Alain Noël

in The Oxford Handbook of Canadian Politics

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780195335354
Published online September 2010 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks


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From the early 1960s until 1981, the provinces and federal governments of Canada tried to agree on a new constitution that would replace the British North America Act of 1867. However, they did not succeeded because of a lack of consensus on the division of powers, the amending formula, and the status of Quebec in Canada. The Quebec government would not approve the new constitution without a revision of the existing division of powers that would grant it more leverage on social policy. Up to the present day, Canada is marked by the division of Quebec from Canada. This article discusses the three dimensions dominating the Quebec constitutional and political status. These are: 1) the difficulties and the stalemate state of the Canada–Quebec relationship; 2) the distinct and evolving character of Quebec politics; and 3) the contemporary challenges of governance in a complex and postmodern society. The first theme identifies the continuities and discontinuities in the Canada–Quebec relationship and the implications of the current stalemate for the preferences of the country's English-speaking majority. The second theme discusses the evolution of Quebec politics, specifically its adoption of a new social and political model that is detached from Canada but in tune with public opinion in the province. The last theme discusses the future challenges of Quebec in relation to the governance of the federation, globalization, and demographic change and evolving public expectations of social justice and democracy.

Keywords: Quebec; Canada–Quebec relationships; Quebec politics; challenges of governance; federal; governance

Article.  8882 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Regional Political Studies

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