Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.  This milestone document established that certain rights cannot be taken away by the tyranny of the majority.

Among other things, the Charter is meant to moderate the historic reality of British Parliamentary history which grew out of an aristocratic conception of citizenship.  In that system, only members of Royalty were seen as fully human, while the rest of us were considered chattels, along with sheep and game animals.

This concept is still alive with the argument that Parliament is supreme even when our defective electoral system bestows a majority of Parliamentary seats on a political party which the majority of Canadians actually voted against.  Although imperfect, the Courts and the Charter of Rights and Freedoms are intended to counteract this, and other weaknesses of our political system.

Part of our Constitutional legal challenge to Ottawa’s seizure of our Canadian Wheat Board rests on a Charter based argument.  Here is an explanation of why the Charter is important from a Canadian journalist.

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