Re­view by Su­san Dela­court What Hap­pened

Policy - - In This Issue - by Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton

Prime Min­is­ter Mul­roney’s two un­suc­cess­ful at­tempts to com­plete Canada’s Con­sti­tu­tion through the Meech Lake and Char­lot­te­town Ac­cords, all of which proved that “con­sti­tu­tional amend­ment had be­come vir­tu­ally im­pos­si­ble” as Whit­comb notes. In reading a new his­tory, it’s al­ways fun to learn some­thing you never knew. The gem in Ri­vals for Power is the ways in which the Bri­tish Crown and Canadian politi­cians put their thumbs on the scale to “rig” the first elec­tions in Canada and On­tario in 1867: “Two months be­fore Con­fed­er­a­tion, Gover­nor-Gen­eral Monck… called on John A. Mac­don­ald to form a gov­ern­ment. The ap­point­ment gave him and the pro-fed­er­al­ists con­trol of the gov­ern­ment, the elec­tion ma­chin­ery, and pa­tron­age….” Once prime min­is­ter, Mac­don­ald ap­pointed the Lieu­tenant-Gover­nor of On­tario and asked him to des­ig­nate John Sand­field Mac­don­ald as in­terim pre­mier. In the first elec­tions after the for­ma­tion of the new coun­try, the two Mac­don­alds sailed to vic­tory!

Con­tribut­ing writer Ge­off Norquay, a prin­ci­pal of Earn­scliffe Strat­egy Group, was so­cial pol­icy ad­viser to Prime Min­is­ter Brian Mul­roney. ge­off@earn­scliffe.ca

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