Human Rights and Liberalism

Topics: Human rights, Liberalism, Freedom of speech Pages: 5 (1914 words) Published: November 5, 2006
Liberalism is currently the dominant ideology of the western world. As with any system of beliefs, leadership style or ideology, liberalism has too received ample criticism. Liberals argue that their ideology provides society with the ability to be individuals within a community by continuing to make strong legislation on civil rights. Although liberals believe strongly in individual rights and freedoms, its critics strongly question when these individual freedoms become a detriment to the society or country at large. Throughout this paper the role of today's liberal government will be evaluated, focusing on both the effectiveness and the short comings of its ideology. To start, liberal democracy came to fruition when the American Revolution happened in 1776, and is still holding strong to present day. American people were sick and tired of paying taxes to the British Empire so that they in return could pay off their war debts. The Americans felt that this was intolerable and unfair to be manipulated by the British rule, so they declared their own independence. On July 4, 1776 the declaration of Independence was written up stating "All men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This is what the Americans wanted and felt that the British were not providing them with, so when writing the Declaration of Independence this was a major issue to have no government be in place that contradicts their core values. From this document over the years liberalism has been formed and spread to many different parts of the world. To understand why liberalism is the dominant ideology of the world we must truly know what its values are. Liberalists take pride in being able to speak their minds (freedom of speech), being able to have a broad range of acceptance when it comes to different ethnicity groups and religions and finally having the ability to treat everyone fairly. Everyone in Canada has a set guideline of rights which are the same for every person in Canada; this is outlined by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Examples of some of the fundamental freedoms that are applicable to everyone are: "Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:

a) Freedom of conscience and religion;
b) Freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication; c) Freedom of peaceful assembly; and
d) Freedom of association."

This is what makes liberalism so effective, everyone has rights and these cannot be taken away. If they are in jeopardy then you can take legal action to remedy this injustice. So now that we understand what liberalism is and what it is meant to stand for we can now discuss what we believe to be the strengths and weaknesses.

Equality is a major aspect of liberalism, and I believe it to be one of the major strengths of this ideology. Equality means that everyone is treated the same, there is no preferential treatment because a person is white or black, rich or poor, and everyone in our society has equal opportunity. Canada is known as a multi-cultural nation and I believe equality is the major attraction to the majority of the immigrants that come to our nation. There are many aspects to equality that make liberalism an attractive type of government, liberalists believe in equal opportunity which means in the workforce employers cannot favor one type of ethnic group. All persons who are qualified for a job should get an equal chance at employment. People that consider themselves to be liberal believe in or accept people for who they are, unlike the USA who thinks you are American first, then your personal history second. Canada accepts people for who they are and doesn't expect people to put their personal history behind them because they move to a different country. Canadians try to learn from other cultures and adapt to their ways and maybe refine...
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