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Democracy, Liberalism, And Canadian Federalism Essay

1656 words - 7 pages

Do liberty and democracy diminish, or enhance principles of Canadian federalism? This remains a crucial question in determining whether or not liberty, which stands for individual and minority rights, can be properly balanced with democracy, generally understood as the will of the majority, while both of course, within the context of Canadian federalism. Also, it shall remain important to remember that the road to confederation has been long, turbulent, and sometimes troublesome and that the establishment of these principles have come a long way in shaping the very nature of Canadian federalism today. Therefore we must remember the past, in order to finally see that democracy, in concordance with liberty will enhance -the principles of Canadian federalism for the present, and future.La Selva and Vernon believe that the three most important values to modern politics and federalism are liberty, equality, and fraternity. But in relation to Canadian federalism however, it seems as if only their position on liberty can be adequately applied. They construct a kind of political liberty, far off from the modern conception of liberty where emphasis on the individual lies and in doing so, they imply that liberty is to mean the freedom from external influence, and the inherent right to self-government and self-determination. To accomplish this, they believed that the best check on government power in a federal system would be the constitutional protection of the division of powers. They relate this to liberty through the argument that the more difficult it is to monopolize political power, the harder it would be to for an individual, or group to enforce their political upon the nation. More specialized, and independent branches of government would mean greater, divided jurisdictional powers, and the less likelihood of collusion between political sections. It is through this separation of powers, that La Selva and Vernon believe, that individual liberty, free of outside influence, can contribute to Canadian federalism.Their positions on equality, and fraternity, are much less applicable. Regarding equality, the terms, and concepts they use seem much too radical to make a connection, or even a possible integration in Canada's foreseeable future. They introduce a nation with both socialism and federalism, as well as a political equality where interests would be weighed individually, and not equally. All of this of course, under a nation where the provinces would be divided equally in territorial size, and where provinces would have exclusive jurisdiction over all matters within their respective province's boundaries. Such proposals are just too difficult to implement, and even consider within the constitutional regime Canada is currently in.Fraternity's lack of relevance can be best described by La Selva and Vernon themselves where they state that it is 'too difficult to analyze precisely and too difficult of an ideal to realize satisfactorily' (La Selva and...

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