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Canadian Parliamentary Review, Autumn 2016 | Go to article overview

New and Notable Titles


A selection of recent publications relating to parliamentary studies prepared with the assistance of the Library of Parliament (May 2016--July 2016)

Atkinson, Michael, Rogers, Dustin, and Olfert, Sara. "Better politicians: If we pay, will they come?" Legislative Studies Quarterly, 41 (2): 361-91, May 2016.

* While each election provides the Canadian House of Commons with a fresh batch of politicians, no consideration has been given to the question of whether the quality of politicians is improving or how to further improve the quality ...

Everett, Michael. "A Public Service Ombudsman for the UK." House of Commons Library Briefing Paper 07587: 22p., July 2016.

* This Briefing Paper looks at the Government's proposal to bring forward a draft bill for a public service ombudsman ...

Fitzgerald, Oliver. "Distant echoes: Discussing judicial activism at Canadian and American Supreme Court nomination hearings." Constitutional Forum constitutionnel, 25 (1): 37-47, 2016.

* This paper begins by tracing Canadians' concerns about judicial activism ... and concludes with some thoughts on what Justice Nadon's comments may portend should televised ad hoc committee hearings for Supreme Court nominees be restarted.

"Free exchange--Make me." Economist 419 (8991): 68, May 28, 2016.

* Compulsory voting is hardest to enact in the places where it would make most difference.

Geisler, Paul. "Will the Reform Act, 2014, alter the Canadian phenomenon of party discipline?" Manitoba Law Journal 38 (2): 17-43, 2015.

* This paper attempts to determine the extent to which this Bill can be expected to reduce the powers of party leaders, to empower caucuses, and, most importantly, the extent to which this rebalancing of power may result in more politicians dissenting from the party line, and less party cohesion.

Goodwin, Mark, Bates, Stephen, and McKay, Steve. "Elected Chairs do not seem to have brought a new kind of parliamentarian to [UK] Select Committees." Democratic Audit UK blog, 3p., June 7, 2016.

* The Wright reforms have been widely credited with revitalising Parliamentary Select Committees. However, the authors question whether the reforms have improved rates of turnover, attendance or gender balance.

Hulme, Kristin. "Alberta's great experiment in senatorial democracy." American Review of Canadian Studies 46 (1): 33-54, 2016.

* ... in 1989, the province of Alberta enacted the Senatorial Selection Act, arguing that it would serve as a stepping stone for substantive reform to the Senate. This article argues that the Court's opinion in Reference re Senate Reform undermines the foundation upon which the provincial statute rests.

Leston-Bandeira, Cristina. "A year on, the new [UK] Petitions Committee has much to celebrate." Constitution Unit Blog, July 20, 2016.

* ... The next challenge may be to consider how to maximise the number of petitions that can realistically lead to some sort of outcome.

Lisvane, Lord. "In a fix?" The House Magazine 1553 (37): 30-1, June 15, 2016.

* Is the Fixed-term Parliaments Act about to be stress-tested by the unpredictable consequences of a Brexit win? Former Clerk of the Commons (2011-14), Lord Lisvane, examines potential scenarios should the UK vote Leave--and the hazards of trying to regulate parliamentary proceedings in statute.

Massicotte, Louis. "Canadians to debate electoral reform, again--but at this stage success seems unlikely." Constitution Unit Blog, May 24, 2016.

* The author offers an overview of the long, and largely unsuccessful, history of attempts to reform the Canadian electoral system and discusses the prospects for the current debate. He concludes that at this stage success seems unlikely.

Massicotte, Louis. "Federal electoral system reform and its impact on Canadian federalism." Federal News The Federal Idea 7 (2): 5p. …

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