Saturday, June 27, 2015

Three Weeks in Ottawa

Today Peter Robb of the Ottawa Citizen and I do an AMA on Three Weeks in Quebec City and constitutional history.  With some contemporary excursions, too:
Q. Do you think Macdonald, Brown, Tupper et al would like the Senate of today?
A. The Senate might not surprise them, but none of them cared much about it. It’s the Commons that would shock them. In their day, parliamentarians made and unmade governments, shaped policy, and held leaders closely to account. They even made constitutions, as at Quebec City. As party leaders, those three men might enjoy the untrammeled power today’s leaders wield. But as parliamentarians they would gape in amazement at how today’s MPs seem so disinclined to exercise the great powers and responsibilities they hold as the elected representatives of the people of Canada.
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