Comment 47540

By Tybalt (registered) | Posted September 10, 2010 at 22:54:53


"Just yesterday I came across an interesting historical perspective on anonymous commenting. Anonymous and pseudonymous commentary has a long, noble tradition and an invaluable role in democratic discourse."

Indeed. We have a primary example, adjacent to this own country's beating heart of democracy, free speech and a free press. It was Joseph Howe's seditious libel trial in 1835 that established the notion of a free press in Canada within our legal system (and that of the British Empire). That trial emerged from the publication of an anonymous letter in Howe's paper The Novascotian accusing the local politicians and powers-that-be of corruption. The right to publish anonymously is crucially subsumed within our basic freedoms.

And remember it is to that same Joe Howe, 13 years later, that the foundation stone of our Canadian democracy (the notion of responsible government) is due.

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