Canada as an “importer” and as an “exporter” of federal arrangements: A view from Europe
Il Canada come “importatore” ed “esportatore” di soluzioni e assetti federali: Uno sguardo dall’Europa
The article explores the main features of Canadian federalism from a European perspective, looking at Canada as an “importer” and an “exporter” of federal
solutions. First it considers the relationship between federalism and constitutional amendment formulas. Second, it analysis the division of competences between the federation and the provinces under the Constitution Act and the case law of the Supreme Court of Canada. Third, the article deals with the composition and powers of the Senate as a problematic element for the functioning of the federation. Fourth, it moves on to explore intergovernmental relationships as a key element of the Canadian asymmetric federal arrangement. Finally, it reconstructs and elaborates on the failed attempts of Quebec to secede and how the threat of federal disintegration has been addressed. The article concludes that, despite having being “obscured” by other federations, like the United States and Germany, as a benchmark for federal solutions, Canada has become an increasingly popular federal model and shows features and challenges similar to some regional and federal countries in the old continent, when viewed through the lens of a European observer.
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