The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors

The Constitution in a Hall of Mirrors

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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.