SPECIAL ISSUE
CONTENTS
  • Section A) The theory and practise of the federal states and multi-level systems of government
  • Section B) Global governance and international organizations
  • Section C) Regional integration processes
  • Section D) Federalism as a political idea
  • Fafard Patrick
    Challenging English-Canadian Orthodoxy on Democracy and Constitutional Change
    in Review of Constitutional Studies / Revue d'études constitutionnelles , Vol. 14, N. 1- 2 ,  2009 ,  175-203
    In English-Canada it is routinely argued that constitutional change in Canada is neither desirable or even possible. This article challenges this view. The decline of support among Québécois for sovereignty should not blind us to the fact that the official position of the Parti Libéral du Québec (PLQ) is that while Québec should remain in Canada, constitutional change will eventually be required. Some Aboriginal leaders take a similar position. Faced with the prospect of constitutional change, three claims are central to the prevailing orthodoxy in English-Canada: that the constitution is now exceedingly difficult to amend; that private negotiations and elite accommodation have been replaced by a more open and democratic process; and that substantive change to the Canadian constitutional settlement must be by means of a constitutional “conversation”. This article seeks to challenge this prevailing orthodoxy by arguing that the Canadian constitution is, in fact, amendable, often by means of bilateral amendments that continue to rely on traditional elite negotiations. Moreover, while an ongoing constitutional conversation is desirable in theory, this article presents a series of considerations that must be addressed if we are to construct the kind of constitutional conversation adequate to the task of achieving meaningful constitutional change in a multinational context
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