The rule of law in Canada. Why is it different these days? Perhaps it’s had a gradual makeover that time has finally made fully apparent: an unrecognizable rule of law.
In this interview hosted by Barry W. Bussey of First Freedoms Foundation, featuring Bruce Pardy of Rights Probe, the impact of critical theory [the makeover brush] on the rule of law is the subject of discussion.
According to Bruce, the rule of law – the rule of law we thought we knew – can be thought of rather simply as “the opposite of the rule of persons”. He explains:
“If we have a system wherein there is no one single person, no one single office, no one single branch that can decide what’s going to happen in any particular circumstance, then we’re getting closer to the rule of law. So for my money, one of the key concepts for the rule of law is the separation of powers because that prevents any one person or office or branch from deciding things all by themselves. The legislatures make laws that apply to everybody, but legislatures can’t decide that they don’t like you because that’s not the job. The executive can carry out those laws but they don’t have the power to target you because that’s not within their mandate. And then the courts, they’ll hear the case against you, but they don’t have the power to make up what the rules are. They have to take the pre-made rules and apply them to your case.
Everybody in the whole system is supposed to be detached from the particular circumstance. If we encapsulate the rule of law idea that way, we can see we’ve wandered a whole long way, away from that idea.”
The drift from our former understanding of the law is due to the arrival of “a new kid on the block,” as Barry Bussey describes it. That new kid is critical theory.
Critical theory is different from the two competing ideas that have managed to live alongside each other with respect to common law and the legal system generally: classical liberalism vs. Judeo-Christian morality.
“Sometimes one would have the upper hand on the other but you could see both of them expressed in the law from time-to-time in different areas. It was a fairly stable relationship … Now, both of those ideas are being defeated by the new set of ideas,” says Bruce.
The new set of ideas can be traced in part to the rise of critical theory, he says. A theory that first gained hold in universities, that now dominates policy decisions at the government level, and has overtaken big business, media, “and all the public institutions you can think of”.
“People sometimes mix up critical theory with critical thinking and it’s certainly not that either. It’s quite the reverse,” continues Bruce. “It’s a dogma. And that dogma basically says that western civilization is evil and needs to be either brought down or reconstituted…. It rejects the idea of self-determination and it rejects the idea of Judeo-Christian morality.
“It throws out basically all the values and premises of the Enlightenment and that’s very hard for a lot of people to get their heads around because the ideas of the Enlightenment are embedded in their brains, and include such basic things as rationality, evidence, merit, objectivity, and so on.”
A set of opposite ideas has taken over.
Where will this lead to? And why is Bruce Pardy hopeful “polarization” is a pathway out of the current trajectory to “really bad stuff”.