What Rights and Freedoms?

Jori Reiken
3 min readApr 16, 2021

Laurence Watts Ted Talk focused on the threats to human rights by political apathy and anti-terror legislation. “In Canada, the law has been used as the principal mechanism for improving the political and social position for minorities” (pg. 222) and Bill C-51 is using the law to dismantle that belief. Watt shows how the government is violating our charter rights and how the bill is a threat to Canada. The question I have to ask, is which charter rights is he talking about, well first, Laurence Watt focuses on that the bill itself is ominous which relates back to laws needing to be legible and understood by the public, and secondly, he touches on a violation of freedom of expression, as the bill allows the police to charge and detain people based on the information collected without due process for up to 7 days. This will allow for government organizations such as the police to continue to discriminate groups such as First Nations people, political descents, and environmental activists, and even more groups, as this bill gives almost full access to a person’s life, in the name of’ national security’, whatever that might mean. By discriminating against these groups, the government is relying on the formal social controls by “the explicit establishment of procedures and the delegation of specific bodies to enforce them” (pg. 144) by them the textbook is relating back to discriminatory laws.

Political Apathy is significant in this situation as it is one of the things that has been threatening our responsibility to our own lives. Laurence Watt explains that by the decreasing number in people who are voting, we are slowly handing over our right to self governance.

Laurence Watt explained two different solutions, the first to reform the education system and the second, to incorporate technology into the political system. Both of these solutions are possible, they are rather bold. Reforming the education system is a very demanding task, and how do you add to a system that is already jam packed with information. As well, in my opinion his proposals for this solution are not viable or reasonable. I understand that it is important to know our rights are freedoms as a Canadian, I don’t see the necessity in having every child memorize the Charter, or know how to change laws, but I do see the importance in being able to know what the Charter is, and why it is important to our lives today. The solution to provide technology to politics has some good ideas but can still be improved. When suggesting for people to vote online, he is suggesting a voting process that can allow people to vote more than once, I believe that you should have to request to vote online prior to a vote and so that you don’t have people tricking the system. The idea for polls online is practical and I think will work out if the government does it in the right way, but showing government procedures on snapchat or instagram can be in of itself a breach of public security as different countries can access that information earlier and easier, and finally, the idea for rate my representative, as a parallel to rate my prof, just will give people who don’t like something, another place to complain, instead of providing feedback to representatives it will just be another social media rating platform.