Review by Susan Delacourt What Happened
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. email@example.com