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From Where I Sit

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September 18, 2012
 Ross Kentner
by: Ross Kentner

Minority Doesn't Rule A Democracy
Peter Ferguson has a view of democracy that is the opposite of mine.  I believe that in a democracy, the majority rules.  Note, I didn't say that minority rights are not protected.  It’s not a democracy if the majority makes life miserable for minorities.  

Mr. Ferguson, the self-styled constitutional expert who wants Grey County Council to stop praying the Lord’s prayer (or any prayer for that matter) has spelled out in a recently published letter that, in his view, the minority rules in a democracy.  Note, he didn't say that majority rights are not protected.  I'm sure he doesn't want the minority making life miserable for the majority.  But he argues that the Charter of Rights is in place precisely so that no Atheist or other minority member should ever be embarrassed or otherwise wounded in a seat of civic authority such as the Grey County Council chambers by a religious utterance.  That’s because Canada is a secular society where we separate church and state.  That’s why he refers to Grey County councillors as “lawbreakers.”   And why the Ontario Legislature will be his next target.  Because the lawbreakers there are still clinging to this vestige of Christendom.

Here’s my concern.  Once he’s saved us from prayer, what’s next?  You see, in a truly secular society, one ought to be free, in fact entitled, to stroll down the streets and avenues and not be assaulted by the sight of a church, a synagogue, mosque or temple.  What kind of damages will he be seeking from the courts when he has to take on every world faith in order to achieve his Charter of Rights guarantee that, as a minority atheist, he shouldn't be subject to any reminder, in civic or common form, that his beliefs are not equally celebrated with those of the majority?  And how can we do that without erasing these monuments to majority beliefs?

I expect Mr. Ferguson to have a long and rewarding career using the courts to shape democracy to his view and turn it upside down in the process.  

I'm Ross Kentner

 

 

 

From Where I Sit is on 560 CFOS Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 7:08 am and 5:08 pm

Posted: 2012-09-20 20:44:18

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