The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150

The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150

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By David E. Smith
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2017
World Rights
216 Pages
Paper
ISBN 9781487521981
Published Jul 2017
Online discount: 25%
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Cloth
ISBN 9781487502478
Published Jul 2017
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ebook (PDF format)
ISBN 9781487515409
Published Jun 2017
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Description
Author
Contents
Reviews

Whether it’s the first-past-the-post electoral system or partisan government appointees to the Senate, Canadians want better representation and accountability from the federal government. Before reforms can be enacted, however, it is important to explore and clarify the relationships among Canada’s three parliamentary institutions: Crown, Senate, and Commons.

In The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors, David E. Smith presents a learned but accessible analysis of the interconnectedness of Canada’s parliamentary institutions. Smith argues that Parliament is a unity comprised of three parts and any reforms made to one branch will, whether intended or not, affect the other branches. Through a timely, nuanced, and comprehensive examination of parliamentary debates, committee reports, legal scholarship, and comparative analysis of developments in the United Kingdom, Smith uncovers the substantial degree of ambiguity that exists among Canadians and their calls for structural and operational reforms. By illuminating the symbiotic relationship between the Crown, Senate, and Commons, The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors brings government reform closer to reality.

David E. Smith, FRSC, is the author of Federalism and the Constitution of Canada, The People’s House of Commons, and many books on Canadian politics. He is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University.

Preface

Chapter 1 - Reflections

Chapter 2 - Refraction: The Crown

Chapter 3 - Redefinition: The Senate of Canada

Chapter 4 - Readjustment: The House of Commons

Chapter 5 - Reconsideration

Chapter 6 - Recapitulation

"This is a brilliant book. It is erudite, eloquent, lucid, and practical."

Donna Greschner, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

"David E. Smith offers a highly informed and thoughtful commentary on critical aspects of Canada’s governmental framework. The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors shows how recent controversies involving the role of the governor general, the Senate, and the House of Commons need to be seen in historical context in order to understand the extent and significance of change."

Campbell Sharman, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia