The Charter guarantees our right to vote and our right to equal treatment. It's up to the Supreme Court to decide when this principle has been violated.
Prior to serving in her role as the Chief Justice for Canada's Supreme Court, Justice Beverley McLachlin ruled that our right to vote means that we have to be effectively represented:
“Each citizen is entitled to be represented in government. Representation comprehends the idea of having a voice in the deliberations of government”.
- Justice Beverley McLachlin
That’s each of us, not just some of us. That principle has been upheld in several cases throughout Canadian elections.
The court has also said that voters should be treated equally, but when only half of us have an MP we support, the system is discriminatory and excludes those voices.
Constitutional lawyers have advised us that we have a worthwhile case to make against our current voting system on these grounds.
Why not change the system through political channels?
Governments of various stripes have supported electoral reform while in opposition, and on the campaign trail only to back away from the promise of reform once elected.
The present government and parliament have decided not to proceed with electoral reform. It could be years, or decades, and several elections, before electoral reform becomes a possibility again through political channels. Democratic rights are human rights. It's the Court's job to ensure that those rights are protected when parliament neglects to protect them.