Corona Virus

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joking1966
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by joking1966 »

rode_kater wrote:
>
> If you're conflating the current discussions about vaccine
> "mandates" with internment and forced medical treatments, then I
> find it difficult to accept you're arguing in good faith. No government in
> a liberal democracy is going to round people up and forcibly jab them. So
> arguing that is a risk is IMHO totally disingenuous.
>
> There is a sensible discussion possible about how much pressure is
> acceptable. The mandates we're talking about these days aren't even
> mandates in the strict sense of the word. For example, saying people can't
> visit a pub for a while is I think perfectly reasonable. Whether it can be
> required for a job I find trickier. AIUI in the US you can lose your job if
> you're not vaccinated which I think goes a bit far. Here in NL your
> employer is not even allowed to ask you if you're vaccinated.
>
> Does it make a difference if your job involves dealing with sick or
> immunocompromised people? I think yes. There is plenty of room for
> discussions and nuance here.
>
> But just shutting down the discussion by yelling "slippery slope!
> WW2!" doesn't help anyone. Nor does yelling "if you don't take
> the vaccine you're a murderer" for that matter. The world is not black
> and white.


I am not using the 2nd WW as a scare tactic, I am talking about the principles the West adopted and have seemingly forgotten. We have polls showing a large minority of people agreeing to concepts of arrests and confinement. Governments in various jurisdictions had quarantine centres where they forced people to go to against their will and without due process. Being denied employment and threatened with fines is also coercion and is defined in the legal system as a method of force. This isn't about going to a pub. In Canada (I am using that as a person who was a LEO and studied political science with a major on international law) we have a constitutional right to travel and work. Now rights can have some restrictions in an emergency. But our government completely ignored duty to accommodate legislation and rules around employment insurance when 'duty to accommodate' could not be met. It was a means of serious coercion when you place a person in a situation where they lose their income, denied benefits they paid into, and ultimately they could find themselves homeless and without the means to buy food. Restrictions on Charter Righters must be openly stated as such, with the minimum necessary restrictions, and a defined ending. Our government and many others did none of these.

Again, I am not arguing against vaccines. Vaccines are arguably the best medical discovery in the history of mankind. But even in an emergency we can't forget our humanity.

In the immortal words of Forrest Gump; "That's all I have to say about that".
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Sinned
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by Sinned »

Sorry, jk1966, nobody has a "right" to work. If that were the case we would have full employment with the exception of say, the retired or sick. Employment is filled by those having the required fitness and ability to do the job, so we have persons who apply for jobs but remain unemployed. Such have no "right" to a job - they are just unable to convince a prospective employer with experience and skills and until they do they will remain unemployed. This includes whether they have been fully vaccinated or not. The job advertisement may have that as a requirement in which case they disqualify themselves. If the job advert doesn't specify then they still may disqualify themselves because there only needs to be one vaccinated candidate to tip the balance. And since generally a terse rejection is received it is virtually impossible to prove that rejection was on vaccination status. Most employers should destroy rejected applications shortly after the role is filled on Data Protection Laws.
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joking1966
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by joking1966 »

Sinned wrote:
> Sorry, jk1966, nobody has a "right" to work. If that were the
> case we would have full employment with the exception of say, the retired
> or sick. Employment is filled by those having the required fitness and
> ability to do the job, so we have persons who apply for jobs but remain
> unemployed. Such have no "right" to a job - they are just unable
> to convince a prospective employer with experience and skills and until
> they do they will remain unemployed. This includes whether they have been
> fully vaccinated or not. The job advertisement may have that as a
> requirement in which case they disqualify themselves. If the job advert
> doesn't specify then they still may disqualify themselves because there
> only needs to be one vaccinated candidate to tip the balance. And since
> generally a terse rejection is received it is virtually impossible to prove
> that rejection was on vaccination status. Most employers should destroy
> rejected applications shortly after the role is filled on Data Protection
> Laws.


There is a mistaken understanding of the right to work. I obviously cant speak for the UK, but in Canada this is a constitutional right. Now the right to work does not make it that you have to have a job and an employer does not have to hire you if you are not qualified or the best person for the position. A Charter right is what the government CAN'T do to an individual. The government cannot deny a person work. They can't tell you that you can't try and create a compony that operates within the context of valid legislation. The right to work isn't about the government forcing a company to hire someone. Heck, If you are financially able to not work the government can't force a person to work either.

Now as far as the vaccination debate goes, a person hired prior to any changes in the health regulations is to be accommodated. Legislation our government chose to ignore. A company that puts in specific vaccination requirements, or any specific health and fitness requirement, has to be able to justify why those conditions exist. As countries drop mandates it would be harder for a company to make that a requirement. Vaccines aside, a company that puts in a height, weight, and or strength requirement can expect to have it challenged and would have to demonstrate the validity of the requirement. There can be valid reasons for it. Our military and police forces have fitness tests that must be passed that have survived charter challenges. But a box store, for example, that has tall stocking shelves would have a hard time putting a height requirement in when ladders and step stools exist.

Anyways. Good discussion. As a person who studied charters, treaties, accords, and various types of law I always do appreciate commentary and enjoy the opportunity to give people a bit more insight to think about.
rode_kater
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by rode_kater »

joking1966 wrote:
Thu Feb 10, 2022 3:50 pm
There is a mistaken understanding of the right to work. I obviously cant speak for the UK, but in Canada this is a constitutional right. Now the right to work does not make it that you have to have a job and an employer does not have to hire you if you are not qualified or the best person for the position. A Charter right is what the government CAN'T do to an individual. The government cannot deny a person work. They can't tell you that you can't try and create a compony that operates within the context of valid legislation. The right to work isn't about the government forcing a company to hire someone. Heck, If you are financially able to not work the government can't force a person to work either.
Fascinating. I didn't realise that Canada was so different from the US in this area.

It actually reasonably resembles what we have here in NL. Before you're hired the company can have restrictions, though they have to be motivated. After you're hired the company can't change the rules, that's effectively a bait-and-switch. There are jobs where vaccination status could be relevant to the job, but not many.

Vaccination is actually an interesting one, because employers are also required to provide a safe workplace, and can they do they if they don't know who is vaccinated? As it looks now, the pandemic will be effectively over before we really come to a conclusion on this question.

The right to work here is not a constitutional right, but (and I learned this today) it's part of the European Social Charter. It's not an EU thing but via the Council of Europe (which incidently the UK is still a member of). The constitution here merely has some blurb about promoting employment and freedom of choice of work.
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Re: Corona Virus

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I apologise, sort of. Apparently the right to work is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "The right to work is the concept that people have a human right to work, or engage in productive employment, and should not be prevented from doing so. The right to work is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognized in international human rights law through its inclusion in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, where the right to work emphasizes economic, social and cultural development."

Although I believe that governments can deprive this right in certain circumstances such as for immigrants, illegal or otherwise. These need to have some sort of document to allow them into employment and this can be time-limited. In the USA it is the green card, I think.
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joking1966
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by joking1966 »

Interesting stuff being put out here. While I am familiar with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, I wasn't familiar with the separate European agreements on rights. But that is how international law works. Countries come together to sign a treaty/accord/declaration/etc. and then the individual signatory nations are then expected to incorporate the principles they agreed to in an appropriate manner for their country. Some may do a constitutional amendment. Others federal law or legislation. Some may just have the courts review previous legislation through the lens of the new international agreements as they feel their current structure satisfices the international agreement. In Canada, when we signed the Ottawa Treaty on Land Mines, the Government just put out a directive through the Minister of Defence's office to the Canadian Armed Forces to cease and desist of all land mines covered under this treaty. All done and dusted with a simple internal memorandum from the government to the military. (Of course a lot of subsequent changes to orders and directives fall out of that, including the government procurement department. But no big change to legislation needed to meet the treaty obligations in this case.)

Yes the US and Canada have many similarities, but wide differences as well. As a Canadian I don't get too upset when travelling in Europe and I am initially mistaken for an American. The general accents that most people are familiar with listening to news and movies from North America are similar. The differences are subtle. The reason I try to be sympathetic is my own failing in recognizing some countries subtle accent differences (subtle to me at least) and making similar mistakes.

As for those watching from outside the USA and Canada, you will more often hear us talking about mutual concerns as our economies are so tied together. I get the similar effect here as the international news tends to view Europe through the eyes of the EU and not the individual nations. But having travelled and worked in Europe I garnered a better understanding and now seek out the different national perspectives if I am interested in an issue.
rode_kater
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by rode_kater »

joking1966 wrote:
Fri Feb 11, 2022 10:30 pm
Interesting stuff being put out here. While I am familiar with the Universal Declaration on Human Rights, I wasn't familiar with the separate European agreements on rights.
That's an interesting historical artefact in itself. When the UN was created and the UDHR were formulated a number of countries, especially in Europe, wanted them to be legally binding. If that had succeeded it would have covered the whole world. For various reasons (which can probably imagine) that didn't work, so in Europe we created the Council of Europe and legally binding versions of the same treaties. Hence the European Convention of Human Rights and other similar instruments and related courts (the European Court of Human Rights, same abbreviation).

Legally binding should be taken loosely here because there is no enforcement arm. The only thing that can happen is that countries pressure each other. Just like the EU where the Commission can send sternly worded letters, but in the end relies on the member states to enforce judgements themselves. Still, the Court is respected so countries do make an effort.
joking1966 wrote:
Fri Feb 11, 2022 10:30 pm
But that is how international law works. Countries come together to sign a treaty/accord/declaration/etc. and then the individual signatory nations are then expected to incorporate the principles they agreed to in an appropriate manner for their country.
Another curious thing for NL makes the ECHR especially important. The NL Constitution binds the government, but courts cannot refer to it, since by construction any passed law is by definition constitutional. In is the job of our Senate to check constitutionality. However, NL courts can refer to signed treaties, hence the ECHR has significant direct impact. So in court cases, the ECHR and EU rights have more impact than the rights enshrined in our own constitution.

There has been discussion that this legal construction is a bit weird and constitutional amendments have been proposed to create a new Constitutional Court, but that hasn't happened yet, mainly because it's not clear whether it would make much practical difference. And to be honest, the idea that laws should be created by parliaments not courts is attractive.

To be fair, I'm not sure I could identify a Canadian accent. Australian and British yes. While conceptually I understand the states in America and Canada are all different, I find it hard to figure out the different views, mainly because you don't have the filter of language to identify a source.
joking1966
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by joking1966 »

Rode_Kater: That is really interesting. A very interesting legislative structure when it comes to being a country within the Larger EU. I must confess, in my study of political Science I was focused on International Law. (With a heavy focus on Military Law as I attended the Royal Military College Of Canada.) So while we talked about different countries and how they responded to international law I tended to stay more global and nations tended to get lumped into groups like "Liberal Democracy", "Socialist", "Totalitarian", "Theocratic". etc. The workings of nations within the EU construct was a smaller focus as international law is more Westphalian in Nature. So it is nice to read about this and have insight into other Nations approaches.

In Canada, if the government signs a treaty it then is expected to amend, delete, or add legislation to change the appropriate "law of the land" so to speak to meet its obligations. Sometimes reservations are put into the signing of a treaty, but it as far as I know, they are done with the spirit of the treaty itself.

I see some of the challenges you have in the NL. We have the challenge in Canada that the House of Commons can pretty much pass any legislation they want. The Senate is supposed to be a "House of Sober Second Thought". But is often too partisan in its review of legislation. SO, too often it falls on an individual or organization (Sometimes a Province) to challenge legislation in the courts to get a legal ruling on the constitutionality of new legislation. There are parties pushing for a double check by submitting proposed legislation to the Supreme Court of Canada for review prior to submission to Parliament or Senate and ultimately the Governor General for Royal Assent.

As for picking up on Canadian vs American. In Canada, a lot of British spelling has been maintained. Common is the 'our' vs 'or' endings. Cdn = Honour US = honor. neighbour vs neighbor. Colour vs color. Some other words will be clues. A knitted winter cap (or facsimile) is a Toque. (pronounced with a long O and hard K sound = TOO Ke) Accents are more difficult. Both Canadian and Americans accents vary geographically. I am from Western Canada. To the untrained ear I will sound similar to most Americans from the Northwest. But my words are less drawn out. But I can tell you, an excited Newfoundlander from a small town on the rock (nickname for the island of Newfoundland) will sound like a drunk Irishman LOL.
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by Sinned »

Tom should be able to understand him then. :lol:
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Re: Corona Virus

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Not at all sure of that, Dennis.

Even on this small bit of boggy rock the accent variations from one extremity to another almost preclude mutual understanding.

Example: Down at our bolthole in deepest SW Kerry a local chap leaned over the drive gate and asked MOH would she be interested in a load of 'turf', meaning peat. MOH, being a Public-Schooled Home-Counties lass replied in her cut glass diction that yes, she would. The bloke then said: 'You're not from round these parts.....would you be from Cork?' That was his first guess at where MOH might have come from!

Tom
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rode_kater
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Re: Corona Virus

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joking1966 wrote:
Mon Feb 14, 2022 7:28 pm
Rode_Kater: That is really interesting. A very interesting legislative structure when it comes to being a country within the Larger EU. [... snip ...] etc. The workings of nations within the EU construct was a smaller focus as international law is more Westphalian in Nature. So it is nice to read about this and have insight into other Nations approaches.
Yes, well, divining the inner workings of the EU is... complex. It's basically herding cats. Every country has a different system and different priorities and so many languages. The most amazing part is that it works at all.

The EU can actually best be described as a "treaty-making machine". Yes, if EU law changes, sometimes changes need to be made in national legislation. But it's a game: each member state thinks their regulations are fine as they are, but also sees value in harmonisation. So the game for the member states is to get the EU legislation as close to their own as possible, or sufficiently vague that they don't have to change anything. In practice it's the EP that's trying to push for stricter standards, while the member states keep watering them down in the Council. Everything requires a supermajority, so something like 80-90% of proposals go nowhere.

It's I think a fairly unique dynamic in international politics, not really applicable anywhere else.

Enforcement is fiddly though, as can be seen in the cases of Hungary & Poland. It amounts to sternly-worded letters and fines, but that's it.
joking1966 wrote:
Mon Feb 14, 2022 7:28 pm
I see some of the challenges you have in the NL. We have the challenge in Canada that the House of Commons can pretty much pass any legislation they want. The Senate is supposed to be a "House of Sober Second Thought". But is often too partisan in its review of legislation.
The same here, the Senate is supposed to do the constitutional checks. What helps here is that the Senate is indirectly elected by the Provinces and it's a one-day-a-week job. So this tends to attract retired politicians, or people doing it next to their normal job. It's not attractive to career politicians because it doesn't pay well for the required work. Their names are basically unknown and they never appear on TV either. In theory they're supposed to follow the lead of the parties they are in, but they sometimes follow their own course.

There are some far right parties that are trying to use the Senate as a platform, but it just doesn't get the same attention.

I'm familiar with Australian spellings, so that's probably fairly close. The Australian accent is also readily recognisable. Have seen some Canadian truckers on the news here, the accent wasn't really distinctive.
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Re: Corona Virus

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Question to ponder...

How is a religious exemption to a covid vaccine mandate constitutionally sound?

I thought that under the 14th the government was to provide equal protection of the law, to offer a religious exemption to a vaccine mandate would seem to be a slap in the face to people who don't want to vaccinate that happen to subscribe to religions with no such loophole or atheist/agnostic people.

That's just like telling religous people (not just churches [0]) that they no longer have to pay taxes.

That kinda bugs me.... if you're going to exempt religious people then why bother having a mandate at all?

I tell ya..I really hate our hypocritical government. I hate the fact that it functions as a borderline theocracy (save for states like Tennessee which are full blown theocracies)... :roll:

[0] Which by the way... churches should pay taxes to support the system just like everyone else.... perhaps exceptions made for bona-fide charity operations which could have a separate charter from the business [1] of the church itself.

[1] Yes... church is a business.
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Re: Corona Virus

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moonshadow wrote:
Thu Feb 17, 2022 11:52 am
How is a religious exemption to a covid vaccine mandate constitutionally sound?
It isn't, unless the members on the court are ideologues.

The First Amendment (there's part of the problem) to the Constitution of The United States begins, "The Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...". That's a two-parter, and the first clause deals with the establishment of religion -- i.e. making it the Church of State (e.g. The Church of England); the second clause is where it can get difficult, and where the Supreme Court has fallen down several times on by failing to draw a clear enough line as to what constitutes "free expression thereof" -- and where the free expression thereof infringes on the rights and responsibilities of others.

That having been said, since the USA is essentially post-Constitutional at this point in time it doesn't really matter, and the Supreme Court is packed to the gills with ideologues, what difference does it make? And if that last remark sounds a bit fatalistic, it is. I have precisely no hope for what was once my country. The actions on 2022-01-06 saw to that. In case anybody accuses me of forsaking my country, I'd posit that my country forsook me.
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Jim
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Re: Corona Virus

Post by Jim »

For conscientious objectors to war, the courts have ruled that any deeply held moral or ethical belief qualifies. I expect the same reasoning would apply to medical objections.
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Re: Corona Virus

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crfriend wrote:
Thu Feb 17, 2022 1:58 pm
The First Amendment (there's part of the problem) to the Constitution of The United States begins, "The Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...". That's a two-parter, and the first clause deals with the establishment of religion -- i.e. making it the Church of State (e.g. The Church of England); the second clause is where it can get difficult, and where the Supreme Court has fallen down several times on by failing to draw a clear enough line as to what constitutes "free expression thereof" -- and where the free expression thereof infringes on the rights and responsibilities of others.
The first amendment gets kinda dicey about religion... technically it states that the congress shall not create an establishment of religion nor prohibit the free exercise thereof. It doesn't say anything about the states, and in the early years of the republic, many states did indeed function under at the very least a "defacto" state religion. New England was notorious for this, but it has even spread as far as the west, including but not limited to, Utah (Mormans) and Tennessee (right wing evangelicals).

I believe what really protects those of minority religions, atheist, and agnostics comes in the equal protection clause of the 14th... that basically no state can give preference of one religion over another.

Congress did violate the 1st amendment in the 50s when they officially declared a national deity by changing the defacto national motto from "e pluribus unum" to "In God We Trust" and proceeded to force evangelical Christianity down everyone's throat in every way imaginable... I was still being forced to pray in public school up into the late 1980s despite forcing a child to pray being illegal.

But getting back to the 50s, I understand this was due to the communist "red scare", but when you have one nation enforcing atheism, thus forbidding the free exercise of religion (the U.S.S.R.) and another nation all but mandating Christianity across the land, thus forbidding the free exercise of religion (the U.S.A.) then neither side is truly free to decide and thus are two sides of the same authoritarian coin...
Jim wrote:
Thu Feb 17, 2022 3:21 pm
For conscientious objectors to war, the courts have ruled that any deeply held moral or ethical belief qualifies. I expect the same reasoning would apply to medical objections.
They say there are no atheist in fox holes... considering religion can be used to dodge a draft to war seems to be a catch22.
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