Free Speech For The Future

Recently, Germany announced its plan to lift the veil on citizens’ ability to criticize foreign leaders, according to NPR, it is going to be in effect on Jan. 1, 2018. I believe this change is necessary for the future of Germany and their freedom of speech. Freedom of speech should be a universal freedom in every country by now — people want to be heard, legal or not, they are going to get their voice out.

According to Heiko Maas, the Justice Minister of Germany, the law “dates back to a long gone era, it no longer belongs in our criminal law.”

Furthermore, I believe this law should be removed because leaders should be open to what other people are saying about their leadership, from their citizens or otherwise. Hearing feedback is necessary for foreign relations and running a country successfully.

While criticism can lead to positive changes, it may also cause conflicts. For example, if Germany’s citizens are unhappy with a country due to political changes or decisions, their negative feedback has the possibly to loosen relations. Granted, it is unlikely a foreign leader will consult with the people instead of the head of state on their relationship, but it is a possibility. In the end, I support what Germany is doing and I believe other countries should follow suit.