Quiet-List 1997

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RE: ...what the Disappointing Article was perhaps saying.



Some years ago I was involved in the non-smokers' rights movement. At that 
time our municipal region had passed a bylaw to keep smoke out of stores 
and other public places, but was not enforcing it. Trying to get the 
situation changed, I met with the Medical Health Officer, who simply told 
me that he had no intention of enforcing the law but would instead rely on 
"warnings" and the force of public opinion.

At the time this attitude maddened me -- it seemed like the sort of 
appeasement of both sides that typifies political action in Canada -- but 
in retrospect I'm inclined to think that the approach was not so bad. 
Within a couple of years tobacco had disappeared from public indoor spaces, 
despite the fact that not one single charge was ever laid.

Bylaws (ordinances) really are nothing more than an expression of community 
standards. Ultimately a law will achieve its purpose only with the moral 
force of the community behind it.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against bylaw enforcement and I'd still like to 
see more of it. But I think Richard makes an excellent point in suggesting 
that we need to get at the root of the problem.

----------
From: 	Richard C. Windeyer[SMTP:windeyer@inforamp.net]
Reply To: 	quiet-list@igc.org
Sent: 	Monday, October 20, 1997 9:53 AM
To: 	quiet-list@igc.org
Subject: 	...what the Disappointing Article was perhaps saying.

<snip>

        Why do we continue to believe that others will modify their
behaviour simply because they may be heavily fined?

        ...and why are we so shocked and surprised when people react
negatively to fines and bylaws, as this bit-of-a-numbskull writer did?

<snip>


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