Category Archives: History of British North America

Manifest Destiny Hijacks The Monroe Doctrine: A Bill to Annex All of British North America into the United States


Introduction The American Civil War captured the rapt attention of our Fathers of Confederation during the Confederation Debates in 1864 and 1865, and the prospect of another American invasion into Canada (a repeat of the War of 1812), as remote … Continue reading

Posted in Comparative, History of British North America, Monarchism v Republicanism, Parliamentarism v Presidentialism | 2 Comments

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 | 3 Comments

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

Some Additional Thoughts on the 2019 Election: When Should a Party Leader Resign?


The last few days have featured a plethora of news articles calling Andrew Scheer’s leadership of the Conservative Party of Canada into question. Ipsos-Reid claims that 63% of Canadians want him to resign[1] (though given that only 34.4% of Canadians … Continue reading

Posted in History of British North America, Political Parties | 2 Comments