rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

Dear 'Diane Ablonczy': Don't put scare quotes around 'rule of law'

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca for as little as $5 per month!

Allow me to provide some "context" for this clip.

Conservative MP "Diane Ablonczy" was responding to a suggested amendment to the section of the "anti-terror" bill that allows judges to issue warrants in secret to CSIS that violate the "Charter of Rights and Freedoms." 

So just to clarify for Ms. Ablonczy, the traditional role of a "judge" in a "civilized society" is to uphold the "rule of law." This ensures that people don't "steal" things from other people just because they "feel like it" or "murder" each other with "impunity," and that the government doesn't "torture" its opponents and throw them out of "helicopters."

It's all based on these things called "principles of fundamental justice." Principles like people "shouldn't" steal or murder or torture. Principles that are "innately understood" as "basic morality" by anyone who isn't a "sociopath."

And if the "rule of law" is going to be "legitimate" and not "pointless" it needs to be followed by everyone, including CSIS, no matter how much they want to "keep us safe." And those laws shouldn't be enforced "in secret," because "secret law enforcement" has a poor track record and tends to lead to things like rampant abuse, corruption and "the Statsi."

So the reason it's important that a judge only issues warrants that are consistent with the "rule of law" and "principles of fundamental justice" is because Canadians value those things and don't want to sacrifice them based on cheap fear mongering over "terrorist" threats that are less likely to kill us than "lightning" or a "vending machine."

And if Diane Ablonczy wants to "keep" that power she wields so cavalierly, she should consider acting like a "representative of citizens" rather than a "mindless party hack."

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.