Learning our Constitution — Freedom of Speech

By C Howard Diaz

Why is our Constitution the greatest document in the world, while defining freedom for all American citizens, and establishing our government?

What makes our Constitution so different than all other Constitution’s?

To make my point, I will use freedom of speech, as written in the Canadian Constitution (Charter of Rights and Freedoms) and compare the words with what our Constitution says.

In the Canadian Constitution, under the heading of “Fundamental Freedoms,” Section 2 states:

2. 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.

I have printed parts in bold so can you easily read the words concerned with freedom of speech. By cutting and pasting the necessary words read:

“Everyone has freedom of expression” (Speech)

That’s how the law reads in Canada.

In America our Constitution speaks of freedom of speech in the First Amendment to our Constitution:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

I have also printed parts in bold so can you easily read the words concerned with freedom of speech. By cutting and pasting the necessary words read:

“Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech”

Do you see the difference between the two statements?

Do you understand the difference?

The Canadian Constitution grants the Canadian people freedom of speech (expression) and says so.

Our Constitution does not grant us freedom of speech, it tells the government it may not pass any law abridging our freedom of speech. It orders the government that it may not pass any law preventing our freedom of speech.

Ah, but in another part of the Canadian Constitution, Part 1, it states:

“1. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic society.”

So Canadian’s really only have freedom of expression, (speech), “subject only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law.”

That aside, the difference is enormous and that difference, in context, is carried out in all parts of our Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Do you now see the difference?

In Canada a tyrant would only have to pass a new law and he could legally, within the law, end freedom of speech.

In the United States of America, a tyrant would have to amend our Constitution which would require three fourths of the States approval to be within the law. But our Forefathers made sure that the Executive Branch is excluded in the amendment process, they gave that power to the States and the People.

So a true tyrant would have to ignore our Constitution, get enough Senator’s and Representatives to ignore their allegiance to our Constitution, to America, and to their States, to pass any law he wishes and then intimidate the Supreme Court to OK it.

But that couldn’t happen in the good old USA, could it?