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By David E. Smith

How do events with respectable competition prestige impression Canadian politics? around the Aisle is an cutting edge exam of the idea and perform of competition in Canada, either in Parliament and in provincial legislatures. Extending from the pre-Confederation period to the current day, it specializes in even if Canada has constructed a coherent culture of parliamentary opposition.

David E. Smith argues that Canada has in truth didn't strengthen this kind of culture. He investigates a number of attainable purposes for this failure, together with the lengthy dominance of the Liberal get together, which arrested the culture of viewing the competition instead govt; sessions of minority executive triggered through the proliferation of events; the position of the scoop media, that have mostly displaced Parliament as a discussion board for remark on govt coverage; and, ultimately, the expanding approval for demands direct motion in politics.

Readers of around the Aisle will achieve a renewed knowing of professional competition that is going past Stornoway and shadow cupboards, illuminating either the historic evolution and up to date advancements of competition politics in Canada.

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Extra resources for Across The Aisle: Opposition in Canadian Politics

Example text

Mackenzie was one, the From Coalition to Coalition, 1867–1920 33 others consisting of Mr. Blake, Mr. Holton and Mr. ’25 Later (between 1880 and 1887), Blake again acted as leader of the opposition. D. ’26 Temperament and personality thus made him (until Stéphane Dion more than a century later) the first leader of the Liberal party not to become prime minister. 28 Of the many ramifications that flowed from this change, the one most germane to this discussion has to do with the influence it exerted on opposition.

Australian example is often cited in discussions of Senate reform in Canada. 45 Whether or not one accepts the critics’ claim that the Senate of Canada lacks legitimacy because it is appointed, the Senate remains one chamber in a bicameral parliament. For that reason the relationship between the two houses deserves scrutiny. This point relates to the manner in which upper-house behaviour affects the conduct of opposition in the lower house. A cardinal rule governs that relationship: the Senate shall 18 Across the Aisle not, except in rare instances, thwart the legislative will of the Commons by rejecting a bill.

Where, in the matter of language, for instance, does the opposition (regardless of party allegiance) stand? Is it for cultural (that is, dualistic) federalism, or does it stand behind territorial federalism? If opposition in a system of responsible government is loyal, that is, constitutional, opposition, how can it then be opposed to a matter so fundamental as the government’s interpretation of Canada? Yet that conception is confounded by another complication: dependency upon another power, Great Britain up to the 1940s and the United States afterward.

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