Chretien and Canadian Federalism
Drawing on his experience as a two-term MP and former Parliamentary Secretary, Ted McWhinney addresses the need for modernization to meet the radically new demands of the plural, multicultural Canada of the 21st century and offers new ways out of our present constitutional straight-jacket. Among the key contemporary topics discussed are the atrophy of the House of Commons and the role of MPs; the development of the 'presidential' Prime Minister without any constitutional checks and balances; the emergence of judicial legislation through a Supreme Court suddenly empowered by the 1982 Charter of Rights; the provincial demands for a new cooperative federalism; and the aboriginal peoples' claims to an inherent right to self government. Proposals for reform are canvassed frankly. More importantly, practical ways out of our present constitutional straight-jacket, the result of the failure of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords, are put forward for debate.