Democratic rights

Every Canadian citizen has the right to vote in elections and to run for public office themselves. There are certain exceptions. For example, people must be 18 years old or older in order to vote.

Our elected governments cannot hold power for an unlimited amount of time. The Charter requires governments to call an election at least once every five years. An election could be delayed, however, during a national emergency, like a war. In this case, two-thirds of the members of the House of Commons or, in the case of provinces or territories, the legislative assembly must agree to delay the election.

The Charter makes it clear that elected representatives of legislative assemblies must sit at least once a year. This holds Parliament and all other legislatures responsible for their actions.

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