"No Canadian Prime Minister in history has invoked the notwithstanding clause to override a Charter right – Stephen Harper would be the first to take this radical step."First of all, using a clause agreed to by 9 provinces and the federal government is not "radical." In fact, it was a "necessary" clause.
Second, no political party will disrespect the law, especially not the Charter. It is empty talk. Consider this example of how "two can play at this game":
Martin on Health Care after Supreme Court strikes down ban on private care:
"We're not going to have a two-tier health-care system in this country. Nobody wants that."- Paul Martin, June 9, 2005.
YET the Supreme Court ruled that...
However, where the government puts in place a scheme to provide health care, that scheme must comply with the Charter. We are of the view that the prohibition on medical insurance in s. 15 of the Health Insurance Act, R.S.Q., c. A-29, and s. 11 of the Hospital Insurance Act, R.S.Q., c. A-28 (see Appendix A) violates s. 7 of the Charter because it impinges on the right to life, liberty and security of the person in an arbitrary fashion that fails to conform to the principles of fundamental justice.UNFORTUNATELY, ONE-TIER health care that isn't speedy violates the Charter. I thus conclude that Paul Martin is ignoring Charter rights by claiming the status quo is sufficient. Further, the reason why this decision came to be in the first place was that for the past 12 years under Martin's watch, health-care waiting lists have increased to intolerable lengths.
The Liberals are not the protectors of Charter rights now any more than they were protectors of people's' rights 100 years ago under the Chinese head tax, imprisoned Ukranians in the first world war, and interned the Japanese and turned away Jewish migrants fleeing Nazy Germany during World War II.
The fact of the matter is, rights are to protect us from the government; we don't need a political party telling us that they instead will protect us from other parties. No one has a monopoly on rights OR law.