One side of the political spectrum values freedom more than the other.
Those on the “tolerant” left place a higher value on social reengineering than they do on freedom. They are willing to infringe on individual freedoms in order to achieve a desired outcome. By contrast, conservatives lean more towards preserving individual freedom, even to the point of risking an uncertain result.
For the left leaning political parties in Canada, the end justifies the means. If the goal is a more tolerant and offence-free society (end), then free speech and freedom of expression can and should be restricted (means) if they threaten the desired social change. In the same vein, if a more equitable society is the aim, then certain economic freedoms must be restricted, resulting in more government intervention in the marketplace, more regulation and more invasive tax policies.
A growing problem we have in Canada is that we are seeing more and more restrictions being placed on freedoms; restrictions which are not demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society, but are rather based on the arbitrary ideals of a governing few. The Liberals are increasingly intent on imposing restrictions on fundamental freedoms because they are trying to reimagine a future based on leftist ideological values. Unsurprisingly, the hammer is dropping disproportionately on those who find themselves on the right side of the political spectrum.
While those on the ideological right also desire certain social changes and outcomes, they are less willing to put restrictions on fundamental freedoms in order to get there. The value they place on freedom is very high. This is arguably less efficient, but it is also a more democratic and trusting approach to governance. You can link it back to a commonly understood divide in partisan politics: to bring about positive social change and economic growth, Conservatives put more trust in people and Liberals put more trust in government.
In this realm of belief, the highest valued attribute becomes tolerance. Now, tolerance in and of itself is not a bad thing, yet in this arbitrary ideological framework, where the very worst thing you can do is challenge someone else’s viewpoint, tolerance morphs into a force that seeks to control and silence the voices of critics and nonconformists.
There is a partisan divide for freedom because there are those on the ideological left who will continue to restrict freedoms in order to create a society that falls in line with their beliefs, their values and their principles. Instead of freedom being the objective, which is no respecter of persons, the social constructors on the left are picking winners and losers by design.
Freedom is a thing to fear. It is messy, hard to control, and it necessitates individual responsibility and self-discipline, both of which are virtually impossible to enforce from the outside. However, if we truly believe in people and that the best environment for individuals to reach their greatest potential is in a free society with limited government, then it is in our best interest to ensure that those governing us believe the same.
Down to the rub. A government that does not trust the individual will forever seek to subvert individual freedoms. It will try to modify behavior through political pressure and censorship. It will ostracize the conscience bearers of society, and silence its critics. The end result will be a country that is uniform in its manifested beliefs with a self-censoring people that allow only for such ideological purity conveniently aligned with governmental doctrine of the day. Under a guise of tolerance, you will instead see a rise in division and hate, the inability to listen, a dilution of any serious discussion and greater intolerance.
This election is a battle for freedom. Justin Trudeau is dreaming of the chance to redesign Canada and establish his own ideological framework on the rest of society, but it will come at a very high price. Let’s not give him that opportunity.
(Photo credit: hillnotes.ca)
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