In 1964, 55 years after its creation as a wholly-elected body, the Yukon Territorial Council (now the Legislative Assembly) established a competition for the design of a Yukon Mace. In 1966, a design submitted by RCMP Corporal James Ballantyne was chosen. However, funding the Mace’s creation took some time.
Approaching the 100th anniversary of the election of BC’s first woman Member of the Legislative Assembly in 2018, the author reflects on some of the achievements of the first 100 women MLAs elected in the province. She notes that these women have often proven to be excellent role models for young people aspiring to a career in politics and public service.
Although parliamentarians and public figures with disabilities have attained a heightened profile in Canada over the past decade, new research suggests that people who identify as having a disability are not seeking public office in numbers representative of their place in the general population. In this roundtable the Canadian Parliamentary Review gathered scholars, parliamentarians and public officer holders who have an interest in disability and politics to discuss the state of parliamentary politics for persons with disabilities and strategies for making political life more accessible to Canadians.
CPR: Prof. Levesque, your recent research suggests persons with disabilities are not seeking elected office in numbers representative of their place in the general population. Why is participation in elected politics among persons with disabilities so low?
In this article, the author discusses the particular security challenges encountered when establishing and managing a constituency office. Drawing on the Legislative Assembly of Ontario’s Investigative/Liaison Unit’s best practices, he outlines steps constituency office staff can take proactively to secure their work places from potential disruptions.
This article offers a response to arguments put forward by Rainer Knopff and Dave Snow in the Canadian Parliamentary Review about the 2008 prorogation controversy. In “‘Harper’s New Rules’ for Government Formation: Fact or Fiction?” (Vol. 36, No. 1), Knopff and Snow dismiss the theory that the Conservative government and its well-known supporters in the punditry believed that changes in partisan control of parliamentary government could only occur following fresh elections, thereby establishing “new rules”. Instead, they suggest the arguments of government supporters at the time, most notably those of political scientist Tom Flanagan, fit within the mainstream of Canada’s parliamentary tradition and engaged with an “older consensus” articulated by constitutional expert Eugene Forsey in The Royal Power of Dissolution. In his response to this piece, the author is critical of Flanagan’s engagement with Forsey’s book-length argument and suggests Forsey’s conditions for dissolving parliament and holding a new election were not met in the face of the proposed coalition government in 2008.
What constitutional sense can we make of the prorogation controversy of December 2008? Prime Minister Harper claimed that the proposed Liberal-NDP coalition could not take power without a fresh election. Anything short of a vote flouted democratic principles. Conservative talking points alleged this amounted to a ‘coup d’état.’ Opinion writers Tom Flanagan1 and Michael Bliss2 jumped into the fray, Flanagan alleging that the coalition’s “apologists didn’t pay attention in Political Science 101” and instead promoted a “head-spinning violation of democratic norms.”3 The opposition’s conceit, maintained Bliss, was that “they can legally succeed in what millions of Canadians see as the overturning of the outcome of the democratic election, and do it without giving Canadians the ultimate say in the matter.”4 Could not governments change hands without fresh elections? Though coalition governments at the federal level have mostly been the exception, one would think that this was entirely consistent with Canadian parliamentary traditions.
This paper identifies, by jurisdiction, statutory provisions that affect holders of elected office intending to stand as candidates for another legislative (or local) office. It is hoped this compact account of dual-office law will be of particular use to those interested in moving into or out of provincial politics.
New Speaker in Newfoundland and Labrador
On November 17, 2014, Lewisporte MHA Wade Verge was acclaimed as Speaker of Newfoundland and Labrador’s House of Assembly.
Remaining Loyal: Social Democracy in Quebec and Saskatchewan, by David McGrane, McGill-Queen’s University Press, Montreal & Kingston, 373p.
David McGrane has written an ambitious book about social democracy in Saskatchewan and Quebec. His thesis is that the CCF-NDP and PQ governments were social democratic in a traditional sense under premiers such as Tommy Douglas and Allan Blakeney in Saskatchewan, as well as René Levesque and Jacques Parizeau in Quebec. McGrane believes that later governments evolved into third way social democracy under other premiers, including Roy Romanow and Lorne Calvert in Saskatchewan and Bernard Landry and Pauline Marois in Quebec.
A selection of recent publications relating to parliamentary studies prepared with the assistance of the Library of Parliament (December 2014-February 2015)
Horgan, Gerald W. “Partisan-Motivated Prorogation and the Westminster Model: A Comparative Perspective.” Commonwealth & Comparative Politics52, no. 4 (November 2014): 455-72. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14662043.2014.955982.