Author Archives: James W.J. Bowden

Rejecting Constitutional Advice Equals Dismissal from Office: How Governor General Lord Aberdeen Forced Sir Charles Tupper’s Resignation in 1896


When I first embarked on this constitutional odyssey in 2011, I encountered scholars who propagated a novel constitutional interpretation with no basis in history, nor in the principles of Responsible Government itself, which I call “Reserve Powers Without Consequence”: the … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Caretaker Convention, Dorchester Review, Formation of Governments | 1 Comment

Extra-Constitutional Reform of the Senate of Canada


The latest issue of The Dorchester Review includes my piece on “The Founders’ Senate.” In this article, I outline how the Senate of Canada, and the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada, functioned as partisan legislative bodies from the … Continue reading

Posted in Articles, Dorchester Review, History of British North America, Senate Reform | Leave a comment

On Dual Citizenship and Senators in Canada and Australia


The British North America Act, 1867 and the Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act, 1901 set up the two first federal self-governing dominions within the British Empire, and they contain numerous similarities, sometimes even identical wording. For instance, section 91 of … Continue reading

Posted in Commonwealth Realms, Comparative | 8 Comments

Elizabeth May & the Spectre of Proportional Representation, Part II


Elizabeth May’s Electoral System Would Require a Multilateral Constitutional Amendment The day after the election, May appeared on CBC’s Power & Politics and both bragged that the Greens had tripled their parliamentary party (in the most basic sense, from 1 … Continue reading

Posted in Electoral Reform, Reform | Leave a comment

Elizabeth May & The Spectre of Proportional Representation, Part I


The results of the general federal election of October 2019 – particularly in Quebec –  have revivified the unthinking cacophonous bleating about proportional representation to which the Special Committee on Electoral Reform gave a platform in the last parliament. And … Continue reading

Posted in Electoral Reform, Reform | Leave a comment