“All civilized systems of law confer upon the people, as against their governments, the right to be let alone. That is the most comprehensive of rights and the most valued by civilized men.”
~ Justice Louis D. Brandeis
As we enter what we hope is a quiet period in our calendar, and we enjoy the best of summer, we still have to be aware that in less ninety days we face another election. It seems there is one in three out of every four years. In October Canada’s political landscape will be decided in a federal election.
We always seek to bring facts, guidance and solutions in this space on the issues that affect us immediately and directly every day. Taxes, social security, health care, education, minority rights. These are the pocketbook issues. But many of the problems we face from every level of government stems from one source. Hyper-regulative and prohibitionist legislation that chokes our personal and professional lives and makes it nearly impossible for the business sector to be strong, growing and efficient. But this legislative overdrive has another chilling and corroding aspect to it. Maybe not so obvious at the start, but just as dangerous in the long run as any tax hike. The invasion of our personal privacy. We want to point out to you today how important this issue is for you to reflect on.
Violating our right to be let alone, pervades all aspects of our everyday lives. We recently pointed this out as so many simply did not comprehend that the new federal highway code regulations, Bill C86, did away with the precious protection of “reasonable cause” before a police officer stops you as your driving your car. Imagine, you aren’t speeding or swerving and you are suddenly stopped and forced to take a breathalyzer or a test for TCH, one of the active ingredients in marijuana. If you refuse, you will be charged with a criminal misdemenor.
But these violations of our fundamental civil liberties pervade all three levels of governments. All have legislated or regulated invasive statutes that curtail,and invade our personal lives and prerogatives. And all done with an arrogant attitude that sends the signal that we aren’t smart enough to run pur own lives. In truth, they are done simply to aggrandize the power and control that elected officials and bureaucrats exercise over our lives already. And of course, if we break the new rules, they have convenient and expensive fines attached for their infringement that are nothing more than back door tax grabs.
Our governments have forgotten the basic principle that a free society is based on a sacrosanct respect for the privacy of its citizens. Indeed Sec.7 of the Quebec Charter of Rights recognized this in its short but critically important four words. “La demeure est inviolable.” The home is inviolate from state intervention. Yet how many cases of we seen of provincial and municipal police officers entering someone’s private space without appropriate warrant?
The violations to our right to be let alone is the most injurious prejudice to our social contract. Our determination to protect our privacy will determine if we will continue to be a truly,free society. Tyranny does not always come in a hail of bullets. Often it starts in a hail of words. A hail of bad laws that lead to the slow undoing and abridgement of our most basic rights.
In the next few elections we will determine whether we will be a free society or will we turn into a conformist society of snitches and inspectors with a citizenry constantly being scrutinized and supervised. In Quebec, this issue has reached a point of crisis because so much of our system of criminal justice, revenue collection and even health care is compromised by our institutionalized acceptance of anonymous denunciations. We have become a snitch society. Not a just society.
When a society institutionalizes command-state control in all social and judicial policies, all citizens feel helpless in the advancement of their own lives. Our laws have created a mindset that has allowed state fiat to dictate our lives in all manners and forms. When will this danger sink in and people finally stand up and say enough to being homogenized, pasteurized and sanitized. Enough of inspectors telling us what to eat, how to walk, how to play the sports we love and in what language to live.
We can bring to an end rule by innuendo, rumour and assassination by insinuation. We can bring to an end our current predicament where agents of the state weigh our every action, every communication, every contact; tamper with their intent and then use it to our individual detriment. We can learn to live without fear of the state again. Remember how good it felt when we held politicians and bureaucrats accountable because we had the courage to remind them that they work for us, not the other way around. We can reassert the consequence of our individual sovereignty. A sovereignty which at its core has always been built on one fundamental right. The right to privacy. The right to be let alone. And let every candidate who seeks our vote know during this summer’s BBQ circuit that if they don’t agree, they don’t get our vote.