The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150

By David E. Smith

© 2017

Whether it’s the first-past-the-post electoral system or partisan government appointees to the Senate, Canadians want better representation and accountability from the federal government. Before reforms can be enacted, however, it is important to explore and clarify the relationships among Canada’s three parliamentary institutions: Crown, Senate, and Commons.

In The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors, David E. Smith presents a learned but accessible analysis of the interconnectedness of Canada’s parliamentary institutions. Smith argues that Parliament is a unity comprised of three parts and any reforms made to one branch will, whether intended or not, affect the other branches. Through a timely, nuanced, and comprehensive examination of parliamentary debates, committee reports, legal scholarship, and comparative analysis of developments in the United Kingdom, Smith uncovers the substantial degree of ambiguity that exists among Canadians and their calls for structural and operational reforms. By illuminating the symbiotic relationship between the Crown, Senate, and Commons, The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors brings government reform closer to reality.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
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Quick Overview

In The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors, David E. Smith presents a learned but accessible analysis of the interconnectedness of Canada’s parliamentary institutions.

The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150

By David E. Smith

© 2017

Whether it’s the first-past-the-post electoral system or partisan government appointees to the Senate, Canadians want better representation and accountability from the federal government. Before reforms can be enacted, however, it is important to explore and clarify the relationships among Canada’s three parliamentary institutions: Crown, Senate, and Commons.

In The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors, David E. Smith presents a learned but accessible analysis of the interconnectedness of Canada’s parliamentary institutions. Smith argues that Parliament is a unity comprised of three parts and any reforms made to one branch will, whether intended or not, affect the other branches. Through a timely, nuanced, and comprehensive examination of parliamentary debates, committee reports, legal scholarship, and comparative analysis of developments in the United Kingdom, Smith uncovers the substantial degree of ambiguity that exists among Canadians and their calls for structural and operational reforms. By illuminating the symbiotic relationship between the Crown, Senate, and Commons, The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors brings government reform closer to reality.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 216 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.0in x 0.5in x 9.0in
  • Reviews

    ‘A reader will be struck by the depth of Smith’s comprehension of the subject matter. He effortlessly weaves between topics, displaying a rare expertise that is honed after decades of study.’


    Alex Marland
    The Hill Times January 8, 2018

    "David Smith’s The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors: Canada at 150 is a comprehensive and in-depth exploration of Canada’s political system in the context of the constitution, as the nation celebrated its sesquicentennial…The book is insightful, well thought out, and challenges many beliefs commonly held by the Canadian public, resulting in an overall great book."


    Thomas Laval Fransoo
    Saskatchewan Law Review

    The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors is an interesting and thought provoking read. I recommend it for academic or parliamentary library collections. It would complement, in particular, the reading lists of upper-year undergraduate or graduate students of political science.’


    Caitilin O’Hare
    Canadian Law Library Review vol 43:01:2018

    "This is a brilliant book. It is erudite, eloquent, lucid, and practical."


    Donna Greschner, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria

    "David E. Smith offers a highly informed and thoughtful commentary on critical aspects of Canada’s governmental framework. The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors shows how recent controversies involving the role of the governor general, the Senate, and the House of Commons need to be seen in historical context in order to understand the extent and significance of change."


    Campbell Sharman, Department of Political Science, University of British Columbia
  • Author Information

    David E. Smith, FRSC, is the author of Federalism and the Constitution of Canada, The People’s House of Commons, and many books on Canadian politics. He is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University.

  • Table of contents

    Preface

    Chapter 1 - Reflections

    Chapter 2 - Refraction: The Crown

    Chapter 3 - Redefinition: The Senate of Canada

    Chapter 4 - Readjustment: The House of Commons

    Chapter 5 - Reconsideration

    Chapter 6 - Recapitulation

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