Chapter 10: Challenging Liberalism

Chapter 10: Challenging Liberalism


In society, different and sometimes conflicting visions of what life should be like are proposed. This means that sometimes the values of Liberalism are supported, and sometimes they are challenged. 2 KEY VALUES OF LIBERALISM:

Sometimes the values of liberalism are challenged by alternative thought or ways of thinking such as: political ideologies (fascism, feminism, socialism, communism), chapter 10 notes Individual rights and freedoms Self-interest Rule of law Economic freedom Private property 3

chapter 10 notes 4 Environmentalism and Collective Ways of Thinking 3. Religious Perspectives and 2. Ways of thinking Aboriginal Perspectives and ways of thinking 1.

THREE WAYS OF THINKING THAT CAN CHALLENGE LIBERALISM 5 chapter 10 notes ABORIGINAL PERSPECTIVES AND WAYS OF THINKING 1. ABORIGINAL PERSPECTIVES AND WAYS OF THINKING Aboriginal collective thought reflected valuing the group more so than the individual, the interconnectedness of all

living things, and a shared ownership of the land, collective interest. This was in contrast to European explorers ways of thinking (individualism, self-interest) chapter 10 notes 6 CONSTITUTION ACT - 1982 chapter 10 notes

Aboriginal collective rights were specifically included in Section 35 of the Constitution Act (Right of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada) and in Section 25 of the Constitution Act within the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedom 7 CONSTITUTION ACT - 1982 chapter 10 notes The constitution reflected a shift in thinking by governments in Canada and

provided First Nations, Inuit, and Metis peoples with recognition of their collective rights and the legal grounds to challenge the denial of their rights by governments in Canada 8 CONSTITUTION ACT - 1982 chapter 10 notes The Supreme Court of Canada have ruled in their favour over disputes

about land, fishing, hunting, and logging. Many land claims and other forms of agreements have been settled through federal-government process that does not involve going to court. 9 METIS Metis groups in Canada have also worked to have their collective rights and identities recognized. Metis have not had the same historic treaties with the government as some other Aboriginal groups.

chapter 10 notes 10 ALBERTA METIS SETTLEMENTS ACCORD In Alberta 1989- recognition of Metis collective rights occurred when the Alberta Metis Settlements Accord was passed. This created 8 collective Metis Settlements the only Metis land that is self-governed and constitutionally protected in Canada today. Manitoba denied a similar Metis claim in the Red River Valley.

chapter 10 notes 11 chapter 10 notes 12 ABORIGINAL SELF-GOVERNMENT chapter 10 notes First Nations, Metis, Inuit peoples can make their own decisions regarding their economy, education, culture, use

of natural resources, and other areas of immediate concern to their wellbeing, rather than having these decisions made by Canadas federal, provincial, or territorial governments. 13 SECTION 35 OF THE CONSTITUTION ACT In 1995 the federal government started a policy to recognize Aboriginal selfgovernment as a collective right under section 35 of the Constitution Act. This policy included a process for negotiating self-government agreements Many disagreements still exist because of how diverse self-government can be, and

what it should look like in each community. One of the challenges is how to best incorporate Aboriginal self-government within the framework of Canadian liberalism. chapter 10 notes 14 SELF-GOVERNMENT: THE LABRADOR INUIT LAND CLAIMS AGREEMENT chapter 10 notes

The Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement is a comprehensive land claim agreement, or modern-day treaty, that recognizes the collective rights and identities of the Labrador Inuit by confirming their rights to land ownership in northern Labrador, self-government, and resource sharing. 15 SELF-GOVERNMENT: THE LABRADOR INUIT LAND CLAIMS AGREEMENT January 2005, the agreement was

signed by the government of Canada, and the government of Nfld. And Labrador. One important result of the signing of the Labrador Inuit Land Claims Agreement was the creation of the Nunatsiavut transitional government which progress towards selfgovernment chapter 10 notes 16 SOURCE ANALYSIS In Canada you negotiate on this because Aboriginal Rights dont trump all other rights in the

country. You need to consider the people who have sometimes also lived on those lands for two or three hundred years, and have hunted and fished alongside the First Nations Chuck Strahl (Indian Affairs Minister of Canada) 1) Is Strahl in favour of liberalism? Why or Why not? 2) What principles would he use to support his position? 3) Why do you think the government of Canada might see the recognition of collective rights as a challenge to liberal values?


The Doukhobors were a group of Russian-language speaking dissenters who rejected authority of Church and state. They came to Canada and the United States from Russia to escape persecution {religious beliefs, pacificmrefusal to participate in military service, and their refusal to recognize a secular (non-religious) government} at the turn of the 20th century. chapter 10 notes 19 DOUKHOBORS

Owned and worked land as a community, rather than owning private property as individuals. These economic expressions seemed closer to communism than individualistic, capitalist society. In Canada, they refused to take an oath of allegiance, fearing compulsory military service. Original Sask. Homestead land was taken away, and many Doukhobors moved to BC Sons of Freedom (Freedomites) established radical group who protested materialism of capitalism chapter 10 notes

20 chapter 10 notes If individual rights in a liberal democracy are to be respected, should not the Doukhobors been able to live their lives as they wished according to their own model of liberalism? 21 CHALLENGES TO LIBERAL VALUES One recent challenge to liberal values in

Canada has been the request by religious groups to use religious law, such as on of the many interpretations of Muslim sharia law, to settle legal disputes. Sharia is a legal framework that can be practiced in many different ways to govern private and public aspects of life for Muslims. Iran and Saudia Arabia use Sharia fully, and Muslim Canadian want to use these religious principles, instead of secular institutions to settle family law matters. chapter 10 notes 22

CHALLENGES TO LIBERAL VALUES If some faith based laws are allowed on the grounds of religious freedom, how might they reflect respect for some individual rights and freedoms guaranteed under Canadas constitution? How might they also be seen by some to pose a challenge to some individual rights or freedoms in the Canadian Constitution? chapter 10 notes Similarly, some Catholics, Jews and

Mennonites have a desire to be governed in family law by the religious principles of their respective faiths. 23 TAKE A POSITION Read p 259 Religion, Sharia, and Human Rights. Question: To what extent should the Canadian government accommodate cultural or religios practices, such as that of sharia law, that seem to discriminate against women? Why or Why not? chapter 10 notes

24 25 chapter 10 notes ENVIRONMENTAL AND COLLECTIVE WAYS OF THINKING ENVIRONMENTALISM A political and ethical ideology that focuses on protecting the natural environment and lessening the harmful effects that human activities have on ecosystems.

Environmental ways of thinking can challenge or align with a societys liberal values, depending on the societys interpretation of environmental issues that affect the common good. chapter 10 notes 26 CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE: FOODS NOT

BOMBS Legal appeals, negotiations, lobbying, peaceful protest and community action are essential components of a liberal democracy. Some groups believe we need to go further with acts ranging from civil disobedience to riots to violent attacks. Why would people who normally abide the law break the law intentionally and publicly? Is this ever justified? Why or Why not? chapter 10 notes 27

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