Monthly Archives: August 2011

Open Primaries in The Westminster System


In 2008, British Conservative MP Douglas Carswell and British Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan co-authored a veritable manifesto for direct democracy and wholescale renewal of the Conservative Party, called The Plan: Twelve Months to Renew Britain.  They represent what I would … Continue reading

Posted in Direct Democracy | 6 Comments

Prorogation As Prime Ministerial Delay Tactic: A Legitimate Parliamentary Tool, Not “Abuse” of Prerogative


Jean Chretien, 2003 As Nick MacDonald and I explained in “No Discretion: On Prorogation and the Governor General”, prime ministers before Stephen Harper have used prorogation as a chiefly political and partisan delay tactic. Few Canadian academics have acknowledged that … Continue reading

Posted in Crown (Powers and Office), Governor's Discretion, Prime Minister's Powers, Prorogation | 14 Comments

Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition


I contend that the Bloc Quebecois should never have taken on the role or title of “Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition” in the 35th Parliament simply because it became the second largest party with 54 seats, compared to the Reform Party’s … Continue reading

Posted in Loyal Opposition | 28 Comments

Fixed Elections in the Provinces, Part III: Analyses and Conclusions


Characteristics and Purposes of the Fixed-Election Laws Section 56.1 of the Canada Elections Act established fixed elections for the Parliament of Canada every four years on the third Monday in October, but necessarily preserves the constitutional powers of the governor … Continue reading

Posted in Crown (Powers and Office), Dissolution, Fixed-Date Elections, Prime Minister's Powers | 20 Comments

Fareed Zakaria Is Right About Parliamentarism’s Efficiency, but Wrong on How It Works


Earlier I explained why the American form of presidentialism is inherently “irresponsible” (as opposed to responsible government in Westminster parliamentarism) because of its famous separation of powers, which is ultimately the source of all these fractious financial debates over the … Continue reading

Posted in Parliamentarism v Presidentialism | 8 Comments