Category Archives: Dorchester Review

1896: Tupper & Laurier Debate the Role of Governor General and Popular vs Parliamentary Sovereignty


Introduction   On 8 July 1896, Governor General Lord Aberdeen forced Prime Minister Sir Charles Tupper from office by refusing to promulgate his constitutional advice and sign off on Orders-in-Council to summon senators and make other appointments. Tupper sought to fill … Continue reading

Posted in Appointment of PM, Caretaker Convention, Confidence Convention, Constitution (Conventional), Crown (Powers and Office), Dorchester Review, Formation of Governments, History of British North America | 1 Comment

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 | 2 Comments

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

Canada’s Counter-Manifest Destiny


The Dorchester Review latest issue just came out last week. It includes my little piece on George Brown and Canada’s Manifest Destiny, in which I argue that George Brown — the underrated visionary — saw Confederation as the means of … Continue reading

Posted in Dominion Day, Dorchester Review, History of British North America | 1 Comment

O Canada and the Two Solitudes


Introduction  We should speak not of one O Canada but of the two O Canadas, which represent the two solitudes of English and French Canada. The original French lyrics of Sir Adolphe-Basile Routhier and the English lyrics of Robert Stanley … Continue reading

Posted in Dorchester Review, History of British North America, O Canada | 1 Comment