Why is everyone up in arms about this? All this ruling does is change the number of candidates you can contribute too. Right now if you wanted to contribute $200 to every Congressional race in the country it is illegal as you exceed the maximum amount that can be donated to candidates. Now you can contribute the maximum allowed to any number of candidates.
If you want to control election buying you need to limit what a candidate can spend on an election, as there is no 1st Amendment right to run for office, not what individuals can spend voicing their views, which is what a contribution is considered.
There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.
P. J. O'Rourke
Also, people went to jail for this stuff. It used to be illegal. Defending a practice that used to be illegal because it's now not isn't really logical.
As in the US, our Supreme Court justices are appointed by the Prime Minister and go through a screening process but that process is not as difficult as in the US. As a result, there was concern in the provinces that a Supreme Court stacked by political masters at the federal level could override the will of the people in a province or for that matter the will of the people at the federal level. As a result, the Notwithstanding clause allows the federal or provincial government to adopt legislation that is immune from Supreme Court interference. If the Supreme Court rules a piece of legislation unconstitutional, the body that adopted it can pass legislation that basically says "notwithstanding the Supreme Court ruling, the legislation stands and will be enforced".
Under our Constitution, governments at the federal and provincial levels must hold elections at least every five years, so the Notwithstanding clause has a lifespan of five years, allowing a newly formed government to either let the notwithstanding legislation lapse or reinforce it for another five years - the legislature in question can reinforce the clause an unlimited number of times.
It should be noted that this clause does not apply to all parts of the constitution but only to those related to particular rights and freedoms.
In the case related in this thread, as an example, if such a notwithstanding clause was in place, the US Congress and the President could pass and sign legislation that overruled the US Supreme Court decision for a period of time. In so doing, the issue may become an election issue going forward and would be more readily one where the majority of the voting public could express their opinions, not just the 9 justices of the Supreme Court.
In the almost 3 decades this clause has been in place in Canada, it has been rarely used. Not sure how it would be used in the more volatile US political system.
A Canadian conservative is one who believes in limited government and that the government should stay out of our wallets and out of our bedrooms.