Extremist Political Parties Should Be Banned

Last updated: March 9, 2017

Should extremist political parties be banned from standing for political office? Does their right to have their say outweigh the harm and offence that they cause?

Extremist Political Parties Should Be Banned
Yes because...

Free speech does not exist in a vacuum. It can be restrained specifically in this case on grounds of...

Free speech does not exist in a vacuum. It can be restrained specifically in this case on grounds of harm. Extremism as hate speech that causes harm to minorities is a justifiable reason for the curbing of free speech.
No because...
We already have laws that regulate the conduct of free speech - slander, libel etc. Yet the basic premise of free speech in a democracy must be protected at all cost, or else we risk turning into the kind of society that these extremist groups support.

Extremist Political Parties Should Be Banned
Yes because...

There is an intrinsic difference between private and public thought and speech. The former is to be...

There is an intrinsic difference between private and public thought and speech. The former is to be preserved, but the latter has an impact on other people, and it is this that we are seeking to restrain.
No because...
Such a difference is misleading and dangerous. If one is invited into someone’s home, does this make what would be public speech now private? In any case, although politicians in extremist parties may promote intolerance and discriminatory policies, very rarely do they directly call for violent action, so what impact are we seeking to restrain?

Extremist Political Parties Should Be Banned
Yes because...

The recent rise in popularity of right wing extremist parties across Europe - from Le Pen in France ...

The recent rise in popularity of right wing extremist parties across Europe - from Le Pen in France to Pim Fortuyn in Holland, not including the success of the BNP in Burnley council - shows the success that appealing to voters on extremist grounds can have. It is not good enough to say that there is no threat, or that parties are not successful. We have a duty to act against a threat to our society in the form of extremism.
No because...
There is no rise in extremism. The BNP threat was localised in the extreme and all candidates in the general election of 2002 lost their deposits. The success of Le Pen was ironically in moderating his extremist message, couple with the fracturing of the Left in French politics, and the Front Nationale didn’t win any French Assembly seats. Likewise, Pim Fortuyn’s party was socially liberal, having the same line on immigration as the Britain’s Labour Party! Such a draconian law as proposed would be a disproportionate response to a limited threat.

Extremist Political Parties Should Be Banned
Yes because...

Merely by being allowed to advocate their views, extremist parties are given a veneer of respectabil...

Merely by being allowed to advocate their views, extremist parties are given a veneer of respectability. The fact that the vast majority of people disagree is irrelevant. They cannot be allowed on the same democratic ticket as respectable, pro system groups, because merely in their presence they tarnish the system.
No because...
No one is disputing the fact that extremist views are repellent. Yet they are often shallow and not logically thought out. Meeting their views and combating them in open and honest debate is the most effective way of highlighting the flaws in the ideology, rather than have them transmitted in a one-sided manner that gives no chance to counter. It gives the impression that there is some validity to the message.

Extremist Political Parties Should Be Banned
Yes because...

Those that talk of parties going underground with such banning legislation are wrong. Their censors...

Those that talk of parties going underground with such banning legislation are wrong. Their censorship will mean that the vast majority of people in the country never have access to them, even if a small hardcore still do, who are probably converts anyway. The parties will never get anywhere without mass support and publicity.
No because...
Such parties benefit from going underground. They can play themselves as martyrs and against the establishment, being denied their chance to have a say. Witness Nick Griffin (BNP leader) and his notorious 'gagged' campaign, and Le Pen’s similar ploys in France. Such anti-state rebellious sentiment will be very attractive to a cross section of the dispossessed and dispirited in society - what New Labour have identified as the 'angry young men' - who provide a fertile ground for votes and support.

Extremist Political Parties Should Be Banned
Yes because...

We have the right to make a moral judgement on society and its actions. We can declare things abhor...

We have the right to make a moral judgement on society and its actions. We can declare things abhorrent and not justified in decent society. Such a function is a role for government in making any laws. A removal of this moral dimension from law making would lead to extreme moral relativism and anarchy.
No because...
Moral judgements are fine but the very strength and weakness of a democracy is in allowing anyone to challenge it and mould it. If the system regulates itself by declaring who can challenge it then it is not pure and it is a betrayal of the very system. It is also highly subjective to categorise a party as 'extremist' or 'far-right'; there is a wide difference in policy between groups such the BNP and Front Nationale, and the List Pym Fortuyn. Alongside repellent views on race there may be policies on topics such as immigration, devolution and policing which challenge the status quo and are worthy of serious political debate.


1
Continue the Debate - Leave a Comment

1 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
1 Comment authors
  Subscribe  
Notify of