Category Archives: Comparative

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

Alpine Madness: Austria Takes The Caretaker Convention to the Extreme


Introduction A series of strange events has recently befallen Austria. It began with political scandal and the collapse of the coalition government between Sebastian Kurz’s People’s Party and Heinz-Christian Strache’s Freedom Party and ended a few weeks later with the … Continue reading

Posted in Caretaker Convention, Comparative | 2 Comments

The Merkel III Cabinet: Germany’s Longest Caretaker


Introduction The Merkel III Cabinet should have lasted from 2013 to 2017, but it lingered on in office for five months – from the first meeting of the new Bundestag on 24 October 2017 until the appointment of the new … Continue reading

Posted in Comparative, Formation of Governments, Government Formation in Germany & Austria | Leave a comment

The Nature of the “Democratic Deficit” and Executive Federalism in Canada


Introduction The “Democratic Deficit” first referred to a critique from the late 1970s on how the European Economic Community ran its Parliament vis-a-vis its executive-like Commission. Canadian scholars took up the term in the 1980s and applied it here. In … Continue reading

Posted in Parliamentarism v Presidentialism, Responsible Government, Separation of Powers | 1 Comment

Germany Is The New Belgium: Of Continental Parliamentarism and Caretaker Government


Introduction Germany has become the new Belgium now that the Merkel III Ministry, a Grand Coalition of Social Democrats and Christian Democrats that should only have lasted from 2013 to 2017, has become a Belgian-style long-term caretaker government. Caretaker Chancellor … Continue reading

Posted in Caretaker Convention, Codification of Convention, Comparative, Constructive Non-Confidence, Government Formation in Germany & Austria, Officialization of Convention | Leave a comment