Canada’s Constitution a template

Mark Walker's column on the Constitution overlooks that it has become the go-to model for other Commonwealth countries

Re: Mark Walker’s April 20 column “Constitution no cause for celebration”:

Well, once again we have the pleasure of reading one of Walker’s insane tilts at windmills, full of generalizations, inaccuracies and blatant bigotry. Never let it be said that he lets facts get in the way of a good rant.

Interestingly, the week prior, in the 14 April edition of the Vancouver Sun, which Walker obviously did not read, is an article entitled “Canadian model a global template, U.S. study finds”. It is referring to a study conducted by Canadian legal scholar David S. Law, a professor at Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg, a law professor at the University of Virginia, to be published shortly in the New York University Law Review. It has found that our constitution has surpassed the U.S. constitution as the primary source of inspiration for constitution-making in other nations and is “increasingly in sync with global constitutionalism“.

They compared dozens of constitutions drafted around the world since the Second World War, and found that “Canada’s reformed constitutional framework since 1982 has particularly emerged as the go-to model for other Commonwealth countries around the world who share Canada’s common law tradition and historical links through a British-rooted legal system.”

It prompted a recent front-page story in the New York Times headlined ’We The People’ loses followers, that lamented the waning international influence of the U.S. Constitution.

Law and Versteeg state that, “No sooner did Canada break away from the rest of the common-law pack than the pack followed its lead.” The study’s authors are cautious in their conclusions, as scientists should be, unlike Walker. They also seem quite taken aback by their own findings, i.e., that Canada’s Constitution should have surpassed that of the U.S. as a global template

The article goes into much more detail, and can be read in its entirety in the Vancouver Sun.

I would also invite you to read the article next to it by MacLean’s respected editor Andrew Coyne. He laments people like Walker, who, when we should be celebrating our 30th anniversary of the repatriation, are engaging in “pointless politicization, sterile debates and perpetual indignation, convinced that the country suffered some terrible calamity that they alone can put right.”

Who didn’t gain by the repatriation, one wonders? White male Anglo-Saxons, I would suggest, who can’t claim membership in any minority, and who lament those wonderful bygone days of prejudice, bigotry and racism.

Conclusion: choose another windmill to tilt at, Walker, because this one is bogus.

Sharry Schneider





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