Stephen Harper v. Canada - 2014-07-25
When Stephen Harper headed up the National Citizens Coalition, he filed a constitutional challenge against the Elections Act. He claimed the law's spending limits on third-party advertising during elections was an infringement on his freedom of expression rights as guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
According to the logic offered up by many Conservatives lately, what the boss did back in 2000 amounted to an attempt to undermine Parliament. Dan Albas, the Conservative MP for Okanagan-Coquihalla, recently told CBC that interest groups are trying to "… do an end-run around our democratic process and turn to the courts where it seems some judges are quite happy to engage. This can result in decisions contrary to what have been decided in our democratic process."
If the "democratic process" were limited to Parliament and a government elected by less than 50 per cent of the population, Mr. Albas might have a point. Fortunately, his notions have little to do with how democracy actually works in Canada, where we don't give unfettered power to a group of elected officials — even if their policies are popular.