Red, White, and Kind of Blue?: The Conservatives and the Americanization of Canadian Constitutional Culture

Red, White, and Kind of Blue?: The Conservatives and the Americanization of Canadian Constitutional Culture

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By David Schneiderman
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2015
World Rights
328 Pages
ISBN 9781442629486
Published Sep 2015
Online discount: 25%
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ISBN 9781442629479
Published Sep 2015
Online discount: 25%
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ebook (EPUB format)
ISBN 9781442629509
Published Oct 2015
Online discount: 24%
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Situated between two different constitutional traditions, those of the United Kingdom and the United States, Canada has maintained a distinctive third way: federal, parliamentary, and flexible. Yet in recent years it seems that Canadian constitutional culture has been moving increasingly in an American direction. Through the prorogation crises of 2008 and 2009, its senate reform proposals, and the appointment process for Supreme Court judges, Stephen Harper’s Conservative government has repeatedly shown a tendency to push Canada further into the US constitutional orbit.

Red, White, and Kind of Blue? is a comparative legal analysis of this creeping Americanization, as well as a probing examination of the costs and benefits that come with it. Comparing British, Canadian, and American constitutional traditions, David Schneiderman offers a critical perspective on the Americanization of Canadian constitutional practice and a timely warning about its unexamined consequences.

David Schneiderman is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto.


Chapter One. “No Servile Copy”: Constitutional Differences That Matter

Chapter Two. President or Prime Minister? Prorogation 2008

Chapter Three. The King’s Prerogative vs. Parliamentary Privilege: Prorogation 2009

Chapter Four. A “More Salutary Check”? Electing the Canadian Senate

Chapter Five. Appointing Justices: Supreme Court Nominees and the Press


“Unlike most constitutional texts that are readable only by lawyers, Red, White, and Kind of Blue? is a good read for anyone interested in Canada’s constitutional system of government as it differs from the American system. David Schneiderman brings home the importance of recognizing how our constitutional culture, unlike the American, has a flexibility that enables constitutional growth and innovative public policy choices.”

Rob Walsh, Former Law Clerk and Parliamentary Counsel at the House of Commons, Ottawa

“David Schneiderman makes a compelling case for his vision of Canadian constitutional culture as something distinctive and worth preserving. His work is original, insightful, and of interest to readers in both Canada and the United States.”

Vicki C. Jackson, Thurgood Marshall Professor of Constitutional Law, Harvard Law School

Red, White, and Kind of Blue? represents a clear-eyed, dispassionate analysis of Canadian constitutional culture and its shift towards a more American model. This is a book that is sure to give rise to important and provocative discussions.”

Lorne Sossin, Dean, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University

‘Highly recommended.’

G. A. McBeath, Choice Magazine vol 53:11:2016

“Red, White and Kind of Blue? is crisp and unnerving. It suggests Parliament is so malleable, and many of its participants so weak, it dispensed with ancient checks and balances without a shot being fired.”

Holly Doan, Blacklocks Reporter, October 10, 2015

“By providing a provocative discussion of contemporary issues and analysis of constitutional reform, Red, White and Kind of Blue is a worthy read. As for its core argument, the book should succeed in spurring a useful debate about Canada’s constitutional culture as well.”

Emmett MacFarlane, The Literary Review of Canada, March 2016