Föderalismus pp 157-176 | Cite as

Federal Evolution: The Canadian Experience

  • Ronald L. Watts
Part of the Politische Vierteljahresschrift Sonderheft book series (PVS, volume 32)


The original Canadian federal constitution of 1867 was marked by the allocation of strong central powers enabling the federal government to override the provinces in certain circumstances. Despite its originally centralized character, more than a century and a quarter of pressures to accommodate linguistic duality and provincial regionalism have made Canada one of the world’s most decentralized federations, legislatively, administratively, and financially (Watts 1999a: 75–80). The Constitution Act of 1867 recognized the particular character of Quebec by including some asymmetry in the provisions relating to language, education and civil law as these applied to Quebec. But efforts within the past four decades to recognize the reality of Quebec’s distinctiveness by comprehensive constitutional revision that would further increase constitutional asymmetry have been highly controversial.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2002

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  • Ronald L. Watts

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