Principles Of Democracy

Decent Essays

On April 17, 1982, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was entrenched in the Canadian Constitution (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 1982, 2015). Section 1 of the Charter allows the government to limit the Charter rights on an individual, as well as securing and guaranteeing the rights listed in the Charter. Section 33 of the Charter permits Parliament and provincial legislatures to override sections of the Charter when deemed necessary. However, even with the presence of sections 1 and 33, entrenching the charter in a constitution violates the fundamental principles of democracy. By making it extremely difficult to change the rights and freedoms listed in the Charter, the entrenchment violates democratic accountability. Although some …show more content…

With the judiciary, judges are "free from political pressure on legislators" while also being able to make "unpopular decisions" (Waluchow, 2015). Nonetheless, democracy is about making decisions based on the majority of the population. Without the pressure of re-election and keeping the citizens satisfied, judges could make decisions that are unfavourable and controversial.This affects the citizens directly because when it comes to large decisions related to the law, such as abortion and assisted suicide, citizens cannot vote to take part in the decisions, instead the appointed judges create a resolution for them. Even though these large decisions affect the population directly, the judges are the only ones that are going to have their voice heard on the matter. If an individual "disagrees with [the] legislative resolution" of a proposition, and chooses to take the issue to court "the view that finally prevails will be that of the judges" (Waldron, 2006). Take the Rodriguez v British Columbia case for example. Sue Rodriguez was trying to challenge the Supreme Court of Canada on the prohibition of assisted suicide because she believed it violated the Charter (Smith, 1993). A controversial matter was put into the hands of non-elected officials, a matter that affects family members of citizens, hospital space, healthcare costs and some citizens themselves. An issue like this should not have been resolved by the judiciary system. Democracy is the view of the majority, not the appointed. By taking away the citizens' ability to be involved in creating a final resolution to a federal or provincial conflict, the judiciary is proving that judicial review is not valid in terms of democracy, therefore defying the essential principles of

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