and blogged).
    Hate crime legislation is controversial. It directly addresses the paradox of 'tolerate all but the intolerant'; which is a tenuous balance. Some societies just prefer to dodge the problem all together; and that seems to have problems too.

    The Klein and the Steyn exploit this issue rather than address it, which, considering they are self-proclaimed journalists or social critics, is mildly ironic. It is an issue which should be explored more in mass media, because mass media makes it more relevant. The ready ability to reach a wide audience with statements demands a greater clarity than ever before.

    And, no, I haven't read Steyns piece of shit. Frankly that is a paradox too. In order to know exactly what is wrong with it, first hand, involves indirectly rewarding him; which I am not willing to do. If I were to risk jail for stealing a book, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be this one.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 11, 2008 @10:49AM (#23369068)
    Under Canadian law you are permitted to hate anyone you want or say you hate anyone you want. Under Canadian law, the criminal code, sec.318 indicates: "Everyone who advocates or promotes GENOCIDE is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of up to five years.

    Genocide under this section means committing any of the following acts with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group; namely killing memebers of the group, deliberately inflicting conditions of life on a group calculated to bring about its physical destruction."

    So you can hate anybody and say so but you can't wish them harm of or distruction in such as way it would bring about their physical destruction.

    So free speech in Canada is alive, well and democratic.
  • Ezra Levant (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mcalwell (669361) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @11:34AM (#23369370) Homepage
    It's worth pointing out that Ezra Levant [wikipedia.org] has been hauled up before these nasty little thugs. Fascinatingly, he managed to film [youtube.com] one of these kangaroo courts in action. Well worth a view.
  • by XchristX (839963) on Sunday May 11, 2008 @11:40AM (#23369410)
    In an exchange during a case against a Canadian racist/antisemite named Marc Lemire, Canadian Human Rights Commission (HRC) investigator Dean Steacy was asked "What value do you give freedom of speech when you investigate?" Dean responded: "Freedom of speech is an American concept, so I don't give it any value."

    http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=405744 [nationalpost.com]

    Holy shite! Is this guy for real?
  • by bussdriver (620565) on Monday May 12, 2008 @01:15AM (#23374724)
    You make a good argument for more STATE power...

    A study could be done showing optimal ratios; but more useful would be finding a general trend in ratios. Its reasonable to assume its linear and goes down hill; however, it important enough to want to know what the graph is and aim for the better ratios.

    Clearly, the system doesn't scale above certain limits (which I argue has been already surpassed.) I think 1,000 reps is not unreasonable; however, the ratio for that is still around 1:400,000 which is not good. The current system doesn't SCALE; the founders started with about 1:30,000 or so; which is on the order of an average mayor.

    The US system (not being practiced) allows for modifications such as changing the operation of the house. Foolishly, the adaptation was to limit the House to 435 instead of considering many alternatives..

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