One of the basic constitutional fundamentals in every society is the right to free speech and expression. “Freedom of Speech” serves many functions and has different aspects. One of the most important functions of free speech is that it enables effective decision-making at every level because it considers an extensive range of views.
This follows the contention that a decision made when all concerned parties are given the freedom to express their views is much better because it reflects the opinions, interests, and needs of all concerned. Without “freedom of speech” it is pointless to expect political or economic freedom.
Although freedom of speech is very important for both individuals and society, it is more important for governments because any government that is not aware of the thoughts and feelings of its people is in a very precarious position because restricting freedom of speech in its people is, in essence, destroying the natural creative instincts of the population.
The freedom of speech is the single most important constitutional and political right of citizens because, without the freedom of expression, it is not possible to initiate any political decisions because there would be very little resistance or protection against injustice and oppression.
Freedom of speech ensures free elections because everyone is given the opportunity to express their opinion which restrains oppression by the government.
The sine qua non of a democratic society is the freedom of speech. As important as freedom of speech is for citizens, it is even more important for governments because when a government can be freely criticized it has the opportunity to respond to unreasonable and unfair comments and criticism about its policies and processes.
It is in a government’s interest to have criticisms in the public arena where it can answer its critics and correct its mistakes.
The government has greater access to electronic and other media sources far in excess of groups and individuals and the government can only present its views only if the opposing views are known and not restricted.
In the same manner that most societies allow freedom of speech to their citizens, there are certain limitations imposed by the constitution and implemented by the government which curtail the right of individuals or groups to exercise their right to freedom of speech in instances of obscenity, child pornography of speeches that advocate subversion of the constitution or the government, speech that incites civil disobedience or violation of the law of the land.
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