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fatigue through the large number of elections, and the costs of electing senators) were seen to be outweighed by the degree of independence provided to senators. Electoral System The first ministers' proposal called for the election of senators under rules established by federal legislation. There was no commitment to proportional representation or Single Transferable Ballots as was the case in the 7 July consensus reached by Joe Clark and the nine premiers.5 The first ministers would have left it up to the House of Commons to draft the appropriate legislation

winner. In a society in which white men are dominant, white male candidates are favoured. Changes are clearly needed just to make the electoral system gender-, race-, and class-neutral. THE DEEPER RESISTANCE The reluctance of those at the constitutional table to deal with inequities in the electoral system and the hostility that characterized the response of some com- mentators indicated that the issue hit a tender spot. Quibbles about methodol- ogy disguised a deeper resistance. Women's challenge is a fundamental one. We do not agree that Canadian institutions

other things, acknowledged 'original occupancy and custodianship of Australia by Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders'; recognized the rule of law, cultural diversity, and the federal system, and made ref- erence to 'Almighty God.' Finally, the convention agreed that the refer- endum on a republic be held in 1999 and, if the result was favourable to change, the new republic come into effect by i January 2001. Through their electoral system Australians are used to the idea of forcing a majority. The Constitutional Convention replicated that expe- rience with

might look like if Quebec left. NOTES 1 For a discussion of the national-security implications of Quebec's departure, see Alex Morrison, ed, Divided We Fall: The National Security Implications of Canadian Constitutional Issues (Toronto: Canadian Institute of Strategic Studies 1991). 2 The Australian Senate, and particularly its electoral system, offers some interesting possibilities here. 3 This is not to deny the existence of other considerations, including the pre-existing Maritime colonies, the American precedent, and the sheer size of the Canadian land

) would have been able to elect their senators by their legisla- tive assembly; elsewhere, the senators would have probably been directly elected by the people of their province. The electoral system could have been the same as the one in force in the House of Commons. However, the election of sena- tors on the basis of proportional representation was not excluded, although some premiers were opposed to it. It is the federal Parliament that would have ultimately decided this aspect after consultation with the provinces. The new Senate would have been composed of an

integration with the US and does so in the midst of an external shift in the structure of the international political system from bipolarity to unipolarity and the assertion of America’s hyperpower status. His model thus predicts higher levels of what was described in Chapter 1 as “purposeful coordination of po- litical behaviour in the achievement of common tasks,” particularly if Canada’s economic and political elites continue to press for change in that direction and if the Canadian party and electoral systems continue to produce governments with larger

political acts. The ceremony of election (national and provincial) is a ritual in which the vast majority of Canadi- 122 Part Two ans participate and the results of which even more honour. Aside from the occasional newspaper editorial, there is no movement in Canada to reform the electoral system, although it is the case that most govern- ments who win a majority of legislative seats cannot claim a similar pro- portion of the popular vote. Electoral reform has never been more than an elite interest. Thus when a political party, even a minor one, publicly advocates reform

in other parliamentary systems, to be in office is to live, to be out of office to die. Pierre Trudeau once said that members of Par- liament were nobodies. Perspective depends on where one stands, and doubtless there are degrees of 'somebodiness'; still, a legion of commen- tators has described in stark terms the black-and-white world of elec- toral politics. The contrast is partly explained by the operation of a plurality electoral system on a single chamber in both federal and pro- vincial politics: 'A winner-takes-all electoral system goes hand in hand with a

elected MPs. Moreover, even though senators would have been elected at the same time as members of the House of Com- mons, the prospect of split voting (not uncommon where there is concurrent voting in the United States) and the employment of a different electoral system from that in the House of Commons would have been likely to produce a significantly different party composition in the Senate. The proposed joint- sitting process for resolving deadlocks between the two houses would not have been unique in parliamentary federations; indeed it is the ultimate

, *• 8 Founded in 1988, the tercentenary of the Glorious Revolution, Charter 88 is committed to reforming the British constitution, most particularly by limit- ing the concentrated power that now resides in the executive. Its literature makes 'a case for reform' on the grounds that 'no democracy can be consid- ered safe whose freedoms are not encoded in a basic constitution' ('Charter 88' reprinted in New Statesman and Society, 2 December 1988,10-11). A citi- zenship of rights, freedom of information, and a reformed electoral system (along with limitations on the Crown