Friday, 8 August 2014

Critics also have a Right to Free Speech

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Twitter screen shot: Charles Adler's response
after being shown that Candace Maxymowich
was clearly using abortion & abstinence only "education"
as campaign issues.
After her attempt to woo social conservatives backfired, school trustee candidate Candace Maxymowich and her apologists have been touting out "free speech" and her "right to have opinions" to counter critics. This is standard fair for whenever a fringe social conservative shoots their mouth off and says something absurd. The "right to free speech" crowd immediately jumps in, as if a right to free speech entailed a right to be sheltered from other views.

That is not real free speech. The right to free expression applies both to the socially conservative fringe and mainstream critics. Critics of Candace Maxymowich's "personal opinions" in favour of abstinence only "education" and Forced Birth have the right to express their dissenting views.

This right includes the right to explain how utterly bad as policy abstinence only "education" is and how awful Forced Birth is from a public health standpoint. It also includes the right to freely state how utterly morally repugnant they view the values of subordinating women's control over their own bodies and embracing ignorance inherent in the two positions are.

As someone in the public sphere and certainly as someone running for elected office Candace Maxymowich doesn't get off the hook from criticism simply because she has "free speech". She'll have to defend her views, recognize the free speech of critics and accept the electoral consequences as they prove that her views are without merit. 

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