Tuesday, March 26, 2019

History at the Literary Review

The March Literary Review of Canada, not yet out in print but up online, is well provided with historical reading. Christopher Waddell reviews a new book by a longtime partisan of the Avro Arrow. John Barber observes the importance of Jane Jacobs's fifty-year old The Economy of Cities, which she and he (and me) consider more important to her legacy than the more famous Life and Death of Great American Cities. George Fetherling looks into Vancouver jazz history. David Mackenzie reviews a cluster of books on trench warfare and soldiers' experience in the world wars. Colleen Simard looks at two new books on Metis and Indigenous struggles in Winnipeg through the twentieth century.

All these items, however, are either paywalled or not made available on the web edition of the magazine, so you need to subscribe, digital or dead-tree, to read 'em. Same applies to my contribution, which argues that the Senate of Canada has always done what the confederation makers wanted (i.e., not too much) and its new non-partisan version is doing the same even better. And the Supreme Court agrees with me.

Jody Wilson Raybould had not launched into controversy when I wrote this paragraph for the essay, but I've thought of it since:
Could a new-look Senate inspire a new-look Commons? If senators begin to distinguish themselves for effective critical contributions to the shaping of legislation, they might provoke jealousy and emulation on the part of MPs, who currently act as if on being elected they must become the only people in the country with no political opinions of their own.

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