Putting Freedom beyond the Vote

Peter Cresswell's picture
Submitted by Peter Cresswell on Mon, 2006-02-27 09:59

There are some things that are so important they should be put beyond the vote. That's the proposition I want to offer you this morning.

Consider this for example: Western countries around the world express concern at how waves of Islamic immigration could put at risk the freedoms we take for granted -- or at least the freedoms that some of you take for granted, such as the right to free speech, the separation of church and state, and the blessings of secure property rights.

As long as there was widespread understanding of and support for these important bulwarks of liberty, the secure retention of them was relatively assured; but as ignorance overtakes knowledge and the population changes any of these things of importance can be easily taken away by citizens'-initiated referenda, government vote-buying, or the easy, knee-jerk clamour of populism.

There are some things that are so important that they need to be beyond the vote. You might disagree with me on what exactly those things should be, but I invite you to consider that some are so important that they simply must be. The only secure way to put things beyond the vote is with a Bill of Rights that defines those rights to be protected, and a written constitution that enshrines their permanence, and their superiority to all other law. New Zealand's present unwritten constitution and our toothless Bill of Rights offer insufficient protection from the venality of vote-buying and the turbulence of the modern world.

Some things are just so important that they need to be put beyond the vote. A written constitution is how you put them there.

TAGS: Constitution, Politics, Democracy, Cue Card Libertarianism, Rights , Free Speech


Right Destination, Wrong Route

Bikemessenger's picture

While I certainly must agree with your conclusions, I must take exception to your reference to "importance"; of course, these matters to which you allude are of paramount importance.

What needs be emphasized to secure the surety and timelessness of these values is a promotion of the understanding and appreciation of how deeply founded they are in man's immutable nature; thus, rather than the mere importance being presented as the salient point, a grasp of how these values are essential to the structuring of the society because it is human beings for whom the society must be structured should be the main focus. So it is the profundity, rather than the importance that should be emphasized.

Were we to attempt to design a social structure as auspices for social insects, well we needn't bother, as Marx and Lenin have that covered, properly dispensing with individual liberties.

Additionally, I would suggest the political biases and inherent ineptitude of government operated "public" education, which promote both ignorance and amenablity to statist dogma are hardly in need of foreign aid, so to speak.

Indeed, the socialistic quagmires of western Europe and north America, for that matter, hardly require Islamic influence as assist to Soviet-styled socio-political tailspin, and economic collapse, as they are well on their way under home-grown direction.

---The Bikemessenger

I don't mind at all, Joe.

Peter Cresswell's picture

I don't mind at all, Joe. Feel free. Smiling

A great summary of an urgent

JoeM's picture

A great summary of an urgent problem, succint and to the point. Thanks, Peter. I want to print this out and pass it around the city, if you don't mind.

Fool Proof?

Senator Willcox L. CO's picture

In the end a government reflects the ideas of the society of people it governs. A Bill of Rights might be an Alamo for the defenders of freedom to hold out for a while, but no constitution can ever be made absolute. More important than a constitution is the need to affect the ideas of the society. This is why activism is so important.

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