Category Archives: Constitutional Conventions

The Notwithstanding Clause Strikes Again!


Another moral panic against the Notwithstanding Clause has broken out and gripped the salons and cafes of Toronto in a repeat of the previous Panic of 2018;  Andrew Coyne outed himself yesterday as the Geraldo Rivera of this second wave.

Posted in Constitution (Written), Constitutional Conventions, Notwithstanding Clause | 2 Comments

My Latest Article in the Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law: How Governor General Lord Aberdeen Reinforced the Caretaker Convention and Dismissed Prime Minister Tupper from Office


I first uncovered the correspondence in which Governor General Lord Aberdeen dismissed Prime Minister Sir Charles Tupper from office in July 1896 all the way back in 2012 while conducting research on something else. The documents have proven more fruitful … Continue reading

Posted in Appointment of PM, Caretaker Convention & Government Formation, Confidence Convention, Constitutional Conventions, Crown (Powers and Office), Governor General, Governor's Discretion | 2 Comments

The Importance of Narrative in Politics: The Example of Cabinet Manuals in Canada


Sometimes the narrative surrounding an issue and the way that someone presents an issue overshadows the facts of the matter. Take, for instance, the case of the Guide for Ministers in Canada and this issue of cabinet manuals which some … Continue reading

Posted in Constitutional Conventions, Officialization of Convention | 1 Comment

Cabinet Manuals As Prime Minister’s Manuals: Review of “The Prime Minister’s Constitution”


Nicholas Barry, Narelle Miragliotta, and Zim Nwokora have followed up on their work from 2018 “The Dynamics of Constitutional Conventions in Westminster Democracies” with an article on cabinet manuals entitled “The Prime Minister’s Constitution: Cabinet Rulebooks in Westminster Democracies.” They … Continue reading

Posted in Articles and Books, Constitutional Conventions, Officialization of Convention, Reviews and Critiques | 1 Comment

Review of Gee & Webber’s “What Is a Political Constitution?” and Some More Thoughts on the Nature of Constitutional Conventions


Constitutional Norms in the United States vs Constitutional Conventions in Canada I’ve been mulling overGould’s article “Codifying Constitutional Norms” (in the United States) and about constitutional norms in the American versus Canadian systems of government a bit more over the … Continue reading

Posted in Articles and Books, Codifying Norms in the US, Comparative, Constitution (Written), Constitutional Conventions, Division of Powers, Parliamentarism v Presidentialism, Reviews and Critiques | 2 Comments