UofT Law faculty authors: 

Yasmin Dawood. "Democratic Rights", in Peter Oliver, Patrick Macklem, and Nathalie Des Rosiers, eds, The Oxford Handbook of the Canadian Constitution (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017) chapter 34 (online).


This chapter examines the scope and protection of democratic rights in Canada. After outlining the source of democratic rights, it focuses on the right to vote by considering judicial decisions on such issues as voter qualifications, residency rules, and the entitlement to vote. It then shows how the Supreme Court has interpreted the right to vote as consisting of a bundle of democratic rights. By using the bundle of rights, the Supreme Court has been able to regulate a wide array of democratic institutions and processes. The chapter proceeds to examine the Court’s intervention in the electoral process by discussing its cases on electoral redistricting, political parties, campaign finance, and the dissemination of electoral information. The chapter concludes with an analysis of current and future challenges facing democratic rights and their protection by the courts.