Books and Movies Reviews

The Rights Revolution

The author has made a strong point of mentioning how Canada has been a prime example of the rights revolution. Throughout his lectures he discusses the importance of Canada and rights, and how other nations learn about rights by learning about Canada. Using the history of Canada in order to shows the struggle of two unique groups, aboriginals and French speaking. As well as the conflict between these group rights versus individual rights.
Ignatieff argues that since the 1960’s Canada’s political history can be seen as the story of unwillingness of the majority to discard the connection between equality, individual rights, and group assimilation. He effectively explains how the aboriginals have been fighting for rights since before the construction of Canada, and it was not until 1969 that the aboriginals were accorded full citizenship rights as individuals. He argued that before this the aboriginals did not enjoy an equality of rights with other Canadians. As well the author makes a similar argument for the French Canadians, arguing that the French have also been fighting for rights since before Canada was formed. Similarly he argues that it was not until 1969 when ” all Canadians were granted the right to bilingual services in French and English in all federal institutions”. He effectively explains how these changes were expected to break down the barriers between English and French-speaking Canadians, to assi!
milate them into a national community.
He successfully seeks to explain that these groups seek political recognition, and that these are claims of nationhood, based on historical priority on the fact that they were present at the creation of the state. The author compares these rights to individual rights, which are based in entitlements to freedom of religion and assembly, and used by groups to maintain cultural heritage. Ignatieff argues that these political claims (group rights) pose enormous problems for the majority of …


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