Quote: Originally Posted by Corduroy
You're right. There is a time limit and it's not a coincidence that that time limit is the same maximum amount of time allowed between elections. The notwithstanding clause doesn't apply to things listed as "democratic rights" (section 3) under the Charter, which includes voting and 5 year limits on Parliament. Section 3 doesn't include the most important democratic rights, however. Those are under Section 2: free speech, free press, assembly and association. You can't have a democracy without these. Free speech especially is fundamental to democracy. And legal rights are also subject to the notwithstanding clause. So in five years you'll get a chance to vote, but during the campaign you will not have any free speech or a free press, nor will you have the right to life, liberty or security of person, you can be arbitrarily detained, no fair trial, no presumption of innocence. What good is Section 3 without these rights?
Yeah, but I think it eventually all comes down what is possible vs what is probable.
Any parliament that tried to invoke serious legislation that repressed all the rights
under section 2 would be committing political suicide. Heck, they're almost killing each other now across the floor of the House of Commons, I can't imagine an opposition party that wouldn't take something like that and absolutely run with it. Well maybe Dion, he was kind of a mouse, but aside from him.
I've never heard of a politician who was totally unconcerned with being re-elected. So I think the liklihood of that scenario ever really happening is probably slim to none.
But in the event it ever did happen, of couse it would totally suck to be Canadian for those 5 years.