Thursday, October 12, 2006


Try and get past the boring title.
Below are two posts discussing L. Ian MacDonald's recent speech on Canadian constitutional tradition given at the Calgary Congress. The full text of the speech is posted by Stephen Taylor, presumably with the permission of Mr. MacDonald and the conference.

The first post discusses the principal thrust of MacDonald's speech, that is that the 'centralizing federalism' of previous Liberal governments along with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms threatens to unbalance the Canadian Constitution. I attempt not so much to disagree as to call for greater consideration of Canada's constitutional history and tradition.

The second post is specifically related to MacDonald's assertion that the original intent of both the British North America Act and the governance of Sir John A. Macdonald was to provide a balance between federal and provincial powers in Confederation; that the 'classical federalism' of Stephen Harper is based in the non-centralizing intellectual tradition of the BNA Act and Macdonald. In this case I believe I provide a reasonably strong argument that L. Ian MacDonald is wrong about the BNA Act and Prime Minsister Macdonald.

Post-script: You've probably already noticed that two men with vary similar names are under discussion here. Based on the context of a present day MacDonald talking about a past Macdonald, distinguishing between the two is hopefully clear.

Post-post-script: Okay, despite the boring title if it doesn't at least pique your interest you will probably find the posts equally boring.

Posted by Matthew @ 5:03 p.m.