In search of true federalism in Canada: Old Canada, New Canada, and "Canada Three"

Article by Mark Wegierski.
Today, except for certain residues in political institutions, the British Canada has been all but annihilated. Nevertheless, it could be argued that Canada still remains in the penumbra of the WASPs, as many of them – whether in corporate or governmental structures — have taken on the role of being one of the most “progressive”, most politically-correct groups in Canada. Thereby, their elite enjoys lives of enormous material comfort and cushy sinecures, even as the New Canada conceptually vitiates all that their ancestors once held dear.

Obviously, it is impossible to return to the Old Canada. Nevertheless, it’s possible that there may be the chance for a “post-New Canada” that will likely move in the direction of various scenarios of so-called “provincialization”. The contradictions between the current-day hyper-centralization, to which huge economic resources are perforce committed – and the vapid cultural and spiritual hollowness at the core of the administrative “command” apparatus – will likely become ever more apparent.

Perhaps the original idea of the European Community as a “union of sovereign states” — rather than of today’s E.U., which has become a bureaucratic, sometimes nightmarish “super-state” — could serve as model for this “Canada Three.” Presumably, the “Canada Three” would be some kind of positive, uplifting synthesis of the best elements of both the traditional and the current-day Canada – rather than just an extension and intensification of “Canada Two”. The “Canada Three” scenario could be similar to ideas of the so-called “Swiss model” or cantonization. The hope would be that radical decentralization would allow for various arrangements that would actually make “Canada Three” a stronger and more “rooted” federation or union in its constituent parts. It would also hopefully strengthen intermediary institutions such as churches, and local associations.

The political efficacy of true federalism is that it allows for the expression of divergent tendencies that would otherwise have a centrifugal effect on a given polity.

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