Based on my understanding of s. 3 Charter rights, and the publicly available evidence respecting the context and timing of the “crossing”, it is my opinion that the post-election actions of David Emerson, and perhaps, the Prime Minister as well, nullified the s. 3 Charter rights of the citizens of Vancouver-Kingsway to play a meaningful role in the election of their elected representative, and it further denied them the right to “effective representation” by the Party of their choice (Liberal) and their “party-affiliated” representative – “David Emerson qua a Liberal”. I also assert that the actions of David Emerson and the Prime Minister are neither fair nor equitable to the citizens of Vancouver-Kingsway, who essentially had their s. 3 right to play a meaningful role in the election of their representative stripped away.
Given that Figueroa(November 2003 case of Miguel Figueroa v. Attorney General of Canada, SCC File No: 28194.) suggests that s. 3 imposes a positive obligation on government to set up an electoral system which will provide for democratic government in accordance with the choices of Canadian voters, one can well conclude that in this context, the government, parliament, Elections Canada, and Minister of the Crown, have clearly failed to provide that positive obligation.
Unlike other citizens in other constituencies of Canada who got the “party-affiliated representative” they elected, the citizens of Vancouver-Kingsway have been denied that basic right. Cannot it not then be asserted that said denial is injurious to their “political equality” rights and basic dignity as citizens, a dignity protected by the s. 15 Equality Rights provision of the Charter.
There is a healthy discussion at Cerberus on how to make the liberal(small l intentional) blogosphere more effective. If you presuppose the validity of the legal arguments argued above, this case offers an opportunity for practical application. A "community" blog like Progressive Bloggers could set up a legal fund to support action against Emerson. Affiliates could draw attention to this legal fund, as well as support it. The "buzz" of a co-ordinated blog initiative would also garner the attention of mainstream media, which in turn could draw others into the process. The threat of a legitimate legal action, the bad press, could well tip the scale and force Harper to act, or risk the embarassment of dragging this issue into the courts. Just an idea on how the blogs can have practical relevance.