06 March 2008


In early 2006 I wrote a paper in my Advanced Seminar in Canadian Politics course at Dalhousie. I chose to focus on the notwithstanding clause and the exceptional level of hesitance on the part of the federal and provincial governments to even broach the subject of utilizing it. The notion of a taboo on its usage came to me after reading an essay on the nuclear weapons taboo and the self-imposed embargo by governments of using those deadly weapons. If there is such a thing as "off-limits" in Canadian governance that is almost universally agreed upon, it would be using the Charter provision to override Charter freedoms. Political suicide, you might say.
After getting the paper back from my professor I believed that I could go further with it. I heard about a graduate journal called Federal Governance, which specializes in Canadian politics and government, run out of Queen's University. I tinkered with the paper, removing the discussion about the provincial governments to focus squarely on the federal taboo, something which made the paper more succinct and got it under the 20-page maximum allowable for publication. It took a long time to get here, but now I can present you with:

McAdam, Richard. "The Notwithstanding Taboo." Federal Governance 6 (2008): 1-20.

No comments: