Wednesday, 8 January 2014

GINS: The Constitution of the Socialists Republic of Vietnam

Hello everybody!

It has been a while since I've created my last post but this one is revolved specifically around the Constitution of the Socialists Republic of Vietnam and the the way that it pertains to Vietnamese citizens.

The first ideas of a constitution in Vietnam (The Constitution of the Socialists Republic of Vietnam) developed in the year of 1946, introducing the initial concepts of every Vietnamese citizen having a right to be equal. Although the general conception of this idea sounds appealing, Duong specifically mentions the technicalities of a communist society and the restrictions that are forced upon individuals hoping to strive during her novel, Paradise of the Blind. More specifically on this proposal of everyone being equal, we are confronted with the extermination of social classes and the possessions of excess land and divine material goods. Each citizen is given the same amount of terrain in order to do basic work such as cultivating and maintaing a suitable lifestyle; Duong mentions this through her hard-hitting descriptors of the land reform on pgs. 23-34. Unlike Canada, whose citizens are able to strive and become successful without getting judged or denounced, the Vietnamese government holds a stern, steady reign on these decisions. If Vietnam were to take on our use of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, there would be much confusion and exploitation within the system. From my understanding, I believe that there are few but existing citizens in Canada who are already starting to corrupt the charter for their own benefits. Some case studies are specifically directed towards the "legal rights" clause and others and directed in more general terms. One of the examples to share, would be the inabilities of banning junk food advertisements for children. Because of our fundamental freedoms clause, companies are able to support their cases by saying that they have the ability to express their own opinions freely.

When we have a Charter that is open to all Canadian citizens, we are giving each individual rights, but we are also giving them loopholes  that can be manipulated to their own interests. With rights come responsibilities, unfortunately not everyone can embrace this fact. Taking these things into consideration, I believe that having this type of system in Vietnam would only spur on these concerns and problems. In fact, these types of clauses are already present in their society. When we start introducing official documents and clauses, that's when some individuals are able to manipulate them and make them benefit for their own interests.


  1. Hi Heather! Reading through your blog, I can tell that you have thought a lot about your book, and what it means to the world and to you! What I found most interesting about your thoughts on applying the Canadian Charter, was that you thought it wouldn't work very well. It was so interesting to see your example of "loopholes," because that's something I have never thought of, but it definitely makes sense. I think you are right, that if you just all of a sudden gave all these freedoms to citizens of a different country, there would be a lot more problems than solutions. Although, do you think giving freedoms like 'freedom of expression' is something that should be given, whether it causes problems or not? Also, do you think it's possible, that if the country slowly and progressively made changes about rights and freedoms, things might be different (with the concerns about corrupting the freedoms)?

    Also, since you talked a lot about the culture of Vietnam and how it's very different from the Western worldview, I was wondering if there are issues about gender inequality? I have seen a lot of concern surrounding that topic in many places, especially the developing world. Let me know. :)

  2. Great job on crafting such an awesome piece that really demonstrates your understanding of the Charter. I agree with Kalindee that you have really thought a lot about your thoughts on applying the Canadian Charter. As I was reading through your posts, you talked a lot about if the Canadian Charter was applied to the Vietnamese society how in the society there would become much "confusion and exploitation of the system". I think that if this society was exposed to the Charter, more specifically the section of Fundamental Freedoms, people would have more leeway not only to achieve success for themselves but also the public good. Equality can also be reached with cooperation and working together instead of communist society as well. With any society, there will always be a select few that will try and manipulate the law for their own good, but we need the law to have a fair and just society.
    Great job on this post!!!