Sunday, May 17, 2009

Tripping Over Liberal Democracy

Tim Hudak proposes abolishing Ontario Human Rights Commission

In a move that could either put him over the top with Ontarian conservatives or seriously harm his party's chances in the polls, Ontario Progressive Conservative leadership candidate Tim Hudak has proposed abolishing Ontario's Human Rights Commission.

Describing the commissions as a "tool for political advocacy", Hudak has proposed this abolition, possibly in an effort to preemptively undermine the leadership efforts of Randy Hillier, who is expected to perform poorly on the first ballot and be eliminated.

"The abolition of the Human Rights Tribunal has been a huge draw for us,” said Hulak's campaign manager, Tristan Emmanuel. Hillier's campaign has been supportive of the move as well. “Hopefully that means it will find a home in this party regardless of what happens.”

Those supportive of Hudak's promise to abolish the OHRC may echo the sentiments of Robert B Talisse, who notes that any institution that could be argued to show bias in favour of any particular political ideology is actually distinctly at odds with the very idea of liberal democracy -- political neutrality of the state is considered to be a key principle of liberal democracy.

Those who disagree with this promise -- including this author -- would remind such individuals that human rights commissions can serve an important role in fights against injustice, and that the real problem with these human rights commissions is the methods by which some of them operate.

The province of Ontario has proven to be particularly troublesome in this regard.

What is truly necessary is reform of human rights commissions that would obligate them to operate more in the manner that courts of law operate. Tim Hudak's promise would likely do more harm than good.

Other bloggers writing about this topic:

Matt Guerin - "Tim Hudak Shows Off His Political Immaturity"

The Liberal Scarf - "Tim Hudak's First Piece of Real Policy - Faith-Based Funding Part Two"


  1. You might want to source this quote a little more carefully. Mark Spiro is Hudak's campaign manager, Emmanuel works for Hillier.

    "The abolition of the Human Rights Tribunal has been a huge draw for us,” said Hulak's campaign manager, Tristan Emmanuel.

  2. Ah. Thank you for the correction. I appreciate that.


Post your comments, and join the discussion!

Be aware that spam posts and purile nonsense will not be tolerated, although purility within constructive commentary is encouraged.

All comments made by Kevron are deleted without being read. Also, if you begin your comment by saying "I know you'll just delete this", it will be deleted. Guaranteed. So don't be a dumbass.