A group of U. S. professors launched a campaign this week protesting plans by a prominent political science organization to hold its annual conference in Toronto next year, claiming that Canada’s restrictions on certain forms of speech puts controversial academics at risk of being prosecuted.Bradley Watson, professor of American and Western political thought at Pennsylvania’s St. Vincent College, said he will present a petition calling for the American Political Science Association (APSA) to re-evaluate its selection of Toronto for its 2009 conference at this year’s annual meeting, taking place over the Labour Day weekend in Boston.His protest has garnered support from dozens of professors across the United States, including prominent scholars such as Princeton University legal philosopher Robert P. George and Harvard University’s Harvey Mansfield.”Our belief is that the APSA should choose its sites carefully, with particular regard for questions of freedom of speech and conscience,” Mr. Watson told the National Post by e-mail. “We therefore believe Canada to be a problematic destination.”
Mr. Watson said that professors signing the petition are concerned that recent human rights commission investigations into Maclean’s and Western Standard magazines over articles concerning Islam, and the conviction of pastor Stephen Boisson, who was ordered by Alberta’s human rights tribunal in May to cease publicizing criticisms of homosexuality, suggest that professors risk being chilled from discussing important academic subjects, or ending up in legal trouble. Mr. Watson said he plans to distribute hundreds of buttons to attendees at the Boston conference reading “Toronto 2009, Non!”
In a statement issued on Thursday, the working group behind the protest said: “The nature of radical Islamism and the relationship of public morality and homosexual conduct are issues of vital public importance” and that “all political scientists have a professional interest in a full and open scholarly debate” on these topics. The group called it “unseemly” for APSA to “turn a blind eye to [Canadian] attacks on freedom of speech” and “unacceptable to risk exposing its own members to them.” … (Source)
Apparently this group includes both American and Canadian academics and is the oldest and largest organization of political science professors. I’m not sure of the political leanings of the group, but I suspect it’s probably dominated by liberals, even if it’s a modest majority of them. It’s good to see the liberal zeitgeist starting to eat its own. I knew it was only a matter of time, but I must admit that it’s a lot sooner than I expected.
I told you so.
What a laughingstock Canada has become. People who want to have a good political scrap are starting to scratch this country off the list for the place to do it in.
Fear of the HRC thugs, backed by the full power of the State, is enough to keep away anyone who wants to stay out of the Star Chambers.
Glorious and Free? Oh please. That’s so passé.