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In and out of crisis : federalism, parliamentarism and the federal bargain in Canada, Australia and India McDonald, Iain 2004

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IN AND OUT OF CRISIS: FEDERALISM, PARLIAMENTARISM AND THE FEDERAL BARGAIN IN CANADA, AUSTRALIA AND INDIA by IAIN MCDONALD B.A. Concordia University, 2001 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Political Science) We accept this thesis As conforrnjng to the requir^^standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA April 2004 ©Iain McDonald, 2004  Library Authorization  In presenting this thesis in partial fulfillment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission.  is/o4k<%4 Name of Author (please print)  Title of Thesis:  4ndYh-e  /  h  o  n  c  /  Date (dd/mm/yyyy)  (\sfafiC^,'s!  6>,J*sk\/ <£ar<3rt/r) in Canada  fcc/efa/i^&r/fclfafafi^ t  Degree: Department of  Qostya),'*  Year:  idfifi *ca.  The University of British Columbia Vancouver, BC Canada  and  /ndi'A.  11  Abstract  ,  Periodically federations face one crisis or another. These crises challenge the status quo and offer an opportunity for change. Three federal-parliamentary systems similar in design have all recently experienced such a crisis: Canada, Australia and India. What can these crises tell us about how these federations work and the changes that occurred within them? What forces or conditions drove these three cases to the point of crisis? Likewise, what forces or conditions permitted changes in the federal arrangements to materialize? Did they produce a resolution of the crisis? An historical survey is presented of the circumstances that drove each case towards federation, the key developments that led to each crisis, and the developments that signalled change in each case. Data from the survey are analyzed against the literature on federalism and Westminster parliamentarism in order to address the following hypotheses: first, that parliamentarism has a negative impact on the conduct of federalism and in the present cases played a central role in their falling into crisis and equally important role in their inability to resolve the crisis. Second, because the quintessence of a federal arrangement is a bargain between those actors predisposed to entering into such an arrangement, and because the crux of each crisis was the perceived devaluation of the original federal bargain, it is hypothesized that these crises would be resolved by negotiating a new federal bargain. The conclusions drawn from the analysis of these crises support the first hypothesis, but did not support the second. However, these conclusions did reinforce,the importance of the federal bargain in a federation, and the continued predisposition of the federal government and the states/provinces towards bargaining.  Table of Contents Abstract...  ii  Acknowledgements  vi  C H A P T E R I Theory and Analytical Framework.  1  Introduction  1  Federalism  2  Federalism: The Division of Political Authority William Riker and the Federal Bargain The Dynamic Nature of Federalism: Pressures for Change Sustaining federalism Classical Federalism Administrative Federalism Executive Federalism Fiscal Federalism : Cooperative Federalism Westminster Parliamentarism  .'  3 4 6 10 12 13 13 14 14 16  The Westminster Model and Responsible Government in Britain......... 16 Westminster Parliamentarism in the Former British Colonies 20 The Utility of Parliamentarism: Representation, Accountability and Transparency...'. 25 Analytical Framework Research Questions and Hypotheses Implications Notes  27 28 29 30  C H A P T E R II The Canadian, Australian and Indian Federations The Original Canadian Bargain The Pre-Federal Conditions The Nature of the Original Canadian Bargain. Key Federal Components of the Canadian System Key Parliamentary Components of the Canadian System  31 35 35 37 38 40  Centralizing Towards Crisis  41  The Canadian Crisis  43  Centralization, Collaboration and Unilateralism Ten Premiers vs. One Prime Minister: A Provincial Counter-Offensive  44 46  Quebec 48 The West. 51 Excessive Executive Dominance and Executive Federalism 54 The Charter of Rights and Freedoms: The Citizens' Constitution 56 Waning Tolerance for Executive Federalism: A Decline of Deference... 5 8 A Turning Point in the Canadian Crisis  60  The Australian federation: The Original Bargain6  .61  The Pre-Federal Conditions .' The Nature of the Original Australian Bargain Key federal Components of the Australian System Key Parliamentary Components of the Australian System  61 63 65 66  Towards the Australian Crisis: New Policy Directions  ..67  Unabated Centralization: A New Policy Direction  67  Responding to Federal Initiatives  69  The Australian Crisis  70  Intergovernmental Competition for Citizen Loyalty Excessive Executive Dominance Unresolved Rights Issues A Measured Political Response: Appealing to the Masses Amending Commonwealth Actions: Mass Mobilization Against the Center A Turning Point in the Australian Crisis  71 72 73 74 75 76  The Indian Federation: The Original Bargain  77  :  The Pre-Federal Conditions The Nature of the Original Indian Bargain Key Federal Components of the Indian System Key Parliamentary Components of the Indian System  77 78 80 82  Developments Leading to the Indian Crisis The 'Nehruvian' Method and the Posthumous Instability Indira Gandhi's Leadership: Centralization and Prime Ministerial Dominance The Indian Crisis: The Problems The Economic Crisis: National Policy and Regional Disparity Intergovernmental Confrontation: Central Control vs. Regional Movements The Rise of Non-Congress Alternatives and Mass Mobilization Mrs. Gandhi's Response and its Unintended Consequences 1984-85: A Turning Point in India Federalism  ....83 ;  84 87 89 90 93 95 99 100  Notes  101  C H A P T E R III Parliamentarism and the Federal Bargain Westminster Parliamentarism: A Driving Force  106 ..107  Parliamentarism and the Developments Leading to Crisis  109  Parliamentarism and Crisis Resolution  Ill  Crisis and the Predisposition Toward Bargaining  118  The Predisposition of the Federal Governments The Predisposition of the States/Provinces  121 124  The Predisposition Toward Bargaining and Compromise  126  Conclusions  127  Notes  129  References and Bibliography  130  VI  I'd like to thank John Wood for his invaluable guidance and Fred Cutler for his helpful suggestions. I would also like to thank my mother, father and grandmother for their love, support and endless encouragement. Finally I would like to thank Josie for her love and support, and for being so very patient and understanding. Thank you all very much.  1 IN AND O U T OF CRISIS: FEDERALISM, PARLIAMENTARISM AND THE FEDERAL BARGAIN IN CANADA, AUSTRALIA AND INDIA Federations do not remain static reflections of their original design. On the contrary, they are full of life: they change, they grow, and they regress. Federations periodically face one crisis or another, challenging the status quo, and offering an opportunity for change. To suggest federations face crises is not to propose they are constantly fraught with negative developments that result in catastrophic outcomes. Rather, it will be argued here that a crisis is the sum of developments that, rather than climaxing in disaster, offer an opportunity for change. That is, as Wood suggests, a crisis is "a turning point where old norms cease to apply and new ones are created" (1984: 15). Today students of federalism deliberate on these changes, their causes, and their consequences for the future survival of a federation. Indeed, the task before them has become the examination of these instances of crisis in order to better understand how and how well federations work (Bakvis and Chandler, 1987: 4). Consider the cases of three federal-parliamentary systems: Canada, Australia, and India. Recently, all three have experienced a crisis similar in nature. At the heart of each was a sense among the states/provinces that the original federal bargain had deteriorated and become outmoded. In each case, the federal government intentionally pursued centralist and unilateralist policies that successfully curtailed the bargaining power of the states/provinces. What is more, varying combinations of social, economic and political changes  at the  state/provincial level suggested the terms of the original federal bargain had become obsolete. In each case, the state/provincial response was the same: the use of political pressure tactics aimed at restoring, bargaining power. Ultimately; the outcome of each  2 crisis was the same: a turning point or change in the systems signaled by the resolution of some substantive issues, the return of the states/provinces as bargainers, and the emergence of the electorate as new players in the federal bargain. What can these crises tell us about how federations work and the changes that occur within them? What forces or conditions drove these three cases to the point of crisis? Likewise, what forces or conditions permitted changes in the federal arrangements to materialize? Did they produce a resolution of the crisis? Before addressing these questions, it is important to first establish a theoretical foundation for exploring these cases. In order to examine the recent crises in Canada, Australia and India we must first understand their key structural influences: federalism and Westminster parliamentarism. FEDERALISM The following section defines federalism and explores some key features. Importantly, federalism constitutes a bargain from which the character of a federation is developed. William H . Riker's (1964) seminal work on modern federations demonstrates how federations are based on bargains, how they come to pass, the actors involved, and the compromises reached; It is also important to recognize that federations are inherently dynamic and are continually responding to a variety of internal pressures for change. These pressures, which consist largely of social, militant, economic, and political forces that act at different times and in varying degrees, will be discussed. The section concludes with a brief review of several types of federalism: classical, administrative, executive, fiscal, and cooperative.  3 Federalism: the Division of Political Authority Stretched to the limits of simplicity, federalism has been defined as "an indestructible union of indestructible states" (Corwin and Peltason, 1964: 93). Federalism has also been defined in explicit and more absolute terms, such as "a cluster of techniques...constitutional, legal, political, administrative and financial, which serve to maintain or erode the balance between mutual independence, and interdependence, between levels of government" (Burgess, 1993: 5). However, a definition such as this gets caught up in far too much detail to adequately define the federal arrangement. Consider Robinson and Simeon's characterization of a federal arrangement as "a system of government in which political authority is divided between two or more constitutionally distinct orders or levels of government" (2000: 239). Here the essence of the federal arrangement has been harnessed: it is a system that involves multiple levels of government, and between these levels, political authority is divided. India's Sarkaria Commission on Center-State Relations, perhaps the most comprehensive comparative examination of federalism to date, stated: "the distribution of powers between the Union and the States is the most important characteristic of a federal constitution" (1988: 23). Likewise, Australian scholar Owen Hughes classifies a federal arrangement as one between multiple levels of government, and involving "the legal division of power and...arrangements over what governments can and cannot do" (1998: 268). Importantly, it is these two features - multiple levels of government and the division of political authority - that set federalism apart from the unitary or confederate forms; especially the former.  4 There exists, then, an important territorial dimension to federalism. Federalism is "the territorial extension of power and authority" (Friedrich, 1968: 3). Referring to levels of government, as Robinson and Simeon do (2000: 239), acknowledges that a federal system is comprised of several entities: one that is national and several that are subnational, that have little choice but to be organized territorially. Duchacek (1970) classified federalism as the 'Territorial Dimensions of Polities'. Dikshit maintained, "spatial interactions in a federation, unlike in other forms of government, are most clearly recognized" (1975: 10). That is, while both federal and unitary arrangements place a central government in a position of power, only federalism, by virtue of its inherent territorial dimension, divides political authority by placing other governments in a position of power as well. Riker's description of the federal arrangement explains this concept quite well: The essential institutions of federalism are, of course, a government of the federation and a set of governments of the units, in which both kinds of government rule over the same territory and people and each kind has the authority to make some decisions independently of the others (1964: 5).  William Riker and the Federal Bargain In his seminal work Federalism: Origins, Operation, Significance, Riker concluded federalism is "a bargain between prospective national leaders and officials of constituent governments for the purposes of aggregating territory, the better to lay taxes and raise armies" (1964: 11). Not only does this premise address how federations come to be and who participates in that process, it also sheds light on an important fact: a federal arrangement is not merely an agreement, it is a bargain. Legal scholar Edward McWhinney argued the making of a federal constitution rests in the following inquiries:  5 When is it desirable for two or more separate states to proceed to a federal union or association, and when is it more sensible for them to go on their own separate ways? Under what community conditions can a viable federal system be expected to emerge, and under what conditions, by comparison, is the drafting of federal conditions likely to be an exercise in constitutional futility (1966: 1)?  Riker rooted the rise of modern federations in the collapse of imperial order. Though 1  free of imperial rule, colonies no longer possessed sufficient military and economic strength to survive independently of one another. He concluded the only viable alternative was to join these colonies together into a single state (1964: 4). To this end, he observed that unification under a federal arrangement would conserve at least the appearance of subnational political self-control, whereas unification under a centralized political unit would lead the former colonies back into an imperial arrangement (1964: 45). But entering into a federal arrangement entails more than a verbal agreement and a handshake. What arises, rather, is a process of negotiation and compromise amongst numerous actors, each wanting to gain while conceding very little; hence the concept of a federal 'bargain.' Accordingly, Riker suggests there are two classes of participants: those who are predisposed to offer the bargain, and those who are predisposed to accept it. Those who offer the bargain constitute the would-be Center. They seek territorial expansion by offering concessions to the would-be subunits. Conversely, the would-be subunits are predisposed to accepting the bargain. They relinquish degrees of independence in exchange for union because they cannot venture into military and economic independence. However, because they are the bargainers that perceivably relinquish the most, they are in a position to make demands (1964: 12). Ultimately, these terms of agreement become the substance of the federal constitution.  6 The Dynamic Nature of Federalism: Pressures for Change Equally important to our understanding of federalism is Friedrich's (1968) concept of process federalism. Federations are by nature dynamic. Friedrich's theory of process federalism holds that "federalism is more fully understood if it is seen as a process, an evolving pattern of changing relationships rather than a static design regulated by firm and unalterable rules" (Friedrich, 1968: 173). Understanding that federations are dynamic, not static, is central to understanding the pressures that shape them. Indeed, Friedrich's (1968) theory of process federalism is useful in exploring Riker's (1964) concept of military-diplomatic pressures for federation as well as Livingston's (1956) socio-economic and political pressures for change. Military & Diplomatic Pressures According to Riker, the principal catalysts for modern federalism are military and diplomatic pressures (1964: 13). He roots this argument in his observations of the American case. The uneasy peace achieved between the United States and Britain following the American Revolution suggested the British might reopen the war, and the military weakness of individual American colonies would give them ample opportunity to do so. Accordingly, the thirteen colonies were predisposed to a federal solution that would amalgamate military capabilities and project a deterrent (Riker, 1964: 18). Riker is able to demonstrate this argument with the Canadian, Australian and Indian cases as well. With Canada, he points to the end of the American Civil War and the interests of a select group of Republican leaders to see Canada annexed through the use of an already war-trained American federal army. Under such pressures, the British North America Act, 1867, was rather quickly produced (Riker, 1964: 2.7). With Australia,  7 Riker points to four important instances that are traditionally overlooked by students of federalism: French expansion in the proximity of Austral-Asia; recommendations from the British government for the unification of Australian defense forces (ca. 1880) following failures to secure Queensland's annexation of New Guinea; the threat of Japanese imperial expansionism following the Sino-Japanese  War; and  finally,  diplomatic concerns over Chinese expulsion in the 1890s and the need for a nation-wide immigration act that would effect such ends (Riker, 1964: 27-28). Finally, with India, Riker points to the partition of India and Pakistan, the border wars that ensued, and the undeclared war between the two nations over the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Riker argued, for these reasons as well as others, that India was predisposed to a federal arrangement because it feared immediate foreign war (Riker, 1964: 29). Military and diplomatic pressures are not only present at the inception of federalism, they are constant forces in the lifespan of a federation. During the World War era, for instance, many countries faced considerable military and diplomatic challenges. These challenges were met in federations worldwide through a variety of centralizing policies that changed the shape of numerous federal designs. Socio-Economic Forces  •  -  Riker questions any explanation that seeks to justify federalism in terms of the social and economic conditions of a population (see Friedrich, 1950, 1968; Livingston, 1956; Deutsch, 1957), especially those that frame the division of political authority as a moral obligation to the subnational units (1964: 16). However, a large body of literature contends that it is precisely the social and economic development of a society that shapes a federation and not the inverse. While we should consider Riker's military-diplomatic  8 argument, we should not constrain ourselves, as Riker does, by rejecting the socioeconomic explanation. W.S. Livingston, the father of the sociological analysis of federalism, argued: The essential nature of federalism is to be sought for, not in the shadings of legal and constitutional terminology, but in the forces - economic, social, political, cultural - that have made the outward forms of federalism necessary...The essence of federalism lies not in the constitutional or institutional structure but in the society itself. Federal government is a device by which the federal qualities of the society are articulated and protected (1956: 1-2).  Much of the literature on the sociological analysis of federalism addresses two particular questions: why do federations appear to constantly require renewal? Why are some of the original features of a federation eventually deemed anachronistic? By virtue of the fact that federations are inherently dynamic, the present-day socio-economic conditions of a given federation are bound to differ from those present during the original bargaining process. Livingston insists that, "those who devise institutions can never be sure that the institutions so devised will be adequate to the needs they are designated to fulfil" (Livingston, 1956: 4). Accordingly, a historical analysis of social and economic developments since the beginning of a federation will show that social and economic conditions for a variety of groups will have changed over time, and in so doing will have encouraged these groups to place pressures on the federation to adapt to these changes. That is, "social patterns and social needs are constantly changing and, as the needs of society change, its institutions tend to become obsolete" (Livingston, 1956:4). Livingston's sociological approach is one in a myriad of competing theories on federalism, and so it has not gone unchallenged. On the question of whether federations are socially or institutionally driven, Bakvis and Chandler maintain:  9 By and large the Livingston view, in which the process and policy of federal regimes are held to be products of territorially identified social forces, has been displaced by the socalled state-centered model, which holds that federalism is largely the result not of societies but of constitutions and the policy-making elites working within them (1987: 5).  Cairns's proposition of 'governmental societies' is a case in point (Cairns, 1977: 723). Caims posits that political institutions are the shaping force, because governments shape societies and economies rather than allowing the inverse to take place. Governments at both the national and subnational level use a variety of social and economic tools to influence and alter society-based national and subnational sentiments and identities. Tools at both levels include those designed to spur nationalistic sentiments such as symbols and slogans, and economic tools designed to develop different communities at different times (Gibbins, 1987: 19).) In so doing, it becomes apparent that it is the governments who shape social forces. Gibbins too challenges the sociological approach, but with a slightly more moderate stance. When faced with the question of what or who influences whom, Gibbins argues the relationship is initially mutual (1987: 18). In agreement with the sociological approach, Gibbins concedes that yes, "federal institutions are created to reflect pre-existing social segmentation and/or to respect pre-existing political lines of demarcation such as might result from colonial experience" (1987: 20). However, he also argues that once a federation has been established, national and subnational political institutions cease to merely reflect the socio-economic environment, and begin to shape it (Ibid). Social-economic pressures not only shape initial institutions, they constantly contribute to the evolution of the federal system as well. This proposition is compatible with the premise of a federal bargain. Military and diplomatic pressures predispose the  10 bargainers. However, there is no reason to suspect that the arrangements, which come to form the federal bargain, have nothing to do with social and economic conditions. Furthermore, federations are inherently dynamic; they constantly respond to pressures of all sorts, both military-diplomatic and socio-economic. The sociological analysis of federalism and the concept of process federalism are quite compatible as well. To reiterate Livingston's position, "social patterns and social needs are constantly changing and, as the needs of society change, its institutions tend to become obsolete" (1956: 4). When coupled with Friedrich's theory of process federalism, we arrive at a system that is "not static but dynamic. It goes through a process of evolution and change because a complex of...factors which necessitate federalism require one type of instrumentality at one time and another at some other time" (Dikshit, 1975: 2). Sustaining Federalism Friedrich maintained the sustenance of federalism was based on federal spirit, federal loyalty, and federal community. A strong commitment to unity, diversity, and mutual adaptation by all parties involved is required; this constitutes the federal spirit (1968: 175). Second, a federation requires its subnational units to always respect and adhere to the overall needs of the federal system at large (Ibid). In essence, these two components represent a commitment to the federal bargain. Third, both the center and the subunits must always be pragmatic and willing to compromise, that is, to function as a community, otherwise a federation is unworkable (Friedrich, 1968: 175-176). The joint problem solving and decision-making activities of the governments are very much dependent on these principles.  federal and subnational  11 Riker would likely discount Friedrich's propositions on the grounds that they appear to be morally based (1964:3). However, the quintessence of their arguments are not so different. Riker recognizes that while the willingness to compromise is central to any federal arrangement, the basis for sustaining the original bargain will not always be military-diplomatic (1964: 49). Instead, he maintains that the sustaining force in a federation becomes tempered centralization. That is, "the rulers of the federation [seek to] overawe and overrule, but not annihilate, the rulers of the constituent units" (Riker, 1964: 50). Accordingly, Riker observes two features that work to sustain federalism. First, he points to the operation of political institutions, both formal and conventional, as the immediate but not ultimate guardians of the bargain (Riker, 1964: 111). Second, he places emphasis on sentiments of loyalty. He maintains the integrity of political institutions rests with a citizenry's sentiments of loyalty to the different levels of government that are in turn channelled into centralizing and decentralizing institutions accordingly (Riker, 1964: 111). From both theorists we can infer that the willingness to compromise must be constantly maintained. So too must an adherence to, and respect for, the original bargain. The compromises reached (i.e. the substance of the federal constitution) are sustained through political action, that is, the bargain put into practice. Finally, sustenance of the federal bargain rests, at least partially, in popular sentiments of loyalty. A federation, by design, requires of its population dual loyalty to both the nation and its government as well as to the subnational units and their respective governments. The theoretical elements of federalism we have discussed to this point have yielded significant outcomes when put into practice. Before proceeding with our  12 discussion of parliamentarism, the following types of federalism that have evolved as a result of classical federalism put to work should be considered. Classical Federalism The term 'classical federalism' is most closely associated with the work of K . C . Wheare (1963) and his premise of the federal principle. Like Riker (1964), Wheare believed the American model of federal government to be the archetype of modern federalism. Specifically, Wheare claimed the American federation espoused what he termed the federal principle: a specific method of dividing political authority so that the "general and regional governments  are each, within a sphere, co-ordinate and  independent" (Wheare, 1963: 10). Central to this division is the 'watertight' compartmentalization of these spheres of control. The metaphor of a watertight compartment illustrates that a federal arrangement affords each level of government a specific set of jurisdictions (spheres) in which they can exclusively exercise political authority. Each possesses powers the other is not permitted to exercise. These sets of jurisdiction should not overlap so that both levels are exercising political authority in a common area (i.e. concurrency); hence the notion that these sets of powers are compartmentalized in a watertight fashion. Though in practice the overlap of jurisdictional responsibilities seems inevitable in any federation, the practice of this method of federalism has been termed classical federalism because government behaviour closely resembles the classical notions of how federations are theoretically meant to function.  13  Administrative Federalism Notions  Robinson  and  of  federalism,  Simeon's  whether  (2000:  239), say nothing  authority b y a level o f government  we  m a y infer  that  the  various  Wheare's  (1963:  of  10), Riker's  how  the  (1964:  exercise  of  5),  or  political  is to b e conducted. F r o m their notions o f federalism  heads  of  government  at  each  level  exercise  political  authority: Presidents a n d P r i m e Ministers, G o v e r n o r s and Premiers, and so o n . T h e term  administrative federalism  refers to t h e departure f r o m this p r e m i s e , w h e r e i n t h e e x e r c i s e  or administration o f federalism is delegated b y the heads o f government to bureaucratic  f u n c t i o n a r i e s at e a c h l e v e l . A d m i n i s t r a t i v e f e d e r a l i s m p l a c e s t h e c o n d u c t o f f e d e r a l i s m i n  the  hands  of  non-elected  removed from public  government  officials,  whose  actions  and accountability  are  view.  Executive Federalism T h e term executive federalism, like administrative federalism, refers not so m u c h  to t h e d i v i s i o n o f p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t y a s it d o e s to t h e e x e r c i s e o f p o l i t i c a l a u t h o r i t y a n d b y  whom:  Whereas  administrative  federalism  focuses  on  the  role  played  by  appointed  officials, executive federalism centers o n the conduct o f federalism b y political  leaders  ( S t e v e n s o n , 2 0 0 0 : 9 9 ) . W h o better, it i s r e a s o n e d , t o c o n d u c t f e d e r a l i s m t h a n t h e h e a d s o f  the parts that m a k e u p the federal w h o l e .  The  watched  traditional  accountability  than  that  conduct  of  of  political  appointed  in camera,  leaders,  officials.  is almost  federalism, w h i c h has the potential  Yet  as  elected  officials,  is  more  executive  federalism,  by  virtue  always removed  from public  view.  closely  of  its  Executive  for the expedient conduct o f federalism amongst the  various levels o f government, is also fraught w i t h major  s h o r t c o m i n g s : it c o n t r i b u t e s  to  14  the d e m o c r a t i c deficit  level  o f citizen  b y conducting  participation  public  in public  b u s i n e s s i n s e c r e t ; it c o n t r i b u t e s  affairs;  a n d it  weakens  to a l o w  the accountability  of  government to the legislature a n dthe p u b l i c ( S i m e o n & C a m e r o n , 2 0 0 2 :2 7 8 ) .  Fiscal Federalism A  government's ability to exercise political authority, especially the provision o f  p r o g r a m s that fall w i t h i n its spheres o f responsibility, d e p e n d s h e a v i l y o n its control  the  financial  sufficient  resources.  resources necessary to  d o so. If  a government  cannot  b y itself  of  collect  f u n d s to c a r r y o u t its r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , it w i l l h a v e to l o o k e l s e w h e r e f o r these  This  burden  has traditionally  fallen  o n subnational  units,  forcing  them  to  appeal to the federal g o v e r n m e n t f o r fiscal transfers. A i d is rarely w i t h h e l d b e c a u s e these  transfers  carry  government  will  with  them  request  consequences.  policy  changes  In  exchange  i n areas that  U n d e r such circumstances, the compartmentalization  are n o longer watertight, a n d a federal  arrangement  for  fall  financial  under  aid, a  subnational  o f federal a n d subnational  federal  control.  spheres  o f co-ordination and independence  becomes instead o n eo f subordination.  Accordingly, the conduct o f federalism through  dubbed  ' f i s c a l f e d e r a l i s m ' . It i s t h e r e d u c t i o n  monetary arrangements has been  o f federalism to the control  of  financial  resources a n d fiscal transactions wherein, generally, the spending responsibilities o f the  subnational units allows a federal g o v e r n m e n t to gain disproportionate p o w e r o v e r  them  (Hughes, 1998:268).  Cooperative Federalism Cooperative  federalism  has emerged  as a result  o f each  level  of  government  having a progressively greater impact o n the activities o f the other (Stevenson, 2 0 0 0 : 98).  15  That is, while  a federal arrangement  encourages governments  to p u r s u e their  respective  p o l i c y g o a l s , t h e s e p u r s u i t s a r e at t h e s a m e t i m e d e p e n d e n t o n t h e a c c o m m o d a t i v e  of  other  governments.  The  recognition  of  this  fact  cooperative federalism (Bakvis and Skogstad, 2002:  C o o p e r a t i v e f e d e r a l i s m is not  executive  federalism,  interaction  of  federalism,  appointed  while  and  or  federalism  may  political  can  parties  will  of cooperation  be  amicable.  be  attained  leaders.  involve  does not  Instances  involved  yields  exclusive o f administrative  What  the  the  close  more,  like  fiscal  reduction  of  watertight  are brought  necessarily m e a n this  of  cooperative  or  through  is  H o w e v e r , that the various levels o f g o v e r n m e n t  into a relationship  cooperative,  cooperation  all  8).  a concept mutually  this  officials  cooperative  compartmentalization.  together  because  by  actions  closer  relationship,  federalism  have  been  characterized b y hostility, suspicion and competitiveness (Bhattacharya, 1992: 87).  Having  shift  our  discussed pertinent  attention  to  Westminster  e x p l o r i n g the British m o d e l  theoretical  conceptions  parliamentarism.  of parliamentary  The  government.  of  federalism,  following  we  section  O f particular  can  now  begins  interest  are  k e y c o n v e n t i o n a l p r a c t i c e s that d r i v e B r i t i s h p a r l i a m e n t a r y politics. S e c o n d , the export  these  components  several  to  conventional  the  colonies  practices  that  of  the  have  British  helped  to  Empire  drive  is  discussed.  parliamentary  politics  in  espouses.  of  the  theoretical  m o d e l , s p e c i f i c a l l y f o c u s i n g o n the qualities  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n , a c c o u n t a b i l i t y a n d t r a n s p a r e n c y it  the  Subsequently,  former B r i t i s h colonies are e x a m i n e d . T h e section concludes b y e x p l o r i n g the  utility o f the W e s t m i n s t e r parliamentary  by  of  16  WESTMINSTER PARLIAMENTARISM A  Westminster-styled  lower  house, of which  where  i n the latter w e  power.  It  is  a system  the  will  parliamentary  membership  of  system  is  one  at l e a s t t h e  possessed  of  an  latter is p o p u l a r l y  upper  and  elected,  and  find the executive, the P r i m e M i n i s t e r i a l , and the  popularly  d e s c r i b e d as  giving  extensive  power  to  legislative  the  political  e x e c u t i v e s o t h a t it m a y p r o v i d e e f f e c t i v e l e a d e r s h i p ( D y c k , 2 0 0 0 : 6 4 1 ) . L i k e f e d e r a l i s m ,  Westminster  However,  The  parliamentarism  there  crux  of  is m u c h  the  can be  more  to  Westminster  r e d u c e d to  a  three-line  institutional  Westminster parliamentarism  model  is  more  than  the  than  explanation.  institutions  Prime  alone.  Ministership  b i c a m e r a l i s m , a n d it i s m o r e t h a n e l e c t i o n s a n d p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s : it i s a n i n t r i c a t e  and  system  o f m u t u a l l y dependent institutions and practices b a s e d above all in convention.  The Westminster form of parliamentary government  government  is central to the c o n d u c t  i n C a n a d a , A u s t r a l i a a n d India. In e a c h s y s t e m , W e s t m i n s t e r traditions  further b a c k than the i n v e n t i o n  o f their m o d e r n  constitutions, to their  the influence o f their colonizers. T h u s , in m u c h the s a m e w a y  colonial past  that students o f  of  date  and  modern  f e d e r a l i s m h a v e l o o k e d to the A m e r i c a n m o d e l as a f u n d a m e n t a l t e m p l a t e ( W h e a r e , 1 9 6 3 ;  Riker,  1964;  government,  Duchacek,  1970),  known  the  as  we  may  observe  Westminster  model,  the  as  British  a  model  template  of  for  parliamentary  the  Canadian,  Australian, and Indian parliamentary systems.  The Westminster Model and Responsible Government in Britain While  we  can  tangibly  identify  the  respective  constitutions  of  our  cases,  the  processes b y w h i c h they were formulated, those chiefly responsible for these A c t s ,  and  their intentions, w e c a n n o t d o the s a m e for the B r i t i s h case. First a n d f o r e m o s t , the  British  17  constitution, in w h i c h the W e s t m i n s t e r parliamentary tradition is rooted, is an  document.  That  i s , it  is an a m a l g a m a t i o n  British political history.  What  is m o r e ,  of several documents  m a n y o f the vital  unwritten  that s p a n c e n t u r i e s  institutions  of  and practices  we  associate w i t h p a r l i a m e n t a r y g o v e r n m e n t , those that w o u l d o t h e r w i s e b e a c e n t e r p i e c e  a  written  constitution,  are  referred  to  documents, nor in any law (Spiro, 1959:  nowhere  in  Britain's  many  of  constitutional  113).  Instead, the sustaining force b e h i n d centuries o f B r i t i s h parliamentary practice has  b e e n c o n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n v e n t i o n . W h i l e w e m a y b e h a r d p r e s s e d to f i n d f o r m a l r e f e r e n c e to  the  two  Houses  that  c o m p r i s e the  British parliament,  let  alone their  functions,  relationship b e t w e e n Britain's executive and legislative branches, and e v e n the  or  the  practice  o f c a b i n e t g o v e r n m e n t , it i s d i f f i c u l t to d e n y t h e i r p r a c t i c a l e x i s t e n c e ( S p i r o , 1 9 5 9 :  114).  A c c o r d i n g l y , w e m u s t b e g i n b y l o o k i n g at k e y W e s t m i n s t e r p a r l i a m e n t a r y p r a c t i c e s that  h a v e b e e n i n regular use since the eighteenth century, and i n particular the  constitutional  f o r m u l a o f r e s p o n s i b l e g o v e r n m e n t , i n w h i c h p a r l i a m e n t a r y politics are rooted.  A Formula for Responsible Government It i s d i f f i c u l t t o s i n g l e o u t c e r t a i n i n s t i t u t i o n s a n d p r a c t i c e s a s m o r e i m p o r t a n t  others, principally because o f their m u t u a l  example,  are  bicameralism  and  the  dependence o n one another. N o t e w o r t h y ,  important  role  played  by  political  parties  in  operation o f the L o w e r H o u s e . A n d yet i n establishing a base f r o m w h i c h w e c a n  understand  those  Westminster  components  that  parliamentarism, we  chiefly  drive  than  are c o m p e l l e d  Westminster  to  draw  parliamentary  attention  government together with a confidence convention, hence responsible government.  the  better  here  politics:  for  to  cabinet  18  A  c o r n e r s t o n e o f the B r i t i s h p a r l i a m e n t a r y m o d e l is 'cabinet g o v e r n m e n t ' : a select  g r o u p o f e l e c t e d o f f i c i a l s , k n o w n as M i n i s t e r s , w h o are b y t r a d i t i o n c h a r g e d w i t h the  o f g o v e r n i n g . T h i s practice is rooted in the i n c r e a s i n g l y h e a v y b u r d e n o f g o v e r n i n g  task  (both  a c o u n t r y a n d a large e m p i r e ) that w a s p l a c e d u p o n the B r i t i s h C r o w n . A c c o r d i n g l y , there  d e v e l o p e d o v e r a t i m e a p r a c t i c e w h e r e i n the C r o w n l o o k e d to a select g r o u p o f  elites to u n d e r t a k e  Monarch  to  such an endeavor.  call upon  In  modern  the leader o f the party  practice, this  convention  political  obliged  the  that h e l d the m a j o r i t y o f the seats i n  the  l o w e r h o u s e to f o r m a c a b i n e t .  T h o u g h the p r a c t i c e w a s o r i g i n a l l y i n t e n d e d to d e l e g a t e a u t h o r i t y to the  m i n i s t e r s in l i m i t e d degrees so that the C r o w n retained the p a r a m o u n t role o f  the  gradual  expansion  of  the  cabinet's  legislative  power  eventually  cabinet  executive,  allowed  it  to  supersede the C r o w n ' s e x e c u t i v e authority. T h u s d u r i n g the nineteenth century, a p e r i o d  i n w h i c h B r i t a i n h a d a t r e m e n d o u s i n f l u e n c e o n the i n s t i t u t i o n a l d e s i g n o f its c o l o n i e s , the  C r o w n r e m a i n e d the e x e c u t i v e i n a f o r m a l  context w h i l e the P r i m e M i n i s t e r and  cabinet  b e c a m e the executive in practice.  But  institutions  dependent  Westminster  parliamentarism  and practices therefore  on  a  practice  termed  is  a  compound  cabinet government,  the  'confidence  though  convention'.  of  mutually  dependent  a cornerstone, is  Importantly,  highly  while  the  authority o f a m o n a r c h w a s for centuries d e e m e d absolute, the s a m e w a s never b e l i e v e d  of  the  authority  parliamentarism  delegated  is g r o u n d e d  to  in  the  the  cabinet.  values of  That  is,  in  consensus and  principle,  Westminster  accountability.  What  m u s t ask ourselves then is if cabinet g o v e r n m e n t derives f r o m a formal request m a d e  we  by  19  the M o n a r c h to the l e a d e r o f the m a j o r i t y  o f the l o w e r house, then f r o m w h e r e does  this  l e a d e r d e r i v e a u t h o r i t y , a n d h o w i s it s u s t a i n e d ?  A  d e f i n i n g feature o f the W e s t m i n s t e r parliamentary m o d e l is the p o p u l a r  election  o f the m e m b e r s h i p o f the l o w e r house. F o l l o w i n g an election, the c o n v e n t i o n a l  practice  has b e e n for the M o n a r c h to a s k the leader o f the party that controls the m a j o r i t y  of  the  s e a t s i n t h e l o w e r h o u s e t o f o r m a g o v e r n m e n t . It i s t h i s s a m e l e a d e r w h o m t h e M o n a r c h  requests to f o r m a cabinet. A n d so the a u t h o r i t y o f this leader, the P r i m e M i n i s t e r , d e r i v e s  in part  from  To  a majority control o f the L o w e r  understand h o w  parliamentary  government.  authority  House.  is sustained, w e m u s t  British parliamentary  consensus and accountability.  l o o k at t h e b a s i c c o n d u c t  governance is, in  principle, footed  I n o r d e r f o r a p i e c e o f l e g i s l a t i o n t o b e c o m e l a w , it  first b e scrutinized b y parliament a n d then v o t e d o n b y all m e m b e r s . G e n e r a l l y ,  approval  of  government-sponsoured  legislation  is  tantamount  to  the  retention  of  a new  parliament  confidence  Prime Minister  and  and a call for n e w  convention  M i n i s t e r ' s authority,  and  government  by  the  M o n a r c h , or  else the  of  cabinet  government's  dependence  upon  The  116).  of  the  Prime  the retention o f  the  o f the l o w e r h o u s e . A n d so, since the eighteenth century,  the  B r i t i s h c a b i n e t h a s b e e n p e r m i t t e d to g o v e r n s o l o n g a s it r e t a i n s t h e c o n f i d e n c e to d o  (Spiro, 1959:  of  appointment  dissolution  it.  the  ability  elections ( A u c o i n , 2 0 0 0 : 111). H e r e i n lies the crux o f  a n d so that o f the cabinet, is sustained t h r o u g h  c o n f i d e n c e o f the majority  must  g o v e r n m e n t that loses the c o n f i d e n c e  the h o u s e has but two options: the resignation o f the P r i m e M i n i s t e r and the  in  majority  c o n f i d e n c e o f the l o w e r h o u s e , w h e r e a s failure reflects a lack o f c o n f i d e n c e i n the  o f the g o v e r n i n g party to c o n t i n u e g o v e r n i n g . A  of  so  20  In  s u m , these practices  government':  the requirement  constitute  a constitutional  formula  termed  'responsible  that the c a b i n e t a n d its a c t i o n s r e m a i n a c c o u n t a b l e to  the  l o w e r h o u s e a n d that the l o w e r h o u s e , b y e x t e n s i o n , r e m a i n s responsible for c h e c k i n g the  cabinet's use o f executive authority (Atkinson &  large,  this  constitutional  formula  that  drives  D o c h e r t y , 2 0 0 0 : 1 3 ) . A n d it i s , b y  parliamentary  b e c o m e clearer w h e n w e discuss p a r l i a m e n t a r i s m i n the f o r m e r  politics;  a  point  that  and  will  colonies.  Westminster Parliamentarism in the Former British Colonies Formally,  there  exists  in  Great  Britain  a  constitutional  separation  between  e x e c u t i v e a n d legislative authority w h e r e i n the f o r m e r is c o m p r i s e d s o l e l y o f the  a n d the latter, o f the P r i m e M i n i s t e r , the C a b i n e t , a n d P a r l i a m e n t . S u c h w a s the  case i n the f o r m e r  colonies, in which  the  e x e c u t i v e w a s to take the f o r m  Crown,  intended  of a Queen's  representative o f the C r o w n , u s u a l l y a G o v e r n o r - G e n e r a l or perhaps a President, a n d  the  legislative, as i n E n g l a n d , w a s to b e c o m p r i s e d o f the P r i m e M i n i s t e r , the C a b i n e t ,  and  Parliament. U n d e r this f o r m a l  scenario, the Q u e e n ' s representative,  like her Majesty  E n g l a n d , w o u l d g o v e r n at t i m e s o n t h e a d v i c e o f t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r a l o n e o r e l s e o n  o f the cabinet as a w h o l e , o f w h i c h the P r i m e M i n i s t e r is nonetheless the h e a d  2000:  that  (Aucoin,  110).  Politically,  colonies  fell  constitutional  power  in  into  however,  the  the  hands  exercise  of  convention, the o n l y  (Whittington,  Westminster-styled  2000:  44).  parliamentary  the  of  executive  Prime  authority  Minister  and  b o d i e s w i t h the practical  What  has  systems  of  been  the  found  former  in  the  cabinet,  former  who  a u t h o r i t y to  then,  British  in  were,  by  exercise  such  examining  the  c o l o n i e s , are  s i m i l a r i n spirit a n d i n p r a c t i c e to that o f n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y E n g l a n d .  British  systems  21  The practice of responsible government, for instance, has figured prominently in the exercise of parliamentary politics. The Prime Minister and cabinet exercise the authority of the executive and this concentration of power rests largely on the retention of confidence (Aucoin, 2000: 111). Atkinson and Docherty maintain the parliamentary emphasis on responsible government engenders a sort of 'team spirit,' because of the notion that the failure of any government-sponsoured legislation requires immediate resignation (2000: 10). And so to the extent that many of the institutions and practices of Westminster parliamentarism are mutually dependent on one another, the practice of responsible government, on which is based the politics of parliamentary government in the former British colonies, has given rise to the prominence of other important parliamentary practices: the fusion of power, the role of party government, the rise of party discipline, and the rise of executive dominance. The Fusion of Power  The formal separation of power (the designation of the Crown or its representative as the executive and the Prime Minister, the cabinet, and the Parliament as the legislative) is designed, in theory, to prevent the concentration of power in one institution. In practice, however, the exercise of executive as well as legislative authority rests with the Prime Minister and cabinet. There exists, then, a conventional fusion of power between the executive and legislative branches because the Prime Minister and cabinet, who exercise executive authority, are also members of parliament charged with the exercise of legislative authority. This convention, which has persisted unabated since the eighteenth century, has figured prominently in the development of parliamentary politics not only in England, but  22  in the  former  c o l o n i e s as w e l l . T h i s f u s i o n n o t o n l y p l a c e s the P r i m e M i n i s t e r a n d  c a b i n e t at t h e  agenda  of  apex of power,  the  lower  house  but  also affords  (Whittington,  them  2000:  near-unrestricted  44;  Aucoin,  control  2000:109),  the  over  the  the  primary  legislative e n g i n e o f the s y s t e m . T h i s fact b e c o m e s clearer w h e n w e e x a m i n e the role  party  of  government.  The Practice of Party Government T h e conventional fusion o f p o w e r is also m u t u a l l y dependent o n other  institutions  a n d practices. T h a t is, this p o s i t i o n o f p o w e r a n d c o n t r o l is not w i t h o u t a n achilles h e e l :  the authority  o f the P r i m e M i n i s t e r and cabinet derive f r o m the retention o f confidence,  a n d so the s h a r i n g o f p o w e r b e t w e e n the e x e c u t i v e a n d the legislative is contingent  and must  b e r e s p o n s i v e to, s h i f t i n g  coalitions and support  within the  upon,  lower house  that  v a r y f r o m o n e i s s u e to the n e x t ( S h a r m a n , 1 9 9 0 : 2 0 9 ) .  Institutionally,  Parliament.  The  the practice o f party g o v e r n m e n t has b e e n vital to the f u n c t i o n  political  party  is  the  vehicle  r e p r e s e n t a t i o n . B u t it a l s o s e r v e s a n i m p o r t a n t  through  function  which  the  masses  2000:  find  in responsible government,  s c r u t i n i z e r o f the g o v e r n m e n t o f the d a y a n d its e x e r c i s e o f p o w e r ( A t k i n s o n &  as a  Docherty,  15). C o n v e n t i o n a l l y , the practice o f p a r t y g o v e r n m e n t h e l p s to r e a l i z e the  practice  o f r e s p o n s i b l e g o v e r n m e n t b e c a u s e it i s t h e l e a d e r o f t h e p a r t y t h a t h o l d s t h e m a j o r i t y  the  lower  house  who  is  chosen  as  the  head  of  government  (Aucoin,  of  of  2000:  111).  T h e r e f o r e , r e m a i n i n g at t h e a p e x o f p o w e r a n d c o n t r o l l i n g t h e a g e n d a o f t h e l o w e r  house  are i n part d u e to the p r a c t i c e o f party g o v e r n m e n t . T h e p r a c t i c e o f p a r t y g o v e r n m e n t  helps  to  make  the  confidence convention  work.  R e m a i n i n g at t h e  apex  of power  also  and  23  controlling the a g e n d a o f the l o w e r h o u s e not o n l y requires g a i n i n g a m a j o r i t y  command,  b u t r e t a i n i n g it a s w e l l .  Party Discipline As  Sharman  confidence  (1990:  convention  209)  suggests,  is c o n t i n g e n t ,  usually  coalitions  take  and  support,  shape along party,  upon  and  which  the  so  partisan,  lines. If the P r i m e M i n i s t e r ' s position o f p o w e r derives f r o m the c o m m a n d o f a  majority  o f the l o w e r h o u s e and the retention o f c o n f i d e n c e in the face o f scrutiny b y rival  political  p a r t i e s , it f o l l o w s that t h e P r i m e M i n i s t e r w i l l s e e k , e s p e c i a l l y i n t i m e s o f a s l i m  majority,  to e n s u r e the d i s c i p l i n e o f h i s o r h e r p a r t y i n o r d e r to a v o i d defeat.  T h e practice o f assuring the support o f o n e ' s o w n party has been, aptly  referred  to as the c o n v e n t i o n o f  'party  discipline'. Members of government,  enough,  it is  held,  m u s t vote a l o n g party lines. T h a t is, m e m b e r s o f the g o v e r n i n g party traditionally vote  favour  of  majority,  the  government-sponsoured  because  (Whittington,  failure  2000: 45).  to  do  so  legislation,  might  C h a l l e n g e s to  the  especially  precipitate  direction  of  the  in  fall  instances  of  government  the  of  a  slim  government  policy  should  m a d e d u r i n g party c a u c u s m e e t i n g s , not w h i l e p a r l i a m e n t is in session. A n d w h i l e w e  hard  p r e s s e d to  find  the  citation  of  such  a  principle  in  any  in  constitutional  text,  be  are  it  is  nonetheless strongly h e l d that b r e a k i n g party r a n k s w o u l d b e quite i n j u r i o u s ( S p i r o , 1 9 5 9 :  114). Indeed, there are n u m e r o u s c o n s e q u e n c e s b e y o n d defeat for i n s u b o r d i n a t i o n , h e n c e  Atkinson  and  Docherty's  suggestion  of  an  engendered  'team  spirit'  in  parliamentary  p o l i t i c s ( 2 0 0 0 : 10). T h e c o n v e n t i o n o f party d i s c i p l i n e also a p p l i e s to the party or  parties  i n o p p o s i t i o n . W h e r e a s the g o v e r n i n g p a r t y e x e r c i s e s p a r t y d i s c i p l i n e i n o r d e r to  remain  24  in  a position  of  power,  the  opposition  does  the  same  in  order  to  mount  a  stronger  challenge.  It  together  party  follows  with  the  that the  conventions  confidence convention),  discipline are l o c k e d in  discipline  of responsible government  and parliamentary  a mutually  politics  the  fusion of power,  party  dependent relationship.  is the  stringent  control  (cabinet  At  government  government,  the heart  o f party  of  M P s . The  and  party  Prime  M i n i s t e r a n d c a b i n e t are r a i s e d to a p o s i t i o n o f p o w e r t h r o u g h the c o m m a n d o f a m a j o r i t y  o f the l o w e r h o u s e , the p r i m a r y legislative b o d y o f parliament. T h e i r authority to  govern  r e s t s i n t h e r e t e n t i o n o f t h e c o n f i d e n c e o f at l e a s t t h e m a j o r i t y o f t h e m e m b e r s h i p o f  l o w e r house. W h e n in c o m m a n d o f a majority, whether substantial or s l i m , the  of  that  majority  is  held  through  measures of  strict  party  retention  discipline. T h u s , the  M i n i s t e r a n d c a b i n e t r e m a i n at t h e a p e x o f p o w e r a n d i n f i r m c o n t r o l o f t h e  the  Prime  legislative  agenda, virtually uncontested, so l o n g as they retain a d i s c i p l i n e d majority.  Executive Dominance A  f i n a l c o m p o n e n t o f W e s t m i n s t e r p a r l i a m e n t a r i s m that s h o u l d b e a d d r e s s e d is its  inherent emphasis o n executive d o m i n a n c e . Proponents o f Westminster  parliamentarism  a r g u e that w h i l e its r i v a l , the A m e r i c a n P r e s i d e n t i a l m o d e l , p r o m o t e s c h e c k s a n d i n  a  limited  government,  government  (Atkinson  &  the  Westminster  model  D o c h e r t y , 2 0 0 0 : 6). T h a t  promotes  is, w h e n  efficient  in control  and  of a  effect  effective  disciplined  m a j o r i t y , the f i r m a n d u n c o n t e s t e d c o n t r o l o f the legislative a g e n d a theoretically p r o d u c e s  an  efficient  interruptions.  and  effective  government  that  can  continually  pass  legislation  with  few  25  But  efficiency  Westminster  and  proportions  Minister  argue there  Especially  effectiveness,  (i.e.  and  parliamentarism  the  also  near-uncontested  cabinet  when  in  is little in the w a y  when  it  we  examine  is a double-edged  promotes  control  command  of  of  two  notwithstanding  an  executive  dominance  the  legislative  agenda  a disciplined majority).  o f institutional  the  sword;  of  major  the  Prime  Smiley and  Watts  by  checks on a cabinet's exercise o f  houses  of  various  British-styled  the  ability  of  the  upper  h o u s e to  play  an effective  S i m i l a r l y , S h a r m a n m a i n t a i n s first that stable majorities  checking role  effectively  (1985:  executive  is  dependent  bicameralism  majorities  are  (1990:  few  on  uncertain  209-210).  and  far  G i v e n that  between,  allows for limited  majorities  and  or  limitations  48).  h a v e a l l o w e d parties to fuse  legislature a n d the e x e c u t i v e so that the e x e c u t i v e r e m a i n s the p r i n c i p a l outlet o f  a n d s e c o n d that W e s t m i n s t e r p a r l i a m e n t a r i s m  power.  parliamentary  systems, the trend has b e e n for p o w e r to be concentrated in the l o w e r h o u s e ,  reducing  its  else  on  government  the  on power  that, as S m i l e y  and  in  power,  only  checking  if  the  power  of  instances o f  Watts  (1985)  the  strong  argue,  c h e c k i n g p o w e r o f the u p p e r h o u s e h a s b e e n r e d u c e d to f o r m a l i t y , w h a t w e are left  the'  with  are s y s t e m s c o n d u c i v e to e x e c u t i v e d o m i n a n c e .  The Utility of Parliamentarism: Representation, Accountability and Transparency W h e n w e refer to the utility o f p a r l i a m e n t a r i s m , w e are i n essence l o o k i n g b a c k  principles o f efficiency a n d effectiveness p r o m o t e d b y the proponents o f the  model.  O f  specific interest  representation,  effective  to  accountability  government.  us here  and  are the  Westminster  transparency  within  the  parliamentary  context  of  to  Westminster  principles  efficient  of  and  26  Representation In  model  his  for  comparative  study  p l a c i n g its c i t i z e n s i n  124). H e maintained "they  of  democratic  a "very  can contribute  constitutions,  S p i r o praised the  British  of responsibility"  (1959:  favourable  situation  to the f l o w  o f central p o l i c y . , .they k n o w  that  t h o s e m e n w h o m a k e the m o s t i m p o r t a n t c e n t r a l d e c i s i o n s are p e r i o d i c a l l y a c c o u n t a b l e to  the  electorate  and  continuously  exposed  to  deliberation  by  those  who  support  their  e l e c t i o n a n d b y t h o s e w h o o p p o s e i t " ( I b i d ) . In s u m , S p i r o w a s l o o k i n g at t h e i n d i r e c t  but  nevertheless democratic a n d representative nature o f the W e s t m i n s t e r m o d e l .  Likewise,  M P s  to  bring  Atkinson and Docherty  local  interests  into  a  o b s e r v e that the  national  forum,  Westminster model  [supplying]  the  cabinet  "allows  with  a u t h o r i t y to steer n a t i o n a l p o l i c y " ( 2 0 0 0 : 8). W h a t is m o r e , t h e y stress the i m p o r t a n c e  promoting  the r e p r e s e n t a t i v e qualities o f the p a r l i a m e n t a r y m o d e l , b e c a u s e f a i l u r e to  the  of  do  s o , o r t o i g n o r e it a l l t o g e t h e r , w i l l n o t o n l y w e a k e n t h e p a r t y i n p o w e r , b u t a l s o d i m i n i s h  the l e g i t i m a c y o f the p a r l i a m e n t a r y  s y s t e m as a w h o l e  representation  parliamentary  in  the  Westminster  (Ibid). Indeed, the importance  model  is  located  in  the  concept  r e s p o n s i b l e g o v e r n m e n t : the electorate g i v e s o n e p a r t y m o r e seats t h a n a n y other,  its l e a d e r the P r i m e M i n i s t e r ( A t k i n s o n &  there  is m o r e  to  parliamentarism  than  representation  of  making  Docherty, 2000: 10; A u c o i n , 2000: 111).  the utility o f W e s t m i n s t e r  of  But  alone;  such is the importance o f accountability and transparency.  Accountability and Transparency A c c o u n t a b i l i t y is l o c a t e d to s o m e d e g r e e i n the r e q u i r e m e n t  actions,  under  the  convention  of  responsible government,  remain  that cabinet a n d  accountable  L o w e r H o u s e . W h a t is m o r e , a successful Westminster-styled parliamentary  to  its  the  government  27  is  believed  to  accountable  be  to  one  the  "that  exercise  adheres  of  the  government provides" (Atkinson &  outside  along  of Parliament  with  to  its  tools  core  that  constitutional  the  Westminster  form  of  -  as a w h o l e ,  remain  that the  accountable  Prime Minister  to  the  public,  to  be  parliamentary  D o c h e r t y , 2 0 0 0 : 8). T o b e sure, accountability  as w e l l , in the requirement  government  responsibility  and  and  resides  cabinet,  willing  to  justify policy and decision-making outcomes.  From  the  parliamentary  perspective  model  is  of  the  public  representative  then,  democracy.  the  essence  A n d  the  of  the  logic  Westminster  of  parliamentary  r e p r e s e n t a t i v e d e m o c r a c y , a c c o r d i n g to S i m e o n a n d C a m e r o n , is the a c c o u n t a b i l i t y o f  e x e c u t i v e a n d its p o l i c y d e c i s i o n s to t h e l e g i s l a t u r e a n d s o to the c i t i z e n r y t h r o u g h  elections (2002:  parliamentary  285). That  is to  say, the p r e m i s e o f accountability  m o d e l d e m a n d s the liability  h a n d s o f t h e c i t i z e n r y , at t h e b a l l o t b o x  What  is  more,  by  of government  i n the  the  regular  Westminster  f o r s u c c e s s a n d f a i l u r e , at  the  (Ibid).  empowering  the  citizenry  to  choose  who  governs,  the  W e s t m i n s t e r p a r l i a m e n t a r y m o d e l , i n p r i n c i p l e , r e q u i r e s the g o v e r n m e n t a n d its a c t i o n s  be not  conduct  only  of  accountable  government  transparent.  That  is,  the  and justified  and  the  to  the  public,  decision-making  government  openly  but  transparent  process are  discusses  and  at  as w e l l . T h u s  least  justifies  to  some  its  policies  to  the  degree  and  d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g outcomes, rather than leaving such matters behind closed doors, under a  'veil of secrecy' (Simeon and Cameron, 2002:  285).  ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK T h e analytical framework  the  historical  survey  of  for this study is straightforward.  a designated  period  of  crisis  in  three  D a t a is d e r i v e d  separate  cases  that  from  are  • 28 similar in system design and character: they are federal systems that have incorporated Westminster-styled parliamentary components into their system design; they possess a variety of internal social, economic and political forces that prompt change from time to time; and each has experienced a recent crisis that has challenged the federation and resulted in a visible change. The historical survey considers the circumstances that drove each case towards federation; the original federal bargain, the intentions of the founders, and the institutional designs pursued; the key developments that led to the crisis; the developments that characterized the crisis; and the developments that signaled change. Why and how developments occurred is our central concern. When the data from the historical survey is analyzed against the literature on federalism and Westminster parliamentarism we arrive at an explanation for the events that drove each case to a point of crisis, the crises themselves, and their resulting change. Guiding the analysis of these crises are the following research questions and hypotheses.  Research Questions and Hypotheses As noted, all three cases possess similar systems designs: they are federations that have adopted Westminster-styled parliamentary institutions and conventions. When examining the details of their respective crises, this fact begs the question as to what role, if any, did the parliamentary components of these federations (institutions and conventional practices) play in the incidents leading to crisis, as well as those leading to change? Thus the first hypothesis: the parliamentary components of these federalparliamentary systems, specifically the institutions and conventional practices inherited from the Westminster tradition, work contrary to the spirit of federalism. In practice, they  29  have had a negative impact  o n these federations, and w e r e  a contributing  factor  in  the  crises.  S e c o n d , c o n s i d e r the f o l l o w i n g theoretical assertions o n f e d e r a l i s m . A  is  the  result  of  a  bargain  p r e d i s p o s e d to o f f e r i n g  struck  between  bargainers:  those  t h e b a r g a i n a n d t h o s e p r e d i s p o s e d to a c c e p t i n g it ( R i k e r ,  1964:  12). T h i s b a r g a i n runs the risk o f deteriorating  two  principal  sets  of  federation  i f it i s n o t f r e q u e n t l y  maintained  1964: 1 1 1 ; F r i e d r i c h , 1968: 175-176). B e c a u s e the quintessence o f a federal  (Riker,  arrangement  is a b a r g a i n b e t w e e n t h o s e a c t o r s p r e d i s p o s e d to e n t e r i n g i n t o s u c h a n a r r a n g e m e n t ,  because  the  crux  of  each crisis was  the  perceived devaluation  b a r g a i n , it w a s h y p o t h e s i z e d t h a t t h e s e c r i s e s w o u l d  of  the  be resolved by  original  and  federal  negotiating  a  new  federal bargain.  Implications T h e r e h a v e b e e n s o m e s h o r t c o m i n g s to the s t u d y o f f e d e r a l i s m . T h e e r a i n  which  F r i e d r i c h , L i v i n g s t o n , R i k e r and W h e a r e wrote their m o s t s e m i n a l w o r k s w a s defined  two  genres  (Riker,  of  analytical  focus:  1964), and whether  the  origins,  operation  and  significance  of  federalism w o u l d establish itself as a s y s t e m o f  by  federalism  government  o r p r o v e to b e a f l a s h - i n - t h e - p a n p o p u l a r trend. T o d a y , the s t u d y o f f e d e r a l i s m projects  starkly different focus. T h e staying power o f federalism has been sufficiently  by  the  fact that currently  formally  federal  (Elazar,  8 0 percent o f the w o r l d ' s  1994:  21-22).  Hence  population  students  of  evidenced  live in polities that  federalism  are  a  are  nowadays  interested in h o w and h o w w e l l federations w o r k ( B a k v i s a n d C h a n d l e r , 1987: 4).  B u t t h i s n e w f o c u s h a s c o m e at a c o s t . T o d a y , t h e s t u d y o f f e d e r a l i s m h a s t a k e n  a d e c i d e d l y d o m e s t i c character. In sharp contrast to the c o m p a r a t i v e m e t h o d s o f  on  Wheare  30  (1963), Friedrich (1968), R i k e r (1964) a n d L i v i n g s t o n (1958), students o f federalism n o w  employ  a more  distinctive  within-system  analytical  approach  (Bakvis  and Chandler,  1987: 5-6). B a r r i n g the v a l u e o f studying conditions e x c l u s i v e to a particular case,  an  approach, b y design, discourages the opportunity  to  learn  from  challenges  such  facing  similar federations exhibiting similar symptoms.  W h a t is more, students o f federalism have frequently analyzed C a n a d a , Australia  and  India  as single case  studies.  L i k e w i s e , their  parliamentary  systems  have  enjoyed  comparable attention f r o m students o f parliamentary democracy. H o w e v e r , w e are hard  pressed  to  find  sufficient  examination  o f  both  in  the  same  study,  let  alone, the  comparative analysis o f the influence o f Westminster-parliamentarism o n federalism.  s E x a m i n i n g the impact o f parliamentarism and the federal bargain o n the conduct  of  federalism  domestic  focus  d e s i g n , this  explores  is a task  best  served b y  and examining  recent  comparative  instances  o f crisis  study sheds light o n h o w a n d h o w well  the  impact  of  forces  within  federal  analysis. In  i n three  federations  systems,  departing  systems  work. What  beyond  federal  from  of  the  similar  is m o r e  it  institutions  themselves, w h i c h contribute to the conduct o f federalism.  Riker maintained the imperial powers made two principal errors. First, they unwisely placed important technological innovations in the hands of their dependencies, making them less dependent. Second, the imperial powers created, for the purposes of administration, nearly self-governing colonies (1964: 3). Sharman's 1990 study of demonstrates the impact of parliamentary aspects on federal systems, but it restricts the analysis to two cases, Australia and Canada. 1  2  31  CHAPTER 2: T H E CANADIAN, AUSTRALIAN AND INDIAN FEDERATIONS It is not uncommon for federal systems to experience periods of flux; episodes of crisis and calm. Here, we are concerned with the former rather than the latter. These periods of crisis, or 'turning points,' define critical phases of transformation in federal systems. Canada, Australia and India have recently experienced such crises. In each there developed a sense among a specific group of bargainers, namely the states/provinces, that the original bargain had deteriorated and become obsolete. Each crisis was brought about under similar circumstances. On the one hand, changing social and economic conditions at the state/provincial level (though varying from one case to the next) prompted subnational pressures for systemic change that would reflect these socio-economic changes. On the other, a new federal policy emerged: the unilateral centralization of the federation (through varying measures) and the successful curtailing of state/provincial bargaining power. In all three cases the states/provinces responded with political tactics deliberately used to discredit the federal government and force the return of subnational bargaining power. In due course the outcomes were the same. There took place a change in the direction of the federation, signaled by the return of the states/provinces as influential bargainers. What is more, the electorate, whose ability to participate in the bargain had been traditionally mute, emerged during these periods of crisis protesting traditional political norms as new participants in the federal bargain. By 1968, the Canadian federation entered what would become a sharp turning point. The federation fell into constitutional crisis. Unable to fully satisfy Quebec nationalism, a separatist government emerged under the Parti Quebecois. The province  32  was brought  i n t o a r e f e r e n d u m o n i n d e p e n d e n c e i n 1 9 8 0 , t h e first o f its k i n d i n C a n a d i a n  history.  as  But  p e r c e i v e d to b e  French-English  Smiley  in  and  Watts  crisis, this  relations"  argued, "to  the  extent  crisis has been regarded  (1985:  16).  B y  1980  that  Confederation  as c o n c e r n i n g m o r e  provincialism,  aimed  at  has  been  than  solely  curtailing  the  further c e n t r a l i z a t i o n o f the federation, b r e w e d unabated in the W e s t e r n p r o v i n c e s . T h e s e  two  issues were  further c o m p o u n d e d  by  the troubled  Canadian economy,  p r i m a r i l y b y n o t i c e a b l e e c o n o m i c disparities f r o m o n e r e g i o n to the  B y  resolving  1992  these  Canadians had  issues.  The  witnessed  first  was  three  only  T h e latter t w o  efforts,  both of which  along  Meech  the  way.  1992  also  Charlottetown,  and  they  the  events  aimed  could  be  best  federal  in due course collapsed, were  neither  that  the  issues that h a d c o m e  crisis. Despite  immediately  failure  of  followed  served  to  these  e v e n t s s i g n a l e d the r e g a i n e d b a r g a i n i n g p o w e r o f the p r o v i n c e s a n d the e m e r g e n c e o f  federalism  was  indeed  one  in the federal bargain. T h e  of  crisis, popularly  characterized  as  a  period  as w e l l as o n e o f ' t u r m o i l '  a n d 8 0 s , " H u g h e s e x p l a i n s , " m o r e t h a n [the]  system  provincialist  was  in  sentiments  of  'mega  the  1970s  2 (Nevitte,  1996: 49).  S i m i l a r assertions h a v e b e e n m a d e about the A u s t r a l i a n federation. " I n  federal  the  1968-1992 period of Canadian  1 constitutional polities',  to  the  d e m o n s t r a t e a t u r n in the d i r e c t i o n o f C a n a d i a n f e d e r a l i s m . T h o u g h not all positive,  electorate as n e w participants  at  b e t w e e n the provinces a n d the  signaled a change in  and  efforts  successful, and  a b l e to r e s o l v e t h e i s s u e s at h a n d , n o r a d d r e s s m a n y o f t h e n e w  light  next.  constitutional  remotely  characterized as a period o f serious confrontation  government.  major  characterized  some  had  kind  begun  of  u s u a l n u m b e r o f c l a i m s w e r e m a d e that  crisis"  to  form  (1998:  259).  amongst  the  B y  the  end  of  states,  and  the  the  the  1960s,  relentless  33  centralizing efforts o f the federal g o v e r n m e n t  heart  of  mounting  intergovernmental  w e r e in no s m a l l part responsible. A t  tensions  was  control  over jurisdictional  especially those o f an e c o n o m i c nature, w h i c h defined the strength and control  level of  the  matters,  of  each  government.  The  1 9 6 0 s c l o s e d w i t h a national r e f e r e n d u m that p r o d u c e d o n l y s e m i - s u c c e s s f u l  results for the federal g o v e r n m e n t .  O n the ballot  were two  specific issues:  membership  r e f o r m in the legislatures a n d A b o r i g i n a l v o t i n g rights. W h i l e the q u e s t i o n o n  v o t i n g rights w a s carried w i t h majorities  Aboriginal  i n all s i x states , the first, w h i c h w o u l d h a v e 3  in  the e n d w e a k e n e d state r e p r e s e n t a t i o n i n the central legislature, o n l y o b t a i n e d a m a j o r i t y  i n o n e state, a n d w a s thus not c a r r i e d ( C o m m o n w e a l t h o f A u s t r a l i a , 2 0 0 3 : O n l i n e ) .  4  O f the t h i r t e e n q u e s t i o n s p u t to the p e o p l e o f A u s t r a l i a i n f i v e f e d e r a l l y s p o n s o r e d  national  referenda  held  from  1976  to  1984,  only  four  of  eleven  questions  were  successfully carried. T h e failure o f the 1984 national r e f e r e n d u m s i g n a l e d a turning p o i n t  i n this crisis, as the last i n s t a n c e to date in w h i c h p o t e n t i a l l y c e n t r a l i z i n g l e g i s l a t i o n  put  to the vote. I n d e e d , s i n c e t h e n , the s u b s t a n c e o f n a t i o n a l r e f e r e n d a h a s b e e n  was  issues  m o r e i n tune w i t h state a n d p u b l i c c o n c e r n s .  The  Australian  intergovernmental  crisis,  confrontation  1967-1984,  and  was  competition.  to  a  A n d  large  the  extent  characterized  constitutional  impasse  e m e r g e d w a s b o t h the result of, a n d g a v e l i f e to, state b a r g a i n i n g p o w e r . W h a t is  the  electorate emerged  otherwise traditionally  as n e w  participants  in  the  by  that  more,  federal bargain, seeking a say in  an  e x c l u s i v e p r o c e s s . S u c h results p r o m p t e d H u g h e s to o b s e r v e that  " i n the 1 9 7 0 s a n d 1 9 8 0 s , there w a s c o n s i d e r a b l e c o n s t i t u t i o n a l c o n t r o v e r s y w h i c h l e d to a  movement of fundamental reform" (1998:  164).  34  The  Indian  federation  first P r i m e M i n i s t e r w o u l d  tells a similar tale. W h a t  eventually  result  b e g a n as the p a s s i n g o f  in, through  compounded  crisis e n d i n g w i t h the assassination o f his daughter. N e h r u ' s death i n  vacuum  Indira  in  India's  central  Gandhi, would  governance. The  s u b s e q u e n t rise to  i n t i m e n o t o n l y test the d u r a b i l i t y  India's  circumstances, a  1 9 6 4 left a  power  of  his  power  daughter,  o f the l o n g - s t a n d i n g C o n g r e s s  Party, but that o f center-state relations, a n d u l t i m a t e l y the c o u n t r y ' s u n i t y as w e l l .  U n d e r M r s . G a n d h i ' s leadership, the central g o v e r n m e n t  unrelenting policies o f centralization. Notwithstanding  poverty  and  regional  considerable  resistance  subordinate  role  centralization  resulting  economic  of  aimed  center-state  from  disparity,  selected  the  states  at  curbing  conflicts  within  latter h a l f o f the  the  and  that  emerged  policy  initiatives  subnational  and  took  was  groups.  reinforced  reinforcing  on  were  violent  met  only  restrained  uncooperative  violent  state  of  with  The  traditional  by  additional  national  unity.  separatist  The  dimensions,  Assam.  1970s was characterized by numerous  extra-constitutional  m e a s u r e s a i m e d n o t o n l y at e n d i n g e t h n i c v i o l e n c e , b u t a l s o c o n t r o l l i n g d i s s e n t i n g  governments and minority  and  her concerns for the abolition  federation  provincialism  especially in the P u n j a b , K a s h m i r , and  The  states  these  pursued deliberate  state  groups. T h e use o f such devices, especially those o f force,  agitators,  governments.  but  The  also  served  crisis peaked  as  in  a  useful  1984, w h e n  tool  for  Mrs.  not  removing  Gandhi  was  assassinated; a direct result o f the unrelenting troubles in the P u n j a b .  In the t w e n t y y e a r s b e t w e e n N e h r u ' s d e a t h a n d M r s . G a n d h i ' s a s s a s s i n a t i o n , the  Indian  federation had undergone a significant transformation.  In the e n d , the  emergence  o f state b a r g a i n i n g p o w e r a n d the m o b i l i z a t i o n o f the electorate p l a y e d a d e f i n i n g r o l e  in  35  the  shaping o f intergovernmental  Indeed  politics  t h e character o f center-state  Nehru's  and the eventual  turning  relations i n 1 9 8 8 differed  point  i n the crisis.  significantly  from  that i n  time.  T H E ORIGINAL CANADIAN BARGAIN The Pre-Federal A  France,  major  numerous  an  for the C a n a d i a n federal f o r m  the occupation  of  the colony  w a s the British conquest o f N e w  brought  together  two  very  different  w i t h i n a single set o f g e o g r a p h i c b o u n d a r i e s . T h o u g h c o n q u e r e d , t h e m o r e  Canadien-Francais resisted  o f a thriving  government  for  impetus  because  communities  advent  Conditions  a n d rebellious  religious,  power  social,  a n d political  to the south  to pursue a p o l i c y o f a c c o m m o d a t i o n rather  assurance  accommodating  communities,  of  military  French  partnership,  interests  under  the  the  British  convinced  assimilation. T h e  the British  than assimilation. In  made  Quebec Act,  a  marginal  colonial  exchange  attempt  1778. Thereafter  each possessed o f very dissimilar religious, social a n d political  at  two  attributes,  governed b y equally dissimilar legal structures, operated w i t h i n a single c o l o n y .  B e g i n n i n g i n 1 7 7 6 , as a result o f the A m e r i c a n R e v o l u t i o n , a n influx  loyalists from  English  the south tipped the demographic  majority  and increasing  communities. U n d e r the  French  Canada Act,  agitation  R e p o r t shortly thereafter,  Act of Union,  forced  o f the English. A  the segregation  clear  o f the t w o  1 7 9 1 , each w a s g i v e n a set o f defined borders a n d  very limited degrees o f a u t o n o m y to govern local  However, unrelenting  scale in favour  of Crown  matters.  conflict, a series o f rebellions i n 1 8 3 7 - 3 8 , a n d the D u r h a m  forced the amalgamation o f the colonies once more, under the  1840. Importantly,  the true  genius  of Durham's  report  l a y n o t i n its  36  unification  and  assimilation  responsible government,  this  parliamentary  Docherty, 2000:  but  in  his  more  poignant  recommendations  the c e n t e r p i e c e o f the B r i t i s h W e s t m i n s t e r  principle  was  firmly  in  place  and  widely  tradition.  practiced  B y  1848,  (Atkinson  was  and political g r i d l o c k persisted. F u r t h e r m o r e , the threat o f  ever-present.  Increasingly,  the  financial  pressures of  maintaining  to its e x p o r t s ( R o b i n s o n &  early  Simeon, 2000:  1860s,  British  and  the  British North American Act  together  the  federation o f  provinces  of  favour  245).  colonial  representatives  met  for  a  c o n f e r e n c e s . T h e y s o u g h t to r e s o l v e F r e n c h - E n g l i s h c o n f l i c t s , f i n d a m e a n s o f  the m i l i t a r i l y w e a k c o l o n i e s , and support  a  colonial  m e r c a n t i l e a r r a n g e m e n t s that h a d s u s t a i n e d the e c o n o m y o f the C a n a d a s a n d g i v e n  the  &  American  g l o b a l e m p i r e w e i g h e d h e a v i l y o n t h e B r i t i s h C r o w n . It c h o s e t o d i s m a n t l e t h e  In  for  14).  But conflict  expansionism  tactic  series  protecting  the f a i l i n g c o l o n i a l e c o n o m i e s . T h e result  (renamed  the  Quebec, Ontario,  Constitution Act,  N e w  Brunswick,  1867),  and  which  Nova  of  was  brought  Scotia  as  the  Canada.  T h e d e f i n i n g features o f the C a n a d i a n f e d e r a t i o n are the result o f its c o l o n i a l past.  A n d a l m o s t s i n c e its i n c e p t i o n , the C a n a d i a n f e d e r a t i o n h a s b e e n r e p e a t e d l y c r i t i c i z e d  being  overly  noteworthy  parliamentary  centralized,  that  Canada  employing  was  the  p r i n c i p l e s . T h i s fact,  unitary  first  to  however,  institutions  in  incorporate  did  not  exempt  a  federal  federal  it  from  and  setting.  is  Westminster  the p r o b l e m s  d e v e l o p m e n t s that a r o s e f o l l o w i n g C o n f e d e r a t i o n , c u l m i n a t i n g i n a crisis.  It  for  and  37  The Nature of the Original Canadian Bargain A federation's form is a reflective sum of those present during the initial negotiations, the concerns they espoused, and the initial bargain that ensues (Sharman, 1990: 211). Likewise, the nature of the original Canadian bargain, what was decided upon and why, are reflected in the broad competing interests of those who participated in the conferences of the 1860s. Representatives of the British Crown sought to create a self-sufficient nation with a strong economic and political infrastructure. They believed the continuation of colonial practices in a Westminster-parliamentary fashion, under a unitary scheme, was the best approach. Conversely, representatives of the colonies sought a more decentralized approach that would allow them the preservation of identity and autonomy. Realizing that no one single colony was sufficiently possessed of economic or military power to be independent, they sought a federal compromise that would allow for the representation and accommodation of their interests. The Confederation settlement was a burdening compromise. The founders could not ignore the concerns of both the French and the smaller Maritime colonies. The French were undoubtedly the minority and the potential for an English dominated system was a primary concern. Likewise, given the priority of a strong economy matched by a strong central government, the smaller colonies were concerned about how centralized the new state would be. Would responsibilities be largely shared or expressly separated? Who would control  finances?  How would provincial interests be voiced in a federal setting?  Would parliamentary practices continue, or would the new Canadian federation mimic the American presidential model (Robinson and Simeon, 2000: 245-246)?  38  Colonial  representatives  played  a  key  role  in  the  Confederation  settlement,  s w a y i n g o p i n i o n in f a v o u r o f a federal m o d e l . Y e t the degree to w h i c h the federation  is  centralized reflects the p a r a m o u n t c y o f B r i t i s h c o n c e r n s .  Key Federal Components of the Canadian System The  linguistic  formal  federal  conflict,  foundations  for  elements  satisfying  a vibrant  of  the  Canadian  French ambitions  and  self-sufficient  in  federation  particular,  economy.  The  and  sought  to  lay  to  the  Constitution  resolve  necessary  provided  the  p r o v i n c e s w i t h as m u c h as t h e y n e e d e d to p r o t e c t t h e i r i d e n t i t i e s : c o n t r o l o f h e a l t h c a r e ,  education,  social  asymmetric  programming,  design  of  key  and  limited  revenue  which  afforded  institutions,  sources.  Quebec  What  a  is  more,  heightened  the  level  of  c o n t r o l , s e e m e d to a c c o m m o d a t e its d i s t i n c t s o c i e t y status ( S i m e o n , 1 9 8 8 : 1 1 ; B a k v i s a n d  S k o g s t a d , 2 0 0 2 : 3). C o n s i d e r the m e m b e r s h i p o f the C a n a d i a n Senate, the  representative b o d y  Act,  of provincial  c o n c e r n s at t h e  hypothetically  federal level. U n d e r the  Constitution  1 8 6 7 , Q u e b e c , as w e l l as O n t a r i o , w a s a f f o r d e d n o less t h a n t w e n t y - f o u r seats, w h i l e  N e w B r u n s w i c k and N o v a S c o t i a w e r e each afforded no m o r e than ten.  H o w e v e r , the r e c o n c i l i a t i o n o f Q u e b e c o i s ambitions s h o u l d not b e c o n f u s e d  the  creation  of  a  coordinated  federation.  The  struggle  to  reconcile  u n i t a r i s m is reflected i n the federal yet h i g h l y c e n t r a l i z e d nature o f the  1867, which  keeps provincial  autonomy  necessary structure o f a federation: t w o  through  two  r e a d i n g o f it,  in close check. T h e  levels o f government,  federalism  scales o f p o w e r  and  Constitution Act,  Constitution provides  the diffusion o f  are purposely tilted i n favour  the  authority  lists o f e n u m e r a t e d p o w e r s , a n d select areas o f c o n c u r r e n c y . A n d a  suggests the  with  o f the  careful  center,  creating a subordinate rather than coordinate federal relationship. K . C . W h e a r e observed  39  "if  we  confine  know  o u r s e l v e s to  whether  we  should  modifications, or a unitary  the  strict l a w s o f the  call  it  a  federal  constitution  [Canadian]  constitution  constitution,  with  it  is h a r d  considerable  to  unitary  w i t h considerable federal modifications"  (1963:  19).  S h a r m a n ( 1 9 9 0 : 2 1 5 ) argues the C a n a d i a n federal relationship is not so  different  f r o m its c o l o n i a l past. H e s u g g e s t s the f o u n d e r s i n t e n d e d the p r o v i n c e s to t a k e the p l a c e  o f the c o l o n i e s , a n d the center, that o f the f o r m e r i m p e r i a l p o w e r . T h e p r o v i n c e s  would  r e t a i n c e r t a i n o u t l e t s o f a u t o n o m y , a n d t h e f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t w o u l d , f r o m t i m e to  intervene  in  matters  it  perceived  precisely the v i s i o n o f the  to  be  of  Constitution Act,  national  importance.  This,  he  time,  explains,  is  1867.  L i k e w i s e , S m i t h m a i n t a i n s the C a n a d i a n C o n s t i t u t i o n n e v e r g a v e f u l l effect to  federal  i d e a that a d i v i s i o n o f p o w e r  entails respective spheres in w h i c h  i n d e p e n d e n t a n d c o o r d i n a t e ( 2 0 0 2 : 4 2 ) . I n d e e d , the  Act  each level  control  o f provincial executive power and override provincial legislation (Sharman, 1990:  amidst  its  preoccupation  with  defining  and  is  provides a variety o f mechanisms,  s u c h as the p o w e r s o f r e s e r v a t i o n a n d d i s a l l o w a n c e , b y w h i c h the c e n t e r c a n t a k e  A n d  the  limiting  federalism,  the  212).  constitution  separates C a n a d a f r o m other federations b y first e x p r e s s l y s p e c i f y i n g the p o w e r s o f e a c h  level  of  government,  Skogstad,  2002:  and  7). In  second,  s o d o i n g , it  allocating  limits  all  residuals  provincial  to  the  authority b y  center  (Bakvis  explicitly  and  specifying  t h o s e p o w e r s that b e l o n g to t h e s u b u n i t s , r a t h e r t h a n a l l o c a t i n g a p o t e n t i a l l y l a r g e r list  r e s i d u a l s to  them.  However,  which  the  of  the  federal division o f  centralized spirit  o f the  financial resources is perhaps the k e y  constitution  is best d e m o n s t r a t e d , a n d  area  the o n e  in  over  40  w h i c h C a n a d a w o u l d spiral i n t o c r i s i s . In o r d e r to u n d e r t a k e the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a l l o c a t e d  to t h e m , the p r o v i n c e s w e r e c h a r g e d w i t h the o n e p o w e r o f direct taxation. C o n v e r s e l y , i n  o r d e r to create a s t r o n g e c o n o m y w i t h a n e q u a l l y s t r o n g center, the c o n s t i t u t i o n  the federal g o v e r n m e n t  afforded  the c o m p a r a t i v e l y larger p o w e r to raise m o n e y , w i t h o u t  contest,  b y any m o d e or system o f taxation.  Key Parliamentary Components of the Canadian System M a n y elements o f the W e s t m i n s t e r m o d e l found their w a y into the practices o f the  Canadian  Parliament.  government  and  the  O f  particular  fusion  of  note  power,  are those o f  which  responsible government,  concentrate  power  in  the  cabinet  cabinet  to  an  e x t r e m e degree e v e n b y the standards o f other W e s t m i n s t e r - s t y l e d s y s t e m s ( S i m e o n  Cameron,  2002:  282).  Reinforcing  these  d i s c i p l i n e . F i n a l l y there is the larger n o t i o n  practices  are  the  party  system  and  and  party  of executive dominance, which looms  over  these practices a n d is largely aided b y a legislative and executive superiority afforded  the  federal  government  under  the  Constitution  Act,  1867  (Sharman,  1990:  to  215).  I m p o r t a n t l y , t h e s e p a r l i a m e n t a r y p r a c t i c e s a r e m i r r o r e d at t h e p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l as w e l l .  T h e f u s i o n o f p o w e r t h a t e x i s t s at b o t h l e v e l s o f g o v e r n m e n t  M i n i s t e r , p r e m i e r s , m i n i s t e r s , a n d t h e i r o f f i c i a l s to c o n t r o l  enables the  Prime  the H o u s e o f C o m m o n s  and  p r o v i n c i a l assemblies. W h a t is m o r e , this fusion affords a strong concentration o f  power  in  fusion  a  cabinet  government.  A s  a  derivative  of  concentrates sovereignty exclusively in central  In  Canada,  this  fusion  is  reinforced  the  British  unitary  model,  this  institutions.  by  two  particular  elements:  first,  the  i m p o r t a n c e p l a c e d i n p o l i t i c a l parties as f u n c t i o n a l e l e m e n t s o f the p a r l i a m e n t a r y s y s t e m ,  a n d s e c o n d , the c o n v e n t i o n o f party d i s c i p l i n e w h i c h a l l o w s for the retention o f p o w e r  in  41 the H o u s e o f C o m m o n s . T a n g u a y argues opportunities  for representation and consensus  b u i l d i n g are limited in a " l e a d e r - d o m i n a t e d political s y s t e m w i t h strict party  discipline"  ( 2 0 0 2 : 306). H e contends that " w h e n in p o w e r w i t h a majority, the P r i m e M i n i s t e r  [can  use] p a r t y d i s c i p l i n e l i k e a c l u b to b l u d g e o n internal a n d external o p p o s i t i o n to h i s o r  her  policies" (2002: 310).  CENTRALIZING TOWARDS CRISIS One  shift  from  very  the  significant  practice  Smith maintains  of  development  set the stage for  classical federalism  to  the C a n a d i a n crisis: a  over-centralization  and  hard  concurrency.  federal systems can be centralized, balanced or decentralized. O f  i m p o r t a n c e , she e x p l a i n s , " i s the r e q u i r e m e n t that e a c h l e v e l o f g o v e r n m e n t  real  is p o s s e s s e d  s e c u r e l y o f the l e g i s l a t i v e r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s that are a s s i g n e d to it" ( 2 0 0 2 : 4 1 - 4 2 ) . C a n a d i a n  federalism remained  Robinson  and  this  Simeon  way  until the  argue  years immediately  federalism  during  this  following  period  World  tilted  in  War  favour  One.  of  provinces. Responsibilities rarely overlapped, reservation and disallowance powers  rarely  used,  resource  and  provincial  development  so  coffers  that  the  were  filled  provinces  by  were  post-Word  not  War  dependent  One  on  the  were  industrial  federal  and  subsidies  (2000: 248).  D u r i n g the G r e a t D e p r e s s i o n , the federal b a l a n c e o f p o w e r tilted b a c k in f a v o u r  the  center. H i g h  edge  of  unemployment  bankruptcy.  Unable  to  and a stagnant  provide  economy brought  welfare,  relief,  and  the  proper  of  provinces to  the  health  the  care,  p r o v i n c e s t u r n e d to the f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t f o r a i d . S i m i l a r p r o b l e m s i n the U n i t e d States  had  been  partially  resolved  through  centralization.  A  Canadian  plan  was  devised  r e q u i r i n g the c o n t r o v e r s i a l u s e o f the P e a c e , O r d e r , a n d G o o d G o v e r n m e n t c l a u s e .  5  W h e n  42  referred to the Judicial C o m m i t t e e o f the P r i v y C o u n c i l , h o w e v e r , the p l a n w a s found  b e a n e g r e g i o u s e x e r c i s e o f f e d e r a l p o w e r b e y o n d its l i m i t s ( R o b i n s o n &  Simeon,  to  2000:  2 4 8 ) . A t i s s u e w a s t h e r e s o l u t i o n o f p r o v i n c i a l e c o n o m i c m a l a i s e , b u t n o t at t h e c o s t  o f  over-centralizing the federation.  The Royal  Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations (1937) was launched  to d e t e r m i n e h o w it w a s , u n d e r C a n a d a ' s  driven to near bankruptcy.  financial  concurrency.  federal arrangements, that the p r o v i n c e s  It f i r s t c o n d e m n e d t h e f e d e r a l  T h e  Commission  sided  were  government's.enlargement  with  Wheare's  (1963)  of  notional  compartmentalization o f jurisdictional responsibilities, stating:  The evolution of political policies within the framework of the constitution is leading to joint activity between the Dominion and the Provinces...this contrasts sharply with the original conception of federalism as a clear-cut division of powers to be exercised separately, and experience indicates that it is injurious to sound public finance and to efficient administration (Royal Commission on Dominion-Provincial Relations, 1937: 205-206). S e c o n d , it s p o k e o u t a g a i n s t c o n d i t i o n a l  enlarging  concurrency,  burdensome  (Jackson  for the provinces  and Jackson,  implemented,  The  the  grants.  Commission  recommended  b e transferred  2 0 0 1 :204).N o n e  In r e s p o n s e to the d u b i o u s  directly  over  powers  too  o f the C o m m i s s i o n ' s recommendations  Second World  were  W a r forced a further imbalance i n C a n a d i a n federalism; the  under the  War Measures  S i m e o n , 2 0 0 0 : 2 4 9 ) . In the post-war years this type o f intervention d i d  n o t c e a s e . T h e e x p a n s i o n o f O t t a w a ' s s p e n d i n g p o w e r a l l o w e d it to b r o a d e n  itself  in a number  jurisdiction.  What  by  financial  offering  government  however.  (Robinson &  involving  o f  financially  to t h e f e d e r a l  center assumed nearly all the powers o f a unitary government  Act  practice  o f areas that  clearly  fell  within  i s m o r e , it a l l o w e d t h e f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t  subsidies o n the conditional  the scope  concurrency,  of  provincial  to shape provincial  basis o f provincial  compliance  policy  with  43 federal  standards (McRoberts, 1985: 75-76). That is, by funding  provincially  administered activities, the federal government dictated the spending priorities and standards for a variety of social, health and education programs (Archer, et al., 1999: 158). Formally, there were no restrictions on Ottawa's spending power. Post-war economic prosperity sustained the unabated expansion of federal tax revenues, and a new series of shared-cost and conditional-grant programs were created. In sum, these actions pointed towards two trends: the first, the intentional centralization of the Canadian federation, and second, the removal of the provinces from the decision-making process. The economic subordination of the provinces without access to formal recourse, coupled with the social and economic changes taking place in Canada's regions, culminated in a crisis that required a change in the direction of Canadian federalism.  T H E CANADIAN CRISIS The crisis was first characterized by the unprecedented use of centralization and unilateral initiatives by the federal executive. These were in turn matched by a fierce provincialism. At their zenith, these competing forces brought about the theoretical exclusion of Quebec from the federation in 1982. Subsequently, the crisis was also characterized by elite accommodation and the excessive use of executive federalism in order to reconcile growing Western discontent, and to achieve the reentrance of Quebec into the federation. Amidst these developments there rose a decline in public deference towards executive dominance and the lack of accountability and transparency that had come to define the political system.  44  Centralization, Collaboration & Unilateralism T h e unilateral  policy pursuits  o f the federal executive in the  1970s and  80s  little to suggest the scales o f f e d e r a l i s m h a d tilted b a c k i n f a v o u r o f the p r o v i n c e s .  w a s p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e o f its c o n s t i t u t i o n a l  arrangements  in  1960s onward,  independent  1982.  The  which  6  regular  broadened  outlook  use of  This  f r o m 1 9 7 6 to 1 9 8 1 , a n d its f i s c a l p o l i c y  First  collaboration  did  Ministers'  Conferences  from  and so concurrency, further  the  late  eroded  the  d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g role o f the p r o v i n c e s b y m a k i n g the federal g o v e r n m e n t  a  partner in m a n y provincial areas o f jurisdiction. In 1985 M c R o b e r t s noted:  In major areas of federal-provincial contention, including constitutional revision, regional economic development policy, fiscal arrangements and energy policy, the federal government showed a new readiness to act unilaterally, without provincial acquiescence or, in the case of fiscal arrangements, without serious consultation (1985: 97). The  changing  political  climate  of  the  1960s,  especially in  Quebec,  P r i m e M i n i s t e r T r u d e a u to l e a d the F i r s t M i n i s t e r s into a l a r g e - s c a l e r e v i e w o f  rights,  rights  distribution  and  of  freedoms  federal  and  more  generally,  provincial  the  powers,  redesign  regional  of  disparity,  C o n s t i t u t i o n , a n d w i t h it a n a m e n d i n g f o r m u l a ( H u r l e y , 1 9 9 4 :  Many  of  the  amendments  decided  upon  national  required  the  none  achieved  the  p o s s i b l e paths to r e f o r m  necessary consent.  In  March  b y m e a n s o f unilateral  the  patriation  of  the  consent  of  the  1).  unanimous  1976,  language  institutions,  p r o v i n c e s a n d the f e d e r a l e x e c u t i v e . F r o m 1971 to 1 9 7 6 r e f o r m p a c k a g e s w e r e  but  convinced  Trudeau  federal initiative.  produced,  announced  A l l three plans  three  sought  patriation, but o n l y o n e i n c o r p o r a t e d the substantive r e f o r m s the p r o v i n c e s desired. T h e s e  p l a n s w e r e later a b a n d o n e d . T r u d e a u m o u n t e d  amend  that w h i c h  he  felt c a m e u n d e r  a similar attempt in  federal jurisdiction  and  June  1978, s e e k i n g to  so c o u l d b e changed  by  45  legislation in Parliament. B u t pressures forced  (Hurley,  the abandonment  o f these p l a n s as  well  1994: 2).  D u r i n g the 1 9 8 0 Q u e b e c R e f e r e n d u m c a m p a i g n , T r u d e a u p r o m i s e d the p e o p l e  Q u e b e c that i f they v o t e d N O , h e w o u l d  The  resulting  Ministers,  N O  but  vote  prompted  again, unanimity  w o r k diligently  intense,  could  not  to r e n e w  closed door  be  Canadian federalism.  negotiations  achieved. The  between  straitjacket  of  initiatives"  P r o g r a m , and the  (2002:  Constitution Act,  8). M o s t n o t a b l y  the  First  unanimous,  c o n s e n t p r o m p t e d T r u d e a u to u n d e r t a k e w h a t B a k v i s a n d S k o g s t a d r e f e r to as  nation-building  "unilateral  these i n c l u d e d the N a t i o n a l  1982. In O c t o b e r 1980 T r u d e a u p r o p o s e d a  Energy  unilateral  patriation o f the Constitution w i t h an appended 'people's p a c k a g e ' i n c l u d i n g a charter  rights  and freedoms, a two-year  and a commitment  3).  Sufficient  process aimed towards  devising an amending  one  more  round  of  First  Minister  and  nine  Constitution Act,  of  the  premiers.  The  Premier  of  Quebec  1994:  conferencing.  N o v e m b e r 1 9 8 1 , b a c k d o o r p o l i t i c s l e d to t h e s i g n i n g o f a n a g r e e m e n t b e t w e e n the  Minister  refused  to  of  formula,  to e q u a l i z a t i o n a n d the r e d u c t i o n o f r e g i o n a l d i s p a r i t y ( H u r l e y ,  resistance prompted  of  In  Prime  sign  1982, arguing these negotiations had been purposely secretive w i t h  the  the  intent o f excluding Quebec.  In that s a m e year, the f e d e r a l e x e c u t i v e s o u g h t to d r a s t i c a l l y readjust the  for determining  e q u a l i z a t i o n p a y m e n t s , a n d a l o n g w i t h it, r e s t r i c t  rate o f g r o w t h o f the G N P ( M c R o b e r t s , 1 9 8 5 : 9 9 ) . In A p r i l  Parliament  to  effect  these changes. U n d e r these  formula  f u t u r e i n c r e a s e s to  1982 a bill w a s presented  circumstances the  provinces  could  little else but protest o n the grounds o f inadequate consultation. O t h e r w i s e , there d i d  e x i s t a f o r m o f f o r m a l r e c o u r s e a v a i l a b l e to the p r o v i n c e s .  the  in  do  not  46  Ten Premiers vs. One Prime Minister: A Provincial Counter-Offensive A  several  mechanisms  powers,  1985:  Constitution Act,  careful reading o f the  the  by  provinces  which  the  possessed  federal  few  1867, reveals that w h i l e  government  formal  could  measures  of  intrude  recourse  14). A c c o r d i n g l y , the p r o v i n c e s r e s p o n d e d w i t h a t w o - f o l d  multilateral  negotiations,  and strengthening  collaboration  b e g a n to  subordination  between  the  use Trudeau's  advantage, by forming  two  First  had  in  levels of  part  been  government.  Ministers'  due  to  During  Conferences on  provincial  Watts,  political tactic:  abusing  ties w i t h the p u b l i c .  large  upon  existed  &  (Smiley  Importantly, this  tactic spilled over into a federal-provincial competition for citizen  Provincial  there  loyalty.  the  the  heightened  1970s, the  constitutional  state  them  (Smiley  influence  c h a n g e to  o p p o s i t i o n to the n u m e r o u s a m e n d m e n t s that r e q u i r e d  &  Watts,  in  matters  1985:  14).  pursue bilateral negotiations  the  multilateral  opportunity  do  with  First  more  loyalty  exclusively  within  unanimous  Ottawa's  1 9 8 5 , M c R o b e r t s o b s e r v e d that T r u d e a u ' s  in the early  Ministers'  intimate  Another  key  Ottawa  had  provision  In  almost  their  would  jurisdiction  decision  1 9 8 0 s h a d e v e r y t h i n g to d o w i t h h i s d i s l i k e  Conferences, which  did  little  more  than  provide  to  for  an  f o r ' f e d - b a s h i n g ' . A s s u c h , h e e x p l a i n e d , T r u d e a u ' s b i l a t e r a l t a c t i c h a d less to  conquer tactic (1985:  powers  now  of  provinces  consent. E i t h e r i n d i v i d u a l l y o r in g r o u p s , the p r o v i n c e s t o o k initiatives they h o p e d  gain  latter  negotiations,  first  more  to  do  with  establishing  a  divide-and-  79).  aspect o f the p r o v i n c i a l  acquired,  o f the p r o v i n c i a l  ensued,  and  and  in  so  governments.  characterized by  counter-offensive  doing,  A n  making  clear  intergovernmental  provincial  dissent and  was  the repossession  those  services  competition  then  by  federal  for  were  of  a  citizen  efforts  to  47  c l o s e the g a pb e t w e e n it a n d t h e c i t i z e n r y . I m p o r t a n t l y , S m i l e y a n dW a t t s m a i n t a i n that i n  the course o f events, O t t a w a failed to bridge the gap, a n d i n s o doing, demonstrated  that  its f o r m a l p o w e r s f a r e x c e e d e d its r e a l s o c i a l p o w e r ( 1 9 8 5 : 2 5 ) .  Quebec  while  other  provincial  h a d b e e n the first p r o v i n c e to c l o s e t h e g a p b e t w e e n  provinces  fell  government  administrative  consequence  victim  to cost-sharing programs.  A  it a n d i t s c i t i z e n s ,  regular  activity  o f the  during the years o f the Quiet Revolution w a s the assumption  powers  and policy  o f this,  according  responsibilities  to  Bakvis  elsewhere  and Skogstad,  of  exercised b y Ottawa. T h e  was a  relationship between Q u e b e c citizens a n dthe federal government  " d e facto  different  than [was] experienced  b y English-speaking Canadians i n other provinces" (2002: 10).  The provinces were, under the  to  act directly  upon  their  citizens  Constitution Act,  within  the scope o f the areas listed  (Smith, 2002: 43). D u r i n g the 1970s a n d early  areas i n w h i c h  the provincial  governments  namely health, social programming,  argued  their  perfectly  province-centered  justifiable  on  the  1867, e m p o w e r e d with the right  in section 92.  1980s they concentrated their  and the people h a d particularly  efforts o n  strong  a n d education. In defence o f the provinces,  policies,  grounds  like  o f  Ottawa's  federal-centered  representation;  i.e.  Dupre  policies,  provincial  ties;  were  reaction  to  constituent a n dinterest g r o u p d e m a n d s ( 1 9 8 5 : 2 0 ) .  The  root o f the federal  government's  disadvantage l a y i n the fact  that its  only  direct l i n k to't h e C a n a d i a n p e o p l e w e r e select i n c o m e s u p p o r t p r o g r a m s that d i d n o t r e a c h  all C a n a d i a n s , whereas the provinces p r o v i d e d the great m a j o r i t y o f the p u b l i c  that  reached  provinces  all Canadians (Smiley  h a d inserted  themselves  &  Watts,  directly  1 9 8 5 :27). A n d s o , concerned  between  the Ottawa  benefits  that the  a n d the citizenry, the  48  federal government completely disregarded provincial jurisdictions b y circumventing  the  process  the  of  fiscal  contributions,  and  directly  providing  benefits  and  services  to  Canadian people (McRoberts, 1985: 97).  T r u d e a u ' s t h i r d a t t e m p t at u n i l a t e r a l p a t r i a t i o n  in  1980 was noteworthy.  In  order  to a v o i d a p r o v i n c i a l b a c k l a s h a n d a p p e a s e p u b l i c c r i t i q u e o f h i s unilateral a p p r o a c h , the  Prime  Minister  intentionally  developed  the  'people's  package,'  which  deliberately preceded b y broad public parliamentary hearings (Hurley,  many  o f the unilateral  initiatives  undertaken b y  reduce the gap b e t w e e n the federal g o v e r n m e n t  Policy,  direct  aid  to  municipalities,  grants  to  Trudeau in  the  early  had  1994: 6).  Indeed,  1980s sought  a n d the citizenry: the N a t i o n a l  university  been  research centers, the  to  Energy  Canada  H e a l t h A c t , a n d the successful patriation o f the C o n s t i t u t i o n w i t h a Charter o f R i g h t s  Freedoms (McRoberts, 1985:  and  103-104).  Quebec During  the  Quiet  Revolution  of  the  1960s,  Premier  L e s a g e ' s efforts  to  gain  Q u e b e c a s p e c i a l status i n C o n f e d e r a t i o n a l l o w e d the p r o v i n c e to opt out o f a n u m b e r  areas i n w h i c h the rest o f C a n a d a w a s p i n n e d d o w n i n c o l l a b o r a t i v e a r r a n g e m e n t s  the  federal  government  (McRoberts,  1985:  84).  But  by  the  mid-1960s,  Trudeau  v o i c e d h i s r e s o l u t e o p p o s i t i o n to a n y f o r m o f s p e c i a l status f o r Q u e b e c ( 1 9 8 5 :  s u c c e s s i v e failures to  election o f  secure a satisfactory  the Parti Q u e b e c o i s ( P Q ) i n  level o f sovereignty  1976. T h e  P Q , which  for  with  had  The  Q u e b e c , led to  the  had campaigned on  the  p r o m i s e o f a p r o v i n c e - w i d e r e f e r e n d u m o n sovereignty-association, c h a n g e d the  o f Quebec's policy towards federalism.  85).  of  direction  49  Though  referendum  Quebec  Trudeau's  tactics,  that  their  the  N O  1980  promise  debacle  vote  of  had  the  to  renew  federalism  constitutional  fallen  on  deaf  staved off  negotiations  ears.  Simeon  in  1981  argues  the  PQ's  convinced  Quebec's  1981  e x c l u s i o n p o s e d a s e r i o u s c r i s i s to  the federation,  l e g i t i m a c y o f the n e w constitutional  order," but also because " h o w e v e r m u t e d the Q u e b e c  independence movement  [then]  s e e m e d , the  not  had  o n l y b e c a u s e it " u n d e r m i n e d  imposition  o f the  Constitution  on  Quebec  w o u l d b e a p o w e r f u l w e a p o n i n the h a n d s o f future separatist m o v e m e n t s " ( 1 9 8 8 :  From  1982  to  1987  Quebec  isolated  itself  politically  from  the  8).  federation.  O f f i c i a l l y , it t o o k the s t a n d that w h i l e it w a s a l e g a l d o c u m e n t , t h e  Constitution Act,  was  province's  politically  sovereignty  constitutional  illegitimate  without  because  consent  (Hurley,  it  infringed  1994:  7).  upon  the  Therefore,  without  first  c o n c e r n s r e s o l v e d , Q u e b e c r e f u s e d to participate i n a n y future  the  1982  legislative  having  its  multilateral  constitutional discussions.  T h e r e t u r n to p o w e r  bilateral negotiations  Murray.  w a s the  b e t w e e n the g o v e r n m e n t  However removed  the T r u d e a u  o f the Q u e b e c Liberals in  y e a r s , it n o w  1985 a l l o w e d for  the c o n d u c t  of Quebec and Canadian Senator  Q u e b e c h a d b e e n f r o m the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g process  s e e m e d to b e i n f i r m c o n t r o l . T h e s u m o f these  Meech Lake Accord,  1987. In  Lowell  during  negotiations  a S p e c i a l J o i n t C o m m i t t e e o f the S e n a t e a n d  H o u s e o f C o m m o n s o n the A c c o r d , Senator M u r r a y  of  the  stated:  The 1987 Constitutional Accord completes the unfinished business of 1981 and thereby ends Quebec's isolation from the country's constitutional process. No longer is Quebec half in, and half out, of our constitutional family (1989: 13). In addressing Q u e b e c ' s c o n c e r n s ,  7  the A c c o r d , argued M u r r a y ,  province constituted a distinct society (1989:  a l s o r e c o g n i z e d that  the  17). S i m i l a r l y , C a i r n s r e m a r k e d that f o r  the  Q u e b e c a n d M u l r o n e y g o v e r n m e n t s , as for their supporters,  Meech Lake  was a  welcome  50  response to  Q u e b e c that c o n t r a s t e d its p r e v i o u s b e t r a y a l i n  1982 (1992:  64). Y e t ,  even  after a c h i e v i n g the full c o n s e n t o f all the First M i n i s t e r s , the A c c o r d d i d not s u r v i v e  the  ratification required o f all provincial legislative a s s e m b l i e s , and died in June 1990.  A  Office  report issued b y  stated that "to  November  5,  the D i r e c t o r o f C o n s t i t u t i o n a l  the perception o f  1981, was  a d d e d the  'betrayal'  perception  Canada on June 23, 1990" (Hurley,  1994:  of  of  Affairs  for  Quebec by  'rejection'  of  the P r i v y  Council  the rest o f C a n a d a  Quebec by  the  on  rest  of  11). S h o r t l y thereafter, the B e l a n g e r - C a m p e a u  C o m m i s s i o n w a s e s t a b l i s h e d t o d e t e r m i n e h o w Q u e b e c s h o u l d p r o c e e d . It  recommended  another  no  referendum  on  sovereignty  be  held  as e a r l y  as June  1990,  and  O c t o b e r ; Q u e b e c ' s N a t i o n a l A s s e m b l y a p p r o v e d t h i s r e c o m m e n d a t i o n . Iii M a y  federal  government  offered  a counter proposal, tabling  a bill  in  later  than  1 9 9 2 , the  P a r l i a m e n t that  would  require a C a n a d a - w i d e referendum o n any constitutional proposal.  In M a y a n d J u n e 1 9 9 2 , bilateral a n d m u l t i l a t e r a l n e g o t i a t i o n s w e r e h e l d i n o r d e r to  c o n s i d e r Q u e b e c ' s p r o p o s a l s . In J u l y P r e m i e r B o u r a s s a a g r e e d to a set o f p r i n c i p l e s  felt e c h o e d those o f Q u e b e c ' s position i n the  Meech Lake Accord.  In A u g u s t 1 9 9 2 , all  the First M i n i s t e r s , the t w o territorial g o v e r n m e n t leaders, and A b o r i g i n a l  gave their  c o n s e n t to the  Charlottetown Accord.  In  October  he  of  representatives  1992, the A c c o r d failed  to  achieve a p p r o v a l in a national r e f e r e n d u m . W i t h the failure o f the A c c o r d , c a m e the rise  o f the B l o c  Quebecois  Quebecois, a sovereignist party  achieve  official  O f f i c i a l O p p o s i t i o n . In  party  status  in  at t h e  the  federal level. N o t  1993  federal  o n l y d i d the  elections,  it  became  Bloc  the  1 9 9 4 the P Q r e t u r n e d to p o w e r , c a m p a i g n i n g o n the p r o m i s e o f a  referendum, this time m a n d a t i n g a unilateral declaration o f independence f r o m  Canada.  The West Amidst  growth  went  the constitutional  unnoticed.  mayhem  Ongoing  o f the 1970s, Western  preoccupations  with  provincial  the traditional  economic  French-English  d i v i d e o v e r s h a d o w e d t h e fact that w h i l e i n c r e a s i n g l y p r o s p e r o u s , t h e W e s t e r n P r o v i n c e s  remained  subservient  to a variety  o f financial  programs  and an unwavering  affixation  w i t h C e n t r a l C a n a d a . A s t u d y u n d e r t a k e n b y S m i l e y a n d W a t t s i n 1 9 8 5n o t e d that:  During the later years of the 1970s and the early 1980s, the growing strength of the resource-based economies of the Western Provinces, leading to a western shift in Canada's center of economic gravity, augmented the Western perception that Ottawa was determined to control the region's economic development to western disadvantage (1985: 13). M o r e g e n e r a l l y , they c o n c l u d e d that t h e constitutional  the C a n a d i a n federation  difficulties  being experienced b y  h a d little to d o w i t h Q u e b e c alone, a n d m o r e to d o w i t h  much  b r o a d e r issues that affected t h e p r o v i n c e s outside o f central C a n a d a ( 1 9 8 5 : 12).  Chief  among  Western  Senate seat distribution.  concerns  w a s representation,  especially  with  regard  to  Q u e b e c a n d O n t a r i o r e c e i v e four times as m a n y seats as d o a n y  o f the Western Provinces.  Original asymmetric allocations were based o n the argument  that Q u e b e c a n d O n t a r i o w e r e d e m o g r a p h i c a l l y a n d e c o n o m i c a l l y s u p e r i o r to the W e s t e r n  Provinces  and  so  justifiably  received  more  seats.  However,  the  economic  and  d e m o g r a p h i c changes o f the late 1970s a n d early 1980s p r o m p t e d the W e s t e r n P r o v i n c e s  to  lobby  for proportionality  between  representative  political  power  and the  growing  against  Western  Western provincial economies ( S m i l e y & Watts, 1985: 12).  What  is more,  Canada's  Westminster-style  Parliament  worked  interests, as d i d the national party s y s t e m as a w h o l e . That i s , the electoral w e i g h t  East, matched b y the u s e o f party discipline, w h i c h i n r u m protected party policy  o f the  pursuits  52  preferred  by  Eastern financial  interests, w o r k e d  contrary  to  Western  interests  (Gibbins,  1983:-120-122).  Protest  negotiation  in  afforded  1980  the  the  West  federal  a place  on  government  Trudeau's  proposed  constitutional  the  agenda.  During  Canadian Economic  Union.  W h i l e t h e C e n t r a l a n d E a s t e r n p r o v i n c e s r e j e c t e d it as y e t a n o t h e r s t e p t o w a r d  provincial  subordination,  sought  demonstrate  variety  of  industrial  debate  the  proposal  the federal  over  its  merits  government's  mechanisms  incentive  had  such  grants  institutional  as  reform  r i g h t to  the  (Smiley  Western  Watts,  other  interests.  meet particular  preferential  &  and  for  regional  employment  1985:  western  15).  Namely,  of  concerns  the  s e e m e d to  workers,  review  be  midst  of  1979, the  Task  dilemma,  Force on  pointing  French-English divide.  to  two  The  Canadian Unity  specific  them."  acknowledged  cleavages  success  Constitution Act,  1982,  was  second was  achieved  Quebec's  and  T h e first a n d m o s t  "that w h i c h  C a n a d a and their populations f r o m one another" (1979:  Whatever  by  the  exclusion  chance.  demands  The  o f their  Additionally,  in  Western  own;  most  exchange  for  Premiers  of which  backing  agreed  were  to  of  was  cleavage  the v a r i o u s  and  by  in  the  "political  remained  regions  of  21).  to  Premiers  blanket  as a  it  in  signing  in  illegitimacy.  demands  quid pro quo  a less province-centered  the  1980s gave the W e s t  Bourassa's five  a g r e e d to  Canada  subsequent  critical  divides  Western  seemed  the  H o w e v e r , the efforts to w i n b a c k Q u e b e c i n the latter h a l f o f the  second  and  ^  a g e n c i e s that e x p r e s s a n d m e d i a t e  the  a  eclipsed  other provincial demands.  In  to  needs through  local  However,  it  amending  to  and  a  made  Quebec's.  formula,  W e s t e r n P r o v i n c e s d e m a n d e d the o p t i o n to o p t - o u t , w i t h r e a s o n a b l e c o m p e n s a t i o n ,  the  from  53  any  future amendments  federal government  First  Ministers  Canadian  that  would  (Murray,  rushed  to  constitutional  see a transfer  of power  from  the provinces  to the  1 9 8 9 : 21). H o w e v e r , as J a c k s o n a n d J a c k s o n point out, the  produce  document,  anything  that  might  and in so doing  compromised  more, the First Ministers produced a faulty document  Quebec  convince  to  federalism.  sign  a  What  is  a n d then went to great lengths  to  see it a p p r o v e d b y the H o u s e o f C o m m o n s , e v e n to the extent o f m a n i p u l a t i n g the c h e c k -  and-balance  function  of Parliament  Meech Lake Accord f a i l e d  during  ratification  (2001:  173). Importantly,  the  to achieve approval i n the assemblies o f N e w f o u n d l a n d a n d  M a n i t o b a , w h e r e k e y segments o f the electorate d i s a p p r o v e d o f the A c c o r d a n d its v i s i o n .  T h i s s e e m e d to b e the general sentiment in the R e s t o f C a n a d a as w e l l .  The  Charlottetown Accord o f f e r e d  constitutional  change  was  intended  to  t h e W e s t a t h i r d c h a n c e at s u c c e s s . T h i s  have  a  Canada-wide  focus.  The  Accord  incorporated numerous Western concerns such as Senate reform and the establishment  effective  and responsive  social objectives  the  federal  federal  institutions,  the provincial-equalization  o f M a n i t o b a a n d Saskatchewan, the redistribution  and provincial  governments  to reflect  more  and  of powers  contemporary  time  o f  national  between  socio-economic  conditions, as w e l l as recognizing changing e c o n o m i c a n d social conditions  Canada-wide  (Watts, 1999: Online).  W h e n p u t to a referendum, the  every Western province. Like  Quebec,  Charlottetown Accord w a s m e t  the W e s t felt that its d e m a n d s h a d g o n e  In h o p e s o f r e c e i v i n g greater national attention,  national  with a N O vote  in  unheard.  a W e s t e r n r e g i o n a l p a r t y e m e r g e d at t h e  level. T h e western-based R e f o r m Party gained m u c h attention b y b e i n g  elected  54  to the H o u s e o f C o m m o n s i n 1 9 9 3 w i t h o f f i c i a l  party  status. W h a t  e l e c t i o n o f 1 9 9 7 , it b e a t o u t t h e B l o c Q u e b e c o i s t o f o r m t h e O f f i c i a l  is m o r e , i n the  next  Opposition.  Excessive Executive Dominance and Executive Federalism Canada's federal-parliamentary  s y s t e m is o n e c o n d u c i v e to e x e c u t i v e  and executive d o m i n a n c e : the practices o f responsible g o v e r n m e n t  add weight  to the C o n s t i t u t i o n ' s  unbalanced empowerment  n a t i o n a l legislature, b u t also e n s u r e that i n t e r g o v e r n m e n t a l  federalism  at b o t h l e v e l s n o t o n l y  o f the federal  relations  executive and  are the sole duty  of  the P r i m e M i n i s t e r a n d the P r e m i e r s . T o b e sure, e x e c u t i v e federalism h a s b e e n a d e f i n i n g  force  in Canadian federalism  governments  19). D u r i n g  since the 1960s, wherein  the political  elite  bargained and cooperated behind closed doors (Bakvis &  the crisis, the First Ministers a n d their  officials  Skogstad: 2002,  excessively dominated  federation: a necessity, Senator M u r r a y maintained, for resolving C a n a d a ' s  malaise  (1989:  12).  The  routine  practices  of  elite  accommodation  federalism, e s p e c i a l l y characteristic o f the processes w h i c h  1982,  the  Meech Lake Accord,  1987, and the  of Canada's  l e d to the  the  constitutional  and  executive  Constitution Act,  Charlottetown Accord,  1992, not  only  prevented public consultation, but also thwarted the representative-democratic function  of  Parliament.  Elite a c c o m m o d a t i o n has b e c o m e the standard practice  T h e difficulties  and  o f resolving conflict  majoritarianism  political  elites  democracy  have  (Simeon  point  to  &  yielded  of Canadian  federalism.  in a divided society b y means o f direct  democracy  a preference  Cameron, 2002:  the potential  threats  of  for  consociational  289). Supporters  instability  of  bargaining  this  and overload  among  elite  version  of  that  accompany  e x c e s s i v e c i t i z e n p a r t i c i p a t i o n . C o n v e r s e l y , t h e y stress that p o l i t i c a l l e a d e r s a r e p o i s e d f o r  55  d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g b e c a u s e they are logically, as politicians, better i n f o r m e d a n d better  to s e e the p i c t u r e as a w h o l e ( N e v i t t e ,  1996:  75).  Constitution Act,  I m p o r t a n t l y , the p r o c e s s e s that l e d to the  of  1987 and  The unity  the  1992, and their u n w a v e r i n g  of government  public  need  Parliament's  for  support  1982 a n d the  in Parliament, reflected  this  Accords  approach.  leadership w i t h the leadership o f the O p p o s i t i o n did not  understanding  (Cairns,  democratic-representative  able  1989:  function.  111)  and  Likewise,  the  ultimately  elite  serve  impeded  accommodative  approach o f both the First M i n i s t e r s and o f the N a t i o n a l Legislature restricted groups  regions  not  represented  (Behiels, 1989:  by  these  elites  from  participating  any  part  of  the  Constitution Act,  shining example  Charter of Rights and Freedoms a n d  the  agenda decided upon  of executive  federalism  considered judgment  at w o r k .  o f future legislatures  breakfast and l u n c h " (1992:  The  reintegration  of  Cairns lamented  t h a t it w a s  1985  Quebec  into  had  it  the  federation  1994: 7). A  been  successful,  24-25).  Yet  the  exhausted first  would  supported  have  following  for  intergovernmental  the  the  ministers  1982  the entrenchment  in the  entrenched  the  M i n i s t e r s ' C o n f e r e n c e s o n the E c o n o m y and other matters  1989:  "deeply  against  first step t o w a r d s this w a s  Regina Memorandum Agreement c a l l i n g  First Ministers meetings. This in turn was  which,  c o u l d be altered b y  a  65-66).  demanded executive federalism (Hurley,  w i t h the  the  a n d the c o n c e s s i o n s agreed to, w e r e  o f f e n s i v e or bitterly a m u s i n g that the rights to be entrenched as a protection  between  process  106).  T h e b a c k d o o r n e g o t i a t i o n s that l e d to the  1982  in  and  cooperation  achieved  of  annual  Meech Lake Accord, annual  convening  deemed appropriate  and  debacle  secretive  of  1987,  First  (Murray,  decision-making  56  process  of  the  Accord  directly  and  indirectly  excluded  routinely e x c l u d i n g legislatures as w e l l ( B a k v i s &  A  the  Canadian  electorate  by  Skogstad, 2 0 0 2 : 16).  c h i e f c r i t i c i s m l e v e l l e d a g a i n s t it a n d t h e e x e c u t i v e f e d e r a l p r o c e s s w a s t h e a i r  o f illegitimacy they projected b y not m o v i n g forward w i t h public hearings until all o f the  A c c o r d ' s legal details h a d been decided (Hurley,  elite  accommodation  representative  afforded  democracy  hinges  the  Accord  1 9 9 4 : 10). O n c e i n front o f P a r l i a m e n t ,  a  speedy  o n the accountability  approval.  Yet  the  logic  of  o f bureaucracies and especially  executives to the legislatures a n d the citizens w h o elect t h e m ( S i m e o n & C a m e r o n , 2 0 0 2 :  2 8 5 ) . H e n c e , at i s s u e w a s t h e s e n s e o f a c c o u n t a b i l i t y  Interestingly,  Accord,  though  preceded  by  extensive  public  1992 reverted to closed-door negotiations  that s e e m e d to e l u d e the A c c o r d .  consultation,  the  Charlottetown  a s w e l l , b e c a u s e it w a s s t i l l h e l d  that  the b a r g a i n i n g o f elites w a s the best a v e n u e to resolution.  A  1994 report  issued by  the Director  of  Constitutional  C o u n c i l Office documents the attempted process o f constitutional  the  1960s. O f particular  which  significance  w a s its s u m m a r y  of  Affairs  the  Privy  change in Canada since  events  from  characterizes C a n a d i a n federalism as b e i n g e x c e s s i v e l y d o m i n a t e d  executive or else executive federalism (Hurley, 1 9 9 4 : 6, 2 5 ) .  for  1 9 6 8 to  1992,  b y the federal.  9  The Charter of Rights and Freedoms: The Citizens' Constitution P u b l i c reaction to g o v e r n m e n t  the  impact  of  the  Charter  on  activities d u r i n g the crisis w a s i n large part d u e to  Canadian  society.  From  Confederation  until  Constitutional debate w a s the prerogative o f governments because such activities  debating  the affairs  virtually  nonexistent  o f government.  What  is more, public  because constitutional  law  w a s not  interest  seen  1982,  entailed  in such debates w a s  as affecting  individual  57  rights  o r b e i n g u s e d as a t o o l for their p r o t e c t i o n ( S h a r m a n , 1 9 9 2 : 2 1 7 ) . T h e  Charter of Rights and Freedoms  o f the 1982  b r o u g h t c h a n g e to these o u t m o d e d i d e a s .  T h e S p e c i a l J o i n t C o m m i t t e e set u p b y T r u d e a u i n  package'  through  introduction  1980-81  to b a c k h i s ' p e o p l e s '  w a s the impetus for this change. C o m m i t t e e sessions, w h i c h b e c a m e a v e h i c l e  which  interest  groups  mobilized  to  protect  interests  that  would  otherwise  be  c o m p r o m i s e d b y the c l o s e d - d o o r b a r g a i n i n g p r o c e s s , s i g n i f i c a n t l y i n f l u e n c e d the C h a r t e r  (Cairns,  1992:  76).  pronouncement  Freedoms h a d  of  A n d  the  in  turn,  it  was  clear  Meech Lake Accord,  from  1987,  the  that  proceedings  the  following  the  Charter of Rights and  h a d a p r o f o u n d effect o n C a n a d a , e m p o w e r i n g minorities w i t h a sense o f  o w n e r s h i p o f the C o n s t i t u t i o n ( H u r l e y , 1 9 9 4 : 9).  A  the  significant  shortcoming o f constitutional  Meech Lake Accord  excluded  number  a variety  of  of  aboriginal  was  the  social and  and  process  minority  territorial  of  talks from  extended  groups  groups,  interests  harmed, by  executive  (Hurley,  1994:  multicultural  organizations e m e r g e d d u r i n g the M e e c h L a k e ratification  had been ignored, and their  1 9 8 3 to  the  1 9 8 7 that led  federalism,  6).  to  which  Subsequently,  groups  and  women's  process c l a i m i n g their  changes proposed in  a  the  voices  Accord  (1994: 8-9). A l a n C . C a i r n s ( 1 9 8 8 : 122) c o i n e d the term ' c i t i z e n s ' constitution' to express  Charter p l a y e d  the role the  Lake Accord.  as a catalyst i n the C a n a d i a n p u b l i c ' s o p p o s i t i o n to the  T h a t is, b y e n t r e n c h i n g a C h a r t e r that serves as a tool for l i m i t i n g the s c o p e  o f government activity vis-a-vis individual  departure  from  (Behiels,  1989:  constitution.  Meech  the  traditional  104),  and  jurisdictional  instead  rights,  the  Constitution Act,  orientation  empowers  the  of  1982 represents a  Canada's constitutional  people;  hence  it  is  a  law  citizens'  58  Waning Tolerance for Executive Federalism: A Decline of Deference In  his  comparative  study  of  the  Australian  and  Canadian  parliamentary  federations, S h a r m a n ( 1 9 9 2 : 2 1 7 ) m a i n t a i n s that w h a t e v e r differences exist b e t w e e n  two  countries,  a  shift  in  the  acceptance  of  executive  dominance  the  characterizes  both  systems. E s p e c i a l l y w h e r e constitutional politics are c o n c e r n e d , he suggests the origins  of  this  to  shift  are f o u n d  in the  rights  debate that g r o w s  out  o f the  1970s and continues  dominate constitutional politics from then onward. L i k e w i s e , in 1989 Cairns observed:  while federalism may still be largely about governments, federalism itself has lost relative status in the Constitution as an organizing principle. The Constitution is now also about women, aboriginals, multicultural groups, equality, affirmative action, the disabled, a variety of rights, and so on (1989: 122). T h e root o f the shift identified b y S h a r m a n ( 1 9 9 2 : 2 1 7 ) l a y in the p u b l i c ' s p e r c e p t i o n  the  system,  government  its  provisions,  practices  may  and  yield  the  government's  effective  and  role  efficient  within  them.  policies, they  That  are  is,  of  while  nonetheless  a c h i e v e d at t i m e s b y c o m p r o m i s i n g t h e t r a n s p a r e n c y a n d a c c o u n t a b i l i t y t h a t h a s c o m e  be  expected of a democracy (Bakvis  and  Skogstad, 2002:  17). T o  the perception  to  of  p e o p l e w h o n o w b e l i e v e d they h a d a stake in the C o n s t i t u t i o n , s u c h behaviour, d u r i n g  a  the  crisis, w a s b e c o m i n g m o r e and more unacceptable.  The new  rights orientation  Charter groups, who  within  from  b e l i e v e d their  o f the constitution  reinforced the expectations o f  voices should be heard on matters  that directly  the s c o p e o f their interests ( C a i r n s , 1992: 74). T h e process o f constitutional  1983 to  1987, and e v e n afterward w i t h the  Charlottetown Accord,  the  fell  talks  s e e m e d to  ignore  this fact. W h a t e n s u e d then, a m o n g C h a r t e r g r o u p s , a c a d e m i c s , a n d C a n a d a as a  whole,  was a w a n i n g o f tolerance for executive federalism.  59  The  federalism,  executive  Meech Lake Accord, was  not  federalism  well  the  received  looked upon  result  outside  with  of  the  more  four  circles  years  of  of  extended  government.  skepticism than  in  executive  Nowhere  Quebec. To  was  be  sure,  e x e c u t i v e f e d e r a l i s m h a d b e e n the p r o c e s s b y w h i c h Q u e b e c h a d b e e n e x c l u d e d i n  1981,  a n d w a s t o b e t h e p r o c e s s b y w h i c h it w o u l d b e r e i n t e g r a t e d i n t o t h e C o n s t i t u t i o n i n  (Hurley,  for  1 9 9 4 : 7). F o r m a n y Q u e b e c o i s , the  Meech Lake Accord  the c o n c e s s i o n s B o u r a s s a h a d m a d e . W h a t  is m o r e , m a n y  w a s simply not  o f the  1987  enough  Charter groups  -  aboriginal and territorial groups, multicultural  groups, a n d w o m e n ' s organizations, etc. —  saw  illegitimate,  the  Accord  as  politically  and  morally  castigating  a c h i e v i n g it a s s e c r e t i v e , u n d e m o c r a t i c a n d e l i t i s t ( B e h i e l s , 1 9 8 9 :  real parliamentary  debate  during  various extraparliamentary  Public resentment  the ratification  groups w h o  for  phase of  Meech Lake Accord  the  for  public  1 0  consultation  negotiations reverted to  of  the  their  and the p r o c e s s b y  1990s. In J a n u a r y 1992, the federal g o v e r n m e n t  three-day conferences,  prompted  get  the  constitutional  change.  which  thereafter,  by  national  referendum  of  it  was  reflected  the  five,  forums  constitutional  closed-door executive negotiations. T h e near unanimous  Charlottetown Accord  rise  sponsored a series o f  However,  any  voices heard.  h e l d i n d e l i b e r a t e l y selected parts o f C a n a d a , to s e r v e as  on  of  Charlottetown Accord  a r r i v e d at r e s o u n d e d i n t h e p r e l i m i n a r y s t e p s t a k e n t o a r r i v e at t h e  in the early  processes  103). T h e lack o f  Meech  u s e d l o b b y i n g tactics to  the  degree  to  defeat  which  C a n a d i a n s r e m a i n e d u n s a t i s f i e d w i t h the w a y in w h i c h the g o v e r n m e n t p r o c e e d e d .  This  waning  circles,  points  argued  Canada,  to  tolerance  what  along  Nevitte  with  for  executive  (1996)  other  has  nations,  federalism, both  termed  the  in  'decline  experienced a drop  public  of  in  and  academic  deference'.  public  Nevitte  confidence  in  60  government  and associated institutions.  O n  the  heels of  Meech's  failure,  1990  polling  data i n d i c a t e d that 7 0 % o f C a n a d i a n r e s p o n d e n t s h e l d the o p i n i o n that C a n a d a is  r u n b y select b i g interests l o o k i n g out for themselves (Nevitte,  in  1991  i n d i c a t e d that identification  Canada from  (Nevitte,  an alhtime  with longstanding  high of 3 1 % in  1996: 49). Importantly, Nevitte  and the rise o f citizen intervention  1 9 8 0 , to j u s t  (1996:  s p o k e to a d e c l i n i n g c o n f i d e n c e i n g o v e r n m e n t a l  the  emergence  of  non-traditional  1996: 76). Similarly,  political  forms  of  13%, following  Meech,  51). T h e s e trends, he  and non-governmental  political  data  parties had dropped  observed an "erosion o f institutional  in politics"  being  participation.  in  1991  authority  explained,  institutions,  Taken  in  and  together,  he  characterized b y a sense a m o n g the p r o v i n c e s that  the  concluded, they reflect a decline o f deference (Ibid).  A TURNING POINT IN T H E CANADIAN CRISIS A s the crisis w a s primarily  original federal bargain was no longer valid, a turning point was signaled by changes  some  o f the  aspects o f  the  Canadian federalism  that h a d b e e n p e r c e i v e d  as  in  devalued.  Importantly, these c h a n g e s w e r e both p o s i t i v e and negative, but that does not lessen their  s i g n i f i c a n c e as p r o o f o f c h a n g e nonetheless.  The  West.  failure  The  Canada,  Meech  of  Mulroney  lost  and  government,  support  in  Quebec  Charlottetown and  and  Quebecois  and Western-based Reform  success in  the  1994  federal  indeed  the  the  West,  Party  only  Progressive Conservative  and  at t h e  further alienated Q u e b e c and  fell  apart.  federal  elections, signaled a significant  The  level, and  rise  their  c h a n g e i n the  of  Party  the  curtailed,  but  in  the  aftermath  of  the  Charlottetown Accord  of  Bloc  remarkable  direction  C a n a d i a n federalism. D u r i n g the crisis the b a r g a i n i n g p o w e r o f the p r o v i n c e s h a d  successfully  the  debacle,  of  been  the  61  successful  rise  o f the B l o c  Quebecois a n d the R e f o r m Party demonstrated  the return  of  provincial bargaining p o w e r a n d the ability o f the provinces, in particular Q u e b e c and the  W e s t e r n provinces, to p l a y a m o r e active role i n the conduct o f federal politics.  Additionally,  Meech Lake  the  and  Charlottetown  A c c o r d s , a n d their  subsequent  defeats, h a v e also s i g n a l e d a c h a n g e i n t h e d i r e c t i o n o f C a n a d i a n f e d e r a l i s m that  constant. T h e successive negotiation  o f large-scale constitutional  reform  remains  packages since  t h e late 1 9 6 0 s a n d t h e i r r e p e a t e d f a i l u r e at t h e p r o v i n c i a l l e v e l h a s s i g n a l e d n o t o n l y t h e  return  o f provincial  important  bargaining  participants  in  power,  the federal  but also  bargain.  the introduction  Sessions  o f the electorate  o f public  consultations  as  have  b e c o m e a k e y element o f the C a n a d i a n political process, wherein the C a n a d i a n public is  offered  a n opportunity  to  voice  its concerns  about  important  issues and  government  i n i t i a t i v e s t h a t a f f e c t it f e d e r a l l y , p r o v i n c i a l l y , a n d e v e n l o c a l l y .  Finally,  Conferences,  there  which  is  the  frequent  are attended  use o f  an  amended  b y all o f the premiers  form  of  a n d at t i m e s  First  Ministers  the heads o f the  territories, b u t are rarely attended b y the P r i m e M i n i s t e r o r federal representatives. In the  years  l e a d i n g u p to the crisis, the u s e o f First M i n i s t e r s  Conferences w a s intended  increase concurrence a n d reduce provincial bargain power. Conversely, today, they  become  a n important  tool  for voicing  a common  e x a m p l e o f the return o f provincial bargaining  provincial  front,  a n d are a  to  have  prime  power.  T H E AUSTRALIAN FEDERATION: T H E ORIGINAL BARGAIN The Pre-Federal The  Conditions  adoption  of  parliamentary  a n d federal  forms  and the  intergovernmental  conditions that took shape w i t h i n these f o r m s find their origins i n the A u s t r a l i a n  colonial  62  experience. A p p l y i n g Hartz's (1964)  culture and institutions  Under  British  continent.  rule,  fragment  theory,  we  find  that A u s t r a l i a ' s  political  w e r e l a r g e l y s h a p e d b y its B r i t i s h o r i g i n s ( M c A l l i s t e r , 1 9 9 7 :  Westminster  E v e n before federation  parliamentarism  in  was  practiced  on  the  6).  Australian  1 9 0 1 , p a r l i a m e n t a r y p r i n c i p l e s s u c h as r e s p o n s i b l e  g o v e r n m e n t a n d an o v e r a l l sense o f elite a c c o m m o d a t i o n h a d b e g u n to t a k e s h a p e .  But  Britain,  while  a  unitary  developments  in  form  and  complemented  among  the  the  Australian  practice  of  colonies  parliamentarism  would  make  in  unitarism  i m p o s s i b l e to a c h i e v e . W h i l e the A u s t r a l i a n f e d e r a t i o n is t r a d i t i o n a l l y d e f i n e d , e s p e c i a l l y  i n a c o m p a r a t i v e c o n t e x t , b y its s e e m i n g l y h o m o g e n e o u s character, H u g h e s ( 1 9 9 8 :  2 7 2 ) suggests there exist s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n a n d a m o n g the states o f a m o r e  271-  subtle  e c o n o m i c a n d g o v e r n m e n t a l n a t u r e . L e v e l s o f e c o n o m i c d e v e l o p m e n t c a m e to d e f i n e  one  c o l o n y f r o m another. A s industries and e c o n o m i e s d e v e l o p e d so too d i d urban areas and  capital  cities,  translated  greater  into  the  political  British  degrees o f  centers  and  imperial  of  economic  governmental  whole,  the  activity.  Colonial  economic  independence. W h i l e  Australian  colonies  independence  still b e i n g  nonetheless  part  achieved  of  the  varying  autonomy.  Arguably, by  1 9 0 1 , at l e a s t  five  o f the s i x c o l o n i e s that w o u l d c o m e to f o r m  the  Australian federation had enjoyed varying and significant degrees o f self-government  for  n e a r l y f o r t y years ( H u g h e s , 1 9 9 8 : 1 6 5 - 1 6 6 ; S h a r m a n , 1 9 9 0 : 2 1 3 ) . T h e d e c i s i o n to p u r s u e  a  federal  form,  and  an  egalitarian  significantly s h a p e d b y this  Wheare (1963)  center-state  relationship  (at  least  on  paper)  were  c o l o n i e s d e c i d e to  unite  fact.  suggested federations  c o m e about w h e n  a n d yet r e m a i n separate f r o m o n e another. R i k e r (1964)  further o f f e r e d that  federations  63  were  the  result  of  the  militaristic  desires  for  expansion  or  else  protection.  Hughes  suggests A u s t r a l i a ' s reasons for federating are rather d u b i o u s in this context. C o n t r a r y  R i k e r ' s (1964: 27-28) perception o f Australia's motives for federation, H u g h e s  to  maintains  that the n u m b e r . o f states in the A u s t r a l i a n federation, their vast g e o g r a p h i c d i m e n s i o n s ,  and their  within  underpopulation  and  subsequently  theoretically  protection  eliminate  from  desires for  internal  enemies  territorial expansion  (1998:  258).  from  Equally,  the  g e o g r a p h i c i s o l a t i o n o f t h e A u s t r a l i a n c o n t i n e n t d o e s a w a y w i t h at l e a s t t h e i n i t i a l d e s i r e  for protection f r o m p r o x i m a t e external enemies. Ultimately, H u g h e s c o n c l u d e s the basis  for the Australian federation is e c o n o m i c : the creation o f an e n v i r o n m e n t  free market  conditions  with  a system o f tariff controls  (Ibid).  The  conducive  original  to  bargain  1 9 0 1 , a n d the crisis b e g u n i n the 1 9 6 0 s , h i n g e d o n the d i v i s i o n o f political p o w e r  in  between  the center and the states, d e f i n e d p r i m a r i l y b y control o v e r e c o n o m i c resources.  The Nature of the Original Australian Bargain Constitutional  b e g a n i n the  conventions  determine  the  future  of  the  Australian  colonies  1890s. O l d e r federations s u c h as C a n a d a , the U n i t e d States, G e r m a n y  Switzerland were closely studied.  significantly,  to  1 1  C a n a d a a n d the U n i t e d States, the latter perhaps  and  more  s e r v e d as l o o s e templates f o r the n e w A u s t r a l i a n federation.  T h e constitutional design decided u p o n b y convention delegates was subjected  referenda, a cornerstone o f the A u s t r a l i a n d e s i g n .  The Australian Constitution  reflects  a n e m p h a s i s o n p o p u l a r sovereignty. H o w e v e r this popular sovereignty b y referenda,  s h o u l d b e r e m e m b e r e d , stopped w e l l short o f a n y real direct participation b y the  a n d i n c l u d e d the c o l o n i a l g o v e r n m e n t s i n the b a r g a i n i n g process almost  to  it  masses,  superficially.  64  S h a r m a n argues the federal c o m p o n e n t s o f a federation are, b y a n d large, s h a p e d  b y t h o s e present d u r i n g the i n i t i a l n e g o t i a t i o n s , the c o n c e r n s t h e y e s p o u s e , a n d the  b a r g a i n that e n s u e s ( 1 9 9 0 : 2 1 1 ) . T h o u g h the A u s t r a l i a n f r a m e r s  task  of  producing  a national  constitution  that  would  unite  were  the  (Warden,  1992:  145), these  W h i l e Wheare (1963)  decision  by  the  were  s e c o n d a r y to  the  paramount  charged with  colonies,  t h e i r interests, a n d p r o d u c e a s y s t e m c o n d u c i v e to m a j o r m e t r o p o l i t a n  economic  interests  to  become  a  larger  whole,  the  Australian  the  accommodate  of  activity  the  theorized that federations w e r e the result o f a j o i n t and  parts  initial  British.  exclusive  experience  suggests  o t h e r w i s e ( H u g h e s , 1 9 9 8 ; S h a r m a n , 1 9 9 0 ) . It s h o u l d b e r e m e m b e r e d t h a t a s a n A c t o f  British  Parliament,  the  Australian  Constitution  and  its  sovereignty  derived  the  from  Westminster (Hughes, 1998: 201).  The  pursuit  of  a federal  m o d e l . A n d again, the f o r m  who  form  led  to  an  intense  examination  of  the  o f the A u s t r a l i a n s y s t e m reflected the interests  o f all  t o o k part i n the initial b a r g a i n . D e s p i t e the a p p e a l o f a n A m e r i c a n - s t y l e d  of powers  between  the  three b r a n c h e s o f g o v e r n m e n t ,  w o n out ( H u g h e s , 1998: 172). E q u a l l y , notwithstanding  representatives in favour o f a constitution  accordance with British tradition,  the  British  American  those  separation  'responsible'  a r g u m e n t s m a d e b y the  system  colonial  w i t h e n t r e n c h e d r i g h t s , it w a s d e c i d e d t h a t  the insinuation o f rights  a n d their enforcement  in  would  be conventionally maintained (Galligan, 1997: 26).  In d u e c o u r s e , w h a t  b e g a n as a m o v e  to  create a n e w  e s p o u s i n g n e w i d e a s , e v e n t u a l l y r e s u l t e d i n a n e a r r e t u r n to t h e  Constitution  of  1 9 0 1 , suggests H u g h e s , has less to  w i t h i m p r o v i n g the m a c h i n e r y o f government (1998:  nation, with a new  status quo.  do with n e w  259).  The  form,  Australian  ideas, and more  to  do  65  Key Federal Components of the Australian System The  Australian  Constitution  is  not  an  exhaustive  text.  e s s e n t i a l s o f a f e d e r a l d e s i g n : it r e c o g n i z e s t h e e x i s t e n c e o f t w o  It  provides  levels o f  b r i e f l y e n u m e r a t e s t h o s e p o w e r s b e l o n g i n g to the n e w c e n t r a l g o v e r n m e n t ,  only  the  government,  and allocates  a l l r e s i d u a l s to the states. T h e f o u n d e r s b e l i e v e d a l l m a t t e r s t o o d i f f i c u l t to r e s o l v e i n  1890s  would  find  (Hughes, 1998:  resolution  through  the  machinery  of  government  in  due  the  course  164).  A u s t r a l i a ' s federal d e s i g n reflects three pursuits: a subnational f o c u s , d e m o c r a c y  or p o p u l a r w i l l , and the creation o f a m o d e l (though l a c k i n g a rights e m p h a s i s ) s i m i l a r  spirit  and  in  content  to  that  undertaken b y the founding  of  the  fathers  United  States. T h e  initial  comparative  in  exercise  y i e l d e d several c o m p u l s o r y c o m p o n e n t s that  would  a c c o m m o d a t e the A u s t r a l i a n states. A m o n g the m o s t significant w e r e a n elected Senate,  the a l l o c a t i o n o f a p o t e n t i a l l y l a r g e list o f r e s i d u a l p o w e r s to the states, a n d a  list w h e r e i n  it w a s t h o u g h t t h a t t h e  states c o u l d , i n a l i m i t e d  areas o f C o m m o n w e a l t h p o w e r ( H u g h e s , 1998:  concurrent  capacity, share in  certain  172).  O n paper, the A u s t r a l i a n d e s i g n c l e a r l y e s p o u s e s a n intentional f o c u s o n the states  rather than the center.  and  the  allocation  of  1 4  The most  residual  significant  powers  to  the  aspects o f the design -  states  rather  than  to  an elected Senate  the  center  -  were  intentionally b o r r o w e d f r o m the A m e r i c a n e x a m p l e . Furthermore, the d e m o c r a t i c spirit  the A m e r i c a n d e s i g n w a s c o m p l e m e n t e d b y the entrenchment o f the A u s t r a l i a n  of popular  referenda (Sharman,  bargain and the intentions  o f the  1990: 212-213).  framers  would  F i n a l l y , the e n d u r a n c e o f the  b e g u a r a n t e e d , it w a s  difficult a m e n d i n g process e m b o d i e d in the C o n s t i t u t i o n ( W a r d e n , 1992:  tradition  original  thought, b y  157).  of  the  66  G a l l i g a n a r g u e s that today, f e d e r a l i s m is o s t e n s i b l y a m o r e p r o m i n e n t f o r c e i n  Australian  system.  fundamentally  23).  He  has,  for  instance,  noted:  federal and republican rather  However,  the  debate is far  from  oyer  "Australia's  constitutional  than parliamentary  and  discounted. T h e federal design was intentionally  system  and monarchic"  parliamentarism  cannot  be  the  is  (1997:  completely  f a s h i o n e d to p l a c e a s i g n i f i c a n t  degree  o f strain o n other aspects o f the g o v e r n m e n t process ( S h a r m a n , 1990: 216), i n c l u d i n g  the  p r o m i n e n c e o f the center and Parliament. A n d w h i l e the original constitutional  has  text  endured, the original spirit or intentions h a v e not. D e s p i t e the spirit o f a federal  a n d other s u c h ideals e m b o d i e d in the A u s t r a l i a n Constitution, the various  principle  'protections'  a f f o r d e d to the states b y the f r a m e r s h a v e not s u c c e s s f u l l y w e a t h e r e d the p o l i t i c a l  realities  o f governing a federal-parliamentary system.  Key Parliamentary Components of the Australian System The  which  1901.  parliamentary  character  W e s t m i n s t e r traditions  During  the  parliamentary  Australian  were  of  federation.  and  the  Australian  a b l e to  constitutional  practices  the  permeate the  conventions  British  federation  of  influence  1 5  reflects  the  extent  to  prior  to  colonial governments  the  1890s,  would  delegates  continue  under  the  Formal (though unwritten) Westminster parliamentary  s u c h as b i c a m e r a l i s m a n d a f o r m a l  party  system were  carried over. M o r e  decided  new  practices  importantly,  s i g n i f i c a n t c o n v e n t i o n a l practices w e r e carried o v e r as w e l l .  A m o n g  between  the  these  practices  executive  and  the  were  responsible  legislative  government,  branches  of  the  fusion  government,  the  of  powers  confidence  c o n v e n t i o n , party discipline, and the p a r a m o u n t p r i n c i p l e o f e x e c u t i v e d o m i n a n c e - i n  the  f o r m o f the P r i m e M i n i s t e r a n d the cabinet - e m b o d i e d i n these practices. T o g e t h e r , these  67  practices create an extraordinary  dominance  over  both  increasingly dominant  party  concentration o f p o w e r , first i n the " P r i m e  and  parliamentary  controlling parliament,  politics,"  and  then  Ministerial  second  in  "an  o r at l e a s t t h e H o u s e o f R e p r e s e n t a t i v e s ,  through tight party d i s c i p l i n e " (Galligan, 1997: 26).  The  framers  of  the  ' u n f i n i s h e d business.' In  the  parliamentary  side  Australian  Constitution  regarded  their  final  l e a v i n g the r e s o l u t i o n o f difficult issues to  of  Australia's  institutional  form  is  hazy  product  future  at  are hard  p r e s s e d to  find  a  clear  w i t h i n the original constitutional text.  1 6  definition  of  an  generations,  best.  Despite  the  and so  on,  p r o m i n e n c e o f s u c h p r i n c i p l e s as e x e c u t i v e d o m i n a n c e , a f u s i o n o f p o w e r ,  scholars  as  these parliamentary  principles  ,  TOWARDS T H E AUSTRALIAN CRISIS: N E W POLICY DIRECTIONS In  the  momentous  years  between  the  centralization o f power  end  of  swept  World  War  Two  and  the  early  1960s  a  the federation. T h e s e efforts w e r e s i m i l a r  to  those characteristic o f the W o r l d W a r e r a a n d c o n t i n u e d u n a b a t e d w e l l after W o r l d  T w o  had  ended. T h e y  government:  reflected  a new  direction  in  center-state  policy  for  the  the d e c l i n e o f the state f o c u s that h a d c h a r a c t e r i z e d t h e e n d o f the  era and the early years o f federation. T h i s p r o m p t e d  a renewed sense of  over  citizen loyalty,  executive d o m i n a n c e , the  f r o m the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g process, and rights  federal  colonial  provincialism  that f o u n d c o n s o l i d a t i o n d u r i n g the crisis p e r i o d , e x p l o d i n g into a n u m b e r o f  disputes  War  seeming removal  center-state  o f the  states  issues.  Unabated Centralization: A New Policy Direction D u r i n g the t w o  worldwide,  World  Wars, Australia, like Canada and m a n y  other  centralized p o w e r in the n a m e o f national security. T h e federal  federations  government  68  enjoyed  the  mil  extent  of  its  control  over  various  political,  economic  and  human  resources, a n d the cessation o f s u c h c o n t r o l d i d not c o m e e a s i l y i n the p o s t - w a r years.  anything, control w a s a u g m e n t e d . S h a r m a n , for e x a m p l e , notes that i n the p o s t - w a r  executive  dominance  majoritarianism  was  heightened:  the  pragmatic  was legitimized, and federal interventions  w i t h little or n o consultation before h a n d ( 1 9 9 0 :  In  The Blizzard and OZ,  mass  party  years  took  i n state affairs w e r e  shape,  frequent,  225).  W i l l i a m s ' argues C a n a d i a n legal scholar Peter W .  Hogg  is correct i n h i s a s s e s s m e n t that the C a n a d i a n federation projects a s w i n g i n g p e n d u l u m  p o w e r b e t w e e n the p r o v i n c e s a n d the center. P r o j e c t i n g this a n a l o g y u p o n the  case, W i l l i a m s suggests the m o v e m e n t  center  (2002:  12).  Australia...there  government.  favour  of  India's  expansion  National  has  Government  actions  in  the  Commission  e x p a n s i o n o f the  completely  with  powers o f the constituent states" (1988:  Political  Sarkaria  altered  the  corresponding  functional  federal  design:  assumed  what  that  the  they  era, then,  incorporation  to  of  be  faulty  p l a c e d the  notes that despite the  Commonwealth's  ultra vires  actions,  of  "In  federal  power  the  efforts  the  of  state-focus  in  residuary  in  on  its  w e a k n e s s in the  assumptions.  federalism  circumstances, properly practiced in reality (1992:  Hughes  of  the  31).  post-war  understood  o f the  balance  attenuation  W a r d e n argues this w a s l a r g e l y h e l p e d a l o n g b y a n inherent  constitutional  maintained:  role  of  Australian  is d e c i d e d l y u n b a l a n c e d , c o n t i n u o u s l y t o w a r d s  has been a continuous  Such  the  Similarly,  If  theory  That  is,  could  Australian  the  be,  head.  framers  under  any  157).  the  constant  Australian  acquisition  High  of  Court  power  by  to  curb  the  the  center  m a d e it s e e m t h a t f e d e r a l i s m w a s i n d e c l i n e i n t h e p o s t - w a r e r a ( 1 9 9 8 : 2 5 9 ) . H e  further  69  argues that e s p e c i a l l y w i t h r e g a r d to  fiscal matters, the  federation had b e c o m e  flawed:  " t h e s p e n d i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s o f the states are not m a t c h e d b y their t a x a t i o n p o w e r s  over time, the central government  states" ( 1 9 9 8 :  268).  has gained disproportionate  financial power  over  Commonwealth  to b e c o m e m o r e i n v o l v e d i n a l a r g e r a n g e o f p o l i t i c a l l y salient activities that are  hopes  of  the  1 7  S h a r m a n identifies this trend as the " c o n t i n u i n g a m b i t i o n o f the  its j u r i s d i c t i o n "  and  (1989:  strengthening  108). H e  its  argues the federal  link  between  it  government  and the  h a s s o u g h t to  citizenry because "the  outside  do  bulk  so  of  in  the  matters that affect the d a i l y lives o f A u s t r a l i a n s fall w i t h i n the a m b i t o f the states" (Ibid).  Ultimately these 'unilateral  nation-building  initiatives'  (Bakvis and Skogstad, 2002:  a g g r a v a t e d the states to the p o i n t o f i n c i t i n g a s u b n a t i o n a l  8),  counter-movement.  Responding to Federal Initiatives T h e gravity  recourse  o f the n e w  available  Australian  (Sharman,  to  federation  1992:  12).  the  states.  have  In  C o m m o n w e a l t h p o s i t i o n w a s a m p l i f i e d b y the m e a n s  It  is  widely  traditionally  fact,  held  come  procedures  for  that  from  pressures  for  change  Commonwealth  referendum  (i.e.  in  of  the  assertiveness  constitutional  change)  e x p l i c i t l y e x c l u d e b o t h t h e states a n d t h e p e o p l e at t h e i n i t i a t i o n p h a s e ( G a l l i g a n , 1 9 9 5 :  113). F a c i n g a turnaround  states  began  to  exercise  in  center-state  their  informal  policy with  options,  most  little or n o  notably  in  formal  the  recourse,  form  of  the  public  political dissent.  T h e states w e r e l a r g e l y a i d e d b y a set o f p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r s t h e C o m m o n w e a l t h  likely  not  counted  on.  Sharman  Canberra's political vulnerability  (1992:  13)  identifies  these  factors  as  follows.  had  First,  c o m p a r e d to the states. State g o v e r n m e n t s h a d , f o r  the  70 most part, enjoyed unremitting support from the electorate. The same, however, could not be said of the Commonwealth, which experienced fluctuations not only between governing parties, but also in majority and minority status as well. The second factor identified by Sharman was the reaction of the states to the Commonwealth's unilateral initiatives. The third factor was the dynamics of partisan alignment between the states and the center. The states maintained closer links with the citizenry than did the Commonwealth, and they did not hesitate to publicly voice their dissatisfaction with Commonwealth policies. Hence the dissatisfied electorate, according to Sharman, soon began to strategically elect different parties at the state level than at the center. The fourth factor was the strongly held grievances of the states over financial issues. Again, because the basis for the federation was at least in part fiscal/economic, center-state relations have been largely defined by struggles over the control of economic resources. The allocation of numerous residuary powers to the states, especially those of a financial nature, had brought them closer to the citizens through the provision of numerous services. Commonwealth schemes such as the uniform taxation plan moved a great deal of financial control away from the states into the hands of the center, prompting a measured state response. T H E AUSTRALIAN CRISIS The more the Commonwealth centralized, unilaterally or not, the more agitated the  states  became.  An  intergovernmental  shoving  match  erupted  in  which  Commonwealth's policy actions were no longer reluctantly accepted by the states, but instead challenged. Initially disputes were relegated to financial resource control. However, they soon spilled over into other pressing matters: citizen loyalty, excessive  71  executive dominance, unresolved rights  larger  issues, a n d the o v e r a l l r o l e o f the states i n  d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g processes o f the  federation.  Importantly, two  significant  the  trends  permeated the conflict: the gradual return o f the states' b a r g a i n i n g p o w e r a n d a l o n g  with  it, t h e e m e r g e n c e o f t h e A u s t r a l i a n e l e c t o r a t e a s p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h e f e d e r a l b a r g a i n .  Intergovernmental Competition for Citizen Loyalty Smith  Constitution  reminds  can be  us  reduced  sovereignty with powers  and  the  right  of  that  the  federal  to  three  principle  essentials: two  written  levels  of  into  the  Australian  government,  a  divided  a s s i g n e d to t h e C o m m o n w e a l t h a n d a l l r e s i d u a l s to t h e  each level  of  government  within  the  scope of  states,  its j u r i s d i c t i o n s  to  d i r e c t l y o n its c i t i z e n s ( 2 0 0 2 : 4 3 ) . H e r e i n lies the c r u x o f c i t i z e n l o y a l t y : i n a l l o c a t i n g  residuary powers  to  the  subunits, the  states w e r e  given  the  opportunity  to  foster  direct l i n k s w i t h the c i t i z e n r y than w a s the center. T o a large extent, the p o s t - w a r  act,  all  more  decline  o f t h e s t a t e - f o c u s h a d m u c h to d o w i t h t h e c e n t e r ' s e f f o r t s at r e v e r s i n g t h e s e l i n k s .  Alterations  to  the. financial  dimensions  of  the  federal  design  exemplify  behaviour. The C o m m o n w e a l t h ' s introduction  o f a n e w tax p l a n d u r i n g W o r l d W a r  for  the  instance,  altered  between  their  taxation  power  states w e r e  the  spending  to d o  forced  spending  power  responsibilities  so ( H u g h e s ,  of  (for  states  example,  1998: 268). W i t h  into consultations  and  on  their  and negotiations  created  social  a practical  programs)  spending power  in  intergovernmental  only  was  the  negotiations  center brought  was  c l o s e r to  somewhat  the  dubious:  citizenry, but  it  through  could  Two,  deficit  and  reduced,  w i t h the C o m m o n w e a l t h  f i n a n c i a l transfers n e c e s s a r y to c o n t i n u e their p r o g r a m s . T h e r o l e o f the  this  for  the  the  the  Commonwealth  these  sessions  also c l a i m to  play  not  an  .  active  role  in  areas o f  'high  authority (Sharman, 1989:  political  .  72  importance'  for  which  it  had  very  little  formal  109).  Excessive Executive Dominance Manifest  dominance  had,  i n the  by  forms  the  of  time  'administrative'  of  the  crisis,  relations. T h e marriage o f parliamentary  and  'executive'  completely  federalism,  filtered  through  executive  center-state  and federal principles created a c o n u n d r u m  the p o l i t i c a l p e r f o r m a n c e o f the A u s t r a l i a n federation. S h a r m a n r e m i n d s u s that w h i l e  practice o f  and  center-state relations, h o w e v e r  accommodation  government  amongst  centralized, requires degrees o f  contending  interests,  the  practice  does quite the opposite, encouraging a majoritarian  of  in  the  compromise  parliamentary  view o f politics  (1990:  207).  T h e confounding mixture o f federalism and parliamentarism in essence  excessive  executive  dominance,  a  driving  force  in  Australia's  crisis.  promoted  That  is,  the  A u s t r a l i a n federation is g o v e r n e d b y the principle o f 'party responsible g o v e r n m e n t , '  i n h e r i t a n c e o f its B r i t i s h heritage. S h a r m a n argues b o t h p a r l i a m e n t a r i s m a n d  h a v e c o m e to  become  the  rely h e a v i l y o n the m a s s party.  vehicle through  which  the  In  executive  the parliamentary  can dominate  the  an  federalism  sense, parties  legislature;  federal sense, they are the vehicles through w h i c h regional interests articulate the  have  in  the  federal  p r i n c i p l e ( 1 9 9 0 : 2 1 6 ) . C o n s e q u e n t l y , to the extent that the p r i n c i p l e o f ' p a r t y r e s p o n s i b l e  government' has permeated both levels o f government, executive d o m i n a n c e has not  c a p t u r e d the p a r l i a m e n t a r y s y s t e m , but A u s t r a l i a n f e d e r a l i s m as w e l l ( 1 9 9 0 :  217).  only  73  Unresolved Rights Issues D e s p i t e the a p p e a l o f the A m e r i c a n f e d e r a t i o n a n d its a p p e n d e d B i l l o f R i g h t s , the  Australian federation  followed  the  B r i t i s h e x a m p l e . R i g h t s , a c c o r d i n g to  had been sufficiently  guarded through  British colonial institutions  the  founders,  and practices,  which  w e r e preserved in the A u s t r a l i a n Constitution (Galligan, 1997: 26). T h i s h o w e v e r , did  settle the matter. F r o m  flow;  never  1901 until the t i m e o f crisis, the  disappearing but  awareness of government  never  achieving  full  rights  public  not  debate s e e m e d to e b b  support.  Heightened  activity during the crisis period afforded the  rights  and  public  debate  the  p r o t e c t i o n w e r e yet a n o t h e r m a t t e r that  fell  m o m e n t u m it n e e d e d to b e c o m e a c r i t i c a l i s s u e .  It s e e m e d t h a t h u m a n  under  the  attention  formal  umbrella  to  in  of  hopes  protection  of  rights  executive  of  rallying  rights,  and  rights  dominance,  a  further public  argues  Howard,  point  the  support.  states  The  represents  a  were  eager  conventional  significant  to  draw  rather  than  constitutional  w e a k n e s s b e c a u s e "the absence o f s u c h features drastically limits the c a p a c i t y o f citizens  to c h a l l e n g e [the]  actions o f governments or government  authorities  w h e n they  infringe  u p o n w h a t o u g h t to b e the b a s i c c o n d i t i o n s o f life i n a free c o m m u n i t y " ( 1 9 8 0 : 4 8 ) .  S h a r m a n m a i n t a i n s t h a t i f C o m m o n w e a l t h p o l i c y s e e m e d t o b e at o d d s w i t h  federal  concept  of  power  dispersal,  then  there  was  little  chance  c o n s t i t u t i o n a l c h e c k s to l i m i t g o v e r n m e n t a c t i o n i n the n a m e o f h u m a n  of  rights  instituting  (1990:  T h e C o m m o n w e a l t h ' s r e l u c t a n c e to present a r e f e r e n d u m q u e s t i o n o n r i g h t s  he explains, resides partially  o w n powers (Ibid).  in the uncertain effects the a m e n d m e n t  might  the  221).  protection,  have on  its  74  A Measured Political Response: Appealing to the Masses Routinely,  the  Australian  public  had  looked  politics  and  e x e c u t i v e d o m i n a n c e w i t h deference. H o w e v e r , d u r i n g the crisis period, criticisms  over  s u c h b e h a v i o u r q u i c k l y e m e r g e d . O p p o s i t i o n a m o n g parties a n d interest g r o u p s in  both  C a n b e r r a a n d at t h e s t a t e l e v e l c a l l e d f o r m a j o r  upon  closed-door  c h a n g e s i n the federation that  favoured  the states ( S h a r m a n , 1 9 9 2 : 14). B r o a d l y s p e a k i n g , these g r o u p s insisted the proper  vision  o f f e d e r a l i s m a n d g o o d g o v e r n m e n t m e a n t h a v i n g s m a l l g o v e r n m e n t s c l o s e r to the p e o p l e  (Hughes,  more  1 9 9 8 : 2 6 6 ) . W h a t i s m o r e , it w a s a r g u e d t h e p r o c e s s a s a w h o l e n e e d e d to  federal  amendment  and  initiation  (Galligan, 1995:  The  interest  led  citizenry,  afford  the  to  democratic.  the  states  To  or  begin  to  the  with,  it  needed  to  extend  means  of  a popular  people by  the  right  of  initiative  115).  states  groups  recourse  more  be  seized upon  these opportunities,  in hopes o f directly  the  states  and their  to  pursue  willingness  electorate  a glimpse  to  reaching the  a  political  openly  into  a p p e a l i n g to  opposition parties  electorate. T h e  response. Their  criticize  limited  availability  closer proximity  Commonwealth  executive-federal relations;  activity  they  and  were  to  seemed  too  of  the  to  greatly  d o m i n a t e d b y the C o m m o n w e a l t h E x e c u t i v e .  In his study o f the A u s t r a l i a n and C a n a d i a n federations, S h a r m a n suggests there is  an identifiable  the  turning point in public tolerance for executive domination, beginning  1 9 7 0 s . P r i o r to t h e n , h e e x p l a i n s , there w a s little p u b l i c interest i n p o l i t i c a l  especially those o f a constitutional  (1990:  217). This  changed during  nature, b e c a u s e they d i d not enter the p u b l i c  the  crisis. T h e  issues  brought  to  the  representation or rights protection, s e e m e d to directly c o n c e r n the p u b l i c .  fore,  in  matters,  domain  whether  75  Amending Commonwealth Actions: Mass Mobilization Against the Center In  .constitutional  passed  1 9 9 8 , H u g h e s r e m a r k e d that o f the f o r t y - t w o  amendment  (1998:  175).  bills  Sharman  voted  and  on  Stuart  by  referendum  examined  to  the  Commonwealth-initiated  that  results  point,  only  of  referenda  the  b e t w e e n 1967 and 1977. Significantly, they c o n c l u d e d there w e r e patterns o f  eight  had  held  referendum  v o t i n g i n A u s t r a l i a : p e r c e p t i o n s o f state self-interest h a d v i s i b l y c h a n g e d s i n c e 1 9 0 1 ; the  s m a l l e r states o f the f e d e r a t i o n t e n d e d to b e less s u p p o r t i v e o f C o m m o n w e a l t h  initiatives;  a n d p o l i c y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s b y the e l e c t o r a t e c o u l d n o t b e e x c l u d e d as a d e t e r m i n i n g  factor  in referendum failure (1981: 262-268).  In  sum, Sharman and  Stuart's  findings  s e e m e d to  indicate  a decline in  d e f e r e n c e , a n d a r o l e for the states i n that d e c l i n e . T h e c l i m a t e o f the crisis p e r i o d  the  states  and  competition  the  offered  public  a  a chance for  mutually  new  beneficial  movements  opportunity.  and interest  their part, the  states w e r e  offered  groups  a means of recourse through  offered  Intergovernmental  to  gain a  v o i c e a n d seek p o l i c y alternatives that w e r e not b e i n g p u r s u e d ( G a l l i g a n , 1997:  For  public  mass  public  39-40).  mobilization.  S h a r m a n m a i n t a i n s that g i v e n A u s t r a l i a ' s a m e n d i n g p r o c e d u r e , the states' a d v a n t a g e lies  squarely  in  unwelcome  their  ability  to  Commonwealth  play  a  defensive  policies, or  simply  game  that  resists t h e m  "absorbs  until  the  and  transmutes  Commonwealth  g i v e s u p " ( 1 9 9 2 : 12). I n d e e d , h e a d d s , there h a v e b e e n o c c a s i o n s i n w h i c h the states h a v e  jointly and deliberately undertaken  actions  broad scale initiatives  to  challenge  Commonwealth  (ibid).  In  Australia.  1949, R . S . Parker undertook  He maintained  in the  a study o f national referendum  first p l a c e that w h i l e  voting  apathy, partisan-voting  trends  and  in  voter  76  self-interest w e r e factors that c o u l d not b e d i s c o u n t e d , the i n f l u e n c e o f p a r t y  the state l e v e l w a s a d e c i s i v e e l e m e n t ( 1 9 4 9 :  as  constitutional  change  is  an  leaders  166-167). Second, Parker commented  exclusive Commonwealth  initiative,  state  leaders  f r e q u e n t l y p e r c e i v e d t h e s e i n i t i a t i v e s t o b e a d e l i b e r a t e a t t e m p t at i n f r i n g i n g  upon  state  of  influence  or  jurisdiction  (Ibid).  A s  such,  an  adequate  explanation  that  have  either  negative  r e f e r e n d u m o u t c o m e s m i g h t b e f o u n d i n the p r e m i s e that "state party leaders are able  translate their scepticism into a b o d y o f votes o p p o s i n g the [ C o m m o n w e a l t h ]  (Sharman and  Stuart,  1981: 261).  Sharman and  at  to  proposal"  Stuart's results, appearing s o m e  thirty  18 years after P a r k e r ' s , a f f i r m his  findings.  T h e net result o f state c a m p a i g n s against C o m m o n w e a l t h a c t i v i t y w a s a series  successive failed national referenda. D u r i n g the crisis p e r i o d the C o m m o n w e a l t h  five  national  referenda  referenda,  failed,  and  totaling  only  four  thirteen  of  amendment  the  eleven  proposals.  proposals  Three  were  of  of  initiated  the  five  carried  through  H u g h e s has c o m m e n t e d that today, despite the C o m m o n w e a l t h ' s  potential  (Commonwealth of Australia, 2003: Online).  A TURNING POINT IN T H E AUSTRALIAN CRISIS  to i n t e r v e n e m o r e  significantly  there  doing  are costs i n  procedure  appears  to  ambitions  (Sharman,  so  have  1990:  in matters  (1998:  268).  provided  225).  The  a  o f state i n f l u e n c e a n d j u r i s d i c t i o n , it r e a l i z e s  D e s p i t e the  major  ability  passage of time,  check  of  the  against  states  the  to  the  referendum  Commonwealth's  potentially  r e f e r e n d u m o u t c o m e s c o n v i n c e d the C o m m o n w e a l t h to p u r s u e a m o r e f e d e r a l  control  bargaining  a p p r o a c h . A n d a l o n g w i t h the return o f the states as b a r g a i n e r s i n the f e d e r a t i o n w a s  i n t r o d u c t i o n o f the A u s t r a l i a n e l e c t o r a t e as s t a k e h o l d e r s i n the f e d e r a l b a r g a i n .  the  77  Since the late 1980s there appears to be a marked difference in the amendments put forward for approval, reflecting a more consultative approach. The Commonwealth's last grab for state power took place in the December 1984 referendum, in which a proposal was made that would potentially enable the Commonwealth and the states to voluntarily refer powers to one another. Referendum proposals since then have centered on issues of public concern such as decentralization, rights and freedoms, and the establishment of an Australian republic (Commonwealth of Australia, 2003: Online). This does not mean that the Australian federation is now problem-free. The two national referendums held since the end of the crisis (1988 and 1999), despite reflecting a more consultative and popular approach, have resulted in the successive failure of six proposals. Nonetheless, what these referenda do indicate is a partial turning point away from the unilateral-centralizing character of the Australian federation, towards one that incorporates the states and the people in the federal bargain. T H E INDIAN FEDERATION: T H E ORIGINAL BARGAIN The Pre-Federal Conditions  India's partition at the end of the British colonial era convinced the founding fathers to rethink their priorities. The new objectives of the Indian federation would require them to move against the grain of traditional federal thinking and place far greater emphasis on unity than diversity. The central focus of the Indian federal state shifted from subnational accommodation to integration and national strength. Preserving diversity was still a priority, but now it was set within the context of integration for the creation of a strong center (Bhattacharya, 1992: 94).  78 But the complete centralization of a unitary state was not possible. The accommodation of diversity had always been necessary on the Indian subcontinent. Especially  in  cases  where  selected  diversities  were  geographically  located,  accommodation bred a tradition of limited autonomy- And under British control, the 19  devolution of power to the provinces, albeit in a limited form, was seen as a necessary step in keeping provincialism at bay. The accommodation of provincial forces was aided in part by the introduction of democratic institutions that provided some representation and a voice for provincial interests. Representatives participated in legislative councils and other embryonic forms of self-government  such as elected municipalities and district boards (Sarkaria  Commission, 1988: 6). Through the Indian National. Congress, these institutions encouraged the representation of various interests; even before federation, the Congress rightly claimed the popular support of the Indian people.  21  As India's modem political form materialized, it became apparent it would be set 22  against the backdrop of economic malaise and regional disparity.  These disparities, a  result of India's old feudal system and its social stratification, allowed for very little mobility (1988: 14) and played a central role in the socio-economic developments that would take shape. The Nature of the Original Indian Bargain The principal intention of the constitution-framers was the creation of a strong central government capable of maintaining the unity of the Indian federation. In July 1947, the second report of the Union Powers Committee stated: now that partition is a settled fact, we are unanimously of the view that it would be injurious to the interests of the country to provide for a weak Central authority which would be incapable of ensuring peace, of coordinating vital matters of common concern...and that the  • 19 soundest framework of our constitution is a federation with a strong center (Sarkaria Commission, 1988: 7).  23  For  want  of  a  strong  central  government  the  would-be  subordinate a n d peripheral roles in the original b a r g a i n .  2 4  states  were  While "historically,  accorded  federalism  has b e e n the o u t c o m e o f s o v e r e i g n states to c o m e together - d e s i r i n g u n i o n a n d not  (Bhattacharya,  1992:  101),  Dr.  Ambedkar,  a key  member  o f the  Drafting  unity"  Committee,  stated:  Though India was to be a federation, the federation was not an agreement by the states to join the federation...Though the country and the people may be divided into different states for convenience of administration, the country is one integral whole, its people a single people living under a single imperium derived from a single source... (Ambedkar as cited in Muni, 1996). The  Drafting  Committee  was  composed  primarily  of  elite  vested  interests:  l a w y e r s , scholars and the politically influential; " a g g r e s s i v e and assertive s p o k e s m e n for  the rights o f the Constituent U n i t s w e r e f e w  and far b e t w e e n " ( B h a t t a c h a r y a , 1 9 9 2 :  Those who  w e r e present " p o i n t e d out the h i g h l y centralized, unitary bias o f the  Committee  and  going  to  be  argued in  r e d u c e d to  (Bhattacharya, 1992:  The  original  favour  the  of  position  decentralization. T h e y  of  'glorified  district  feared that the  boards,'  or  94).  Drafting  states  were  'municipalities'"  100).  bargain  reflected  two  broad fundamental  initiatives.  The  first,  the  creation o f a strong central g o v e r n m e n t , a n d the s e c o n d , w i t h o u t w h i c h there c o u l d b e  Indian  federation,  the  accommodation  of  diversity.  preference for a federal ordering and the articulation  Arora  and  Mukarji  propose  o f diversities arises from  the  no  "the  need  for political r e c o g n i t i o n o f territorially-based p l u r a l i s m . " T h e y suggest that the " d e n i a l  articulation opportunities w o u l d be tantamount  to d e n y i n g d i v e r s e c o m m u n i t i e s the  to e x i s t , t h e r i g h t to c o n t i n u e as d i s t i n c t i d e n t i t i e s " ( 1 9 9 2 : 2). C o n s e q u e n t l y the  Committee,  for  its  part,  did  in  fact  deliberate  on  the  placement  of  of  right  Drafting  'opportunities  for  80  subnational  federations  articulation'.  A s  Smiley  s u c h as I n d i a . . . f o u n d  it  and  Watts  observed, "the  n e c e s s a r y to  devote  newer  Commonwealth  extensive deliberations  to  issue o f r e g i o n a l representation in the institutions o f the central g o v e r n m e n t " ( 1 9 8 5 :  the  38).  Key Federal Components of the Indian System N o t i o n s o f subnational a c c o m m o d a t i o n and p r o v i n c i a l i s m find their origins in  acts a n d statutes p r o d u c e d d u r i n g the B r i t i s h c o l o n i a l p e r i o d . T h e c o n c e p t o f a  Government of India Act,  polity w a s d e v e l o p e d in the  act  distinguished  1988: 6). A  India Act,  provincial  and  central  spheres o f  the  two-tiered  1919. Albeit in a limited form,  autonomy  the  (Sarkaria Commission,  s i m i l a r notion w a s put f o r w a r d i n the m o r e federally m i n d e d  Government of  1 9 3 5 . It p r o p o s e d a n a l l - I n d i a f e d e r a t i o n , i n c l u d i n g a r e a s o f c e n t r a l , p r o v i n c i a l ,  and concurrent jurisdictions,  and central and provincial  legislatures that w o u l d  have,  in  due course, helped promote a sense o f provincial a u t o n o m y (Sarkaria C o m m i s s i o n , 1988:  7).  In  the  federation  end,  however,  involving  the  common  Princely  States  governance.  could  not  Additionally,  be  with  persuaded  the  to  Second  opt  into  World  l o o m i n g , notions o f p r o v i n c i a l a u t o n o m y w e r e curtailed i n the n a m e o f national  a  War  security  (Ibid).  Despite  fathers  never being  (Sudarshan, 1994:  enacted, the  64).  The  parts  1935  Act  s e r v e d as a g u i d e  that w o u l d  make  up  the  for  whole  the  founding  included  the  P r i n c e l y States, the r e m o t e l y accessible T r i b a l areas, a n d the B r i t i s h I n d i a n P r o v i n c e s , all  o f w h i c h had enjoyed some form o f cultural proliferation  a n d a relative a u t o n o m y to  degree or another. T h e strong center envisaged w o u l d in s o m e w a y be contingent o n  s a t i s f a c t i o n o f t h e s e p a r t s , a n d s o it w a s a c k n o w l e d g e d ' " i t  would  be a retrograde  one  the  step  81 both politically and administratively' to frame a Constitution with a Unitary state basis' (Sarkaria Commission, 1988: 8). The original intent was the creation of a more decentralized federal system. This was in part contingent, first upon an assertion of Muslim identity, and the second, convincing the reluctant Princely States to accept common governance (Bhattacharya, 1992: 101). However, partition had the dual effect of resolving these issues on the one hand, and convincing the founding fathers that a decentralized Indian federation would perhaps be more fragile than originally anticipated. In the end the Congress reversed its stance on securing further powers for the British Indian Provinces, admitting, "the need for power-sharing devices was subordinated to the imperatives of state security and stability" (Arora & Mukarji, 1992: 7-8). In lieu of a desire to create a federation with a strong center capable of staving off disintegrative forces, a centralized federal constitution was pursued. The Sarkaria Commission commented: The primary lesson of India's history is that, in this vast country, only that polity can endure and protect its unity, integrity and sovereignty against extreme aggression and internal disruption, which ensures a strong center with paramount powers, accommodating, at the same time, its traditional diversities (1988: 7).  Indeed, India's centralized federalism has been described as 'quasi-federal' 25  (Wheare, 1965) and even 'decentralized imperialism' (Arora, 1995: 73).  Brass  identifies the primary objective of Indian federalism as "'state-building' - stabilizing, extending, and strengthening the institutions of the central state" (1994: 31). To these ends, he explains, "the central issue in [this model] of state-building concerns 'penetration' of institutions of the centralized state into the 'empty territories' or  82  peripheral  areas  and  into  culturally  and  economically  undergone uneven and social and economic development"  T o these ends, the Indian Constitution  The  center and the  a third  permitted  to  elements o f the C o n s t i t u t i o n  Concurrent  legislate  listed  areas  powers.  because o f  innumerable  the  The  relationship  Indian  states  o f jurisdiction.  and State Lists.  2 7  Arora and Mukarji  overlaps  in practice" (1992:  embodied  in  the  are,  However,  o f ' U n i o n S u p r e m a c y , ' w h e r e i n the  ' U n i o n S u p r e m a c y ' then, is b o t h a f o r m a l a n d p o l i t i c a l  federal  states.  numerous  states  10).  This  argue,  "the  o f legislative and executive p o w e r s d i d not p r o d u c e neat m u t u a l l y  compartments  The  Additionally,  of jurisdictional  these  have  (Ibid).  o f the center (Sarkaria C o m m i s s i o n , 1988:  a p p l i e s to b o t h the C o n c u r r e n t  distribution  in  list  p o i n t to a spirit  m u s t y i e l d to t h e l e g i s l a t i v e p o w e r  notion  which  states are a c c o r d e d separate legislative p o w e r s , h o w e v e r  contains  constitutionally,  regions  favours the center o v e r the  features d e l i b e r a t e l y s u b o r d i n a t e the states to the center.  Constitution  diverse  exclusive  10). T h e n o t i o n  of  reality.  'original  bargain,'  the  competing  centralized-tiecentralized ideas a n d the c o m p o n e n t s o f the center-state relationship  factor  h e a v i l y i n t h e c r i s i s . A s C o r b r i d g e a n d H a r r i s o b s e r v e d , " . . . i t i s at t h e p e r i p h e r y  of  country  (2000:  that India's  'centralized  federalism'  has been most  seriously tested..."  108).  •  the  '  Key Parliamentary Components of the Indian System T h e formal development of India's parliamentary  components can be  traced'back  Government of India Act,  1 9 1 9 as w e l l as the  Government  to c o l o n i a l t i m e s as w e l l . T h e  of India Act,  1935, for instance, advocated a system o f responsible government. T h e  1935  83  A c t i n particular, a d v o c a t e d the reinforcement o f r e s p o n s i b l e g o v e r n m e n t w i t h legislative  a s s e m b l i e s at b o t h t h e f e d e r a l a n d state l e v e l s ( S a r k a r i a C o m m i s s i o n , 1 9 8 8 : 6 - 7 ) .  Westminster  'confidence  parliamentary  convention'  found  principles  their  way  such  into  as  the  the  'fusion  Indian  of  power'  parliamentary  and  tradition.  S u b s e q u e n t l y , a great deal o f e m p h a s i s is p l a c e d not o n l y o n the p o l i t i c a l party, but  role  played by  Significant  to  the  the  individual  political  politician  functioning  as w e l l .  of  both  The  Indian  houses  is  Parliament  the  role  of  the  the  is  bicameral.  the  individual  politician, e n h a n c e d b y the principles o f responsible g o v e r n m e n t a n d the f u s i o n o f  power  b e t w e e n the executive a n d legislative branches.  In  India  this  was  originally  assured  by  the  longstanding  dominance  C o n g r e s s P a r t y , w h i c h c u s t o m a r i l y w a s a b l e to c o n t r o l the great m a j o r i t y  the L o w e r H o u s e a n d thus permit  Indeed,  Brass  argues, "like  the  of  the  o f the seats i n  the leader o f the p a r t y to c o n t r o l the p o l i t i c a l a g e n d a .  British  s y s t e m itself,  direction of prime ministerial dominance" (1994:  the  Indian  has developed in  the  65).  DEVELOPMENTS LEADING TO T H E INDIAN CRISIS T w o  key developments  set the  stage for  the  crisis period. T h e  first  P r i m e M i n i s t e r N e h r u ' s style o f g o v e r n i n g a n d its i m p a c t o n the initial g r o w t h o f  was  center-  state r e l a t i o n s . I m p o r t a n t l y , h i s p a s s i n g c r e a t e d a p o w e r v a c u u m that w o u l d p r o v e to  destabilizing. T h e s e c o n d d e v e l o p m e n t w a s the  attempts to  fill  rise  to p o w e r o f Indira G a n d h i . H e r  be  initial  the p o w e r gap left b y her late father a n d establish a p o l i c y a g e n d a distinct  f r o m that o f the r u l i n g elite o f the C o n g r e s s Party, resulted i n a n over-centralization o f the  Indian federation and a split in the  Congress.  84  The 'Nehruvian' Method and the Posthumous Instability The management  but  it  did  take  on  a distinct  o f center-state relations u n d e r N e h r u w a s not  character  of  cooperation. T o  a  large  extent,  flawless,  center-state  relations w e r e c o l o u r e d b y the c o m m o n v a l u e s a n d beliefs shared b y the P r i m e  Minister  a n d state leaders. T h e s o c i a l i z a t i o n , a l l e g i a n c e s a n d p e r s o n a l ties d e v e l o p e d a m o n g s t  political  elite  during  intergovernmental  matched  by  the  years  of  the  cooperation ( W o o d ,  limited  degrees  of  national  movement  1984: 9). D u r i n g  non-intervention  and  this  state  fostered  a  the  sense  of  period, centralization  autonomy.  Central  was  to  this  a r r a n g e m e n t w a s t h e d e l i b e r a t e s e p a r a t i o n o f p o l i t i c s at t h e c e n t e r a n d s t a t e l e v e l s ( B r a s s ,  1994: 2 2 7 ) . C o r b r i d g e a n d H a r r i s m a i n t a i n that " t h e C o n g r e s s P a r t y i n the  1950s  under  N e h r u , w a s p r e p a r e d in practice... to grant a m e a s u r e o f political and fiscal i n d e p e n d e n c e  to  the  (2000:  States, and  to  work behind  the  scenes  for  a resolution  to  day-to-day  conflicts"  107).  Significantly, intergovernmental  autonomy  cooperation and policies o f limited  state  w e r e set a g a i n s t the p r e s s i n g p r i o r i t y o f a s t r o n g c e n t e r . N e h r u b e l i e v e d  that  c i t i z e n l o y a l t i e s to the state w o u l d w e a k e n the n e c e s s a r y d e v e l o p m e n t o f l o y a l t i e s to  Indian  nation.  Accordingly,  the  people  undertaking o f national proportions  Mukarji,  1992: 8);  pursued during  such was the  the  1950s and  center-state relations  had  to  overarching national  needs. T o  had  to  be  to  participate  i n o r d e r to foster a s i n g l e - m i n d e d l o y a l t y  intended  purpose o f several national  60s. Under Nehru's  involve  encouraged  leadership political  a delicate incorporation  these ends, inter-level  of  cooperation and  w e r e e n c o u r a g e d , the p r o m o t i o n o f subnational identity w a s  not.  in  an  (Arora  economic  integration  subnational  the  wants  &  plans  and  into  accommodation  85  This policy direction h a d unintended  federal  system  was somewhat  tainted  consequences. Nehru's management  to the extent  that  his "reluctant  o f the  recognition  diversity resulted i n a lack o f coherent p o l i c y frame for [national] integrity."  of  That is, his  p o l i c y o f subnational a c c o m m o d a t i o n "resulted f r o m often violent pressures a n d protests  from below, and political expediency frequently  became the guiding principle" (Arora  &  Mukarji, 1992: 9).  Within  the context  mid-1950's numerous  o f N e h r u ' s policies, d e m o c r a c y w a s also encouraged. In the  states b e g a n to d e m a n d t h e territorial r e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h e  state a l o n g linguistic lines. D e s p i t e the fact that s u c h a m o v e w o u l d  multitude  o f identities  Indian  further polarize the  within India, m a k i n g the process o f nation-building  much  harder,  the central g o v e r n m e n t w a s w i l l i n g to a c c o m m o d a t e the request. G u p t a remarks:  The demand for unilingual states was not seen whether by its partisans or by national Congress Party leadership as anti-India or anti-national. This is because the Congress in the 1920's had explicitly proclaimed, as part of its charter, that once independence was won India would be administratively demarcated on linguistic lines (1995: 83). What  is more, Tremblay  and Kumtakar  note that i n t h e 1 9 5 0 s " t h e I n d i a n  state  d e v i s e d innovative political strategies for penetrating the countryside a n d m o b i l i z i n g the  masses  towards  these  goals  [which  included  the]  disadvantaged e c o n o m i c classes i n all institutions"  weighed  heavily  commitment  success  Indians"  to  on Nehru's  democracy  o f his crusades  (Arora  intergovernmental  &  to  intergovernmental  political  (1998: 4). Ultimately,  policy.  l e d h i m to the c o n c l u s i o n  enthuse  Mukarji,  the people  1 9 9 2 : 8).  T o  participation  with  the  That  that  their  extent  is, his  these  of  pursuits  "unquestionable  h e had overestimated  newfound  that  Nehru  the  identity  the  as  free  formulated  an  p o l i c y o f c o o p e r a t i o n a n d l i m i t e d state a u t o n o m y , t h e y w e r e i n part t h e  86  result  of  democratically  enthused  siibnationals,  pressuring  and  protesting  the  center  (1992:9).  Nehru's  method  of  governance  also  promoted  proper  p r a c t i c e s . B r a s s h a s n o t e d that a d i f f i c u l t b a l a n c e w a s struck b e t w e e n  parliamentary  authoritarian  d e m o c r a t i c forces d u r i n g the N e h r u era in w h i c h " B r i t i s h parliamentary c o n v e n t i o n s  a d a p t e d to  Indian extra-parliamentary  balance between parliamentarism  constant  accommodation  of  practices" (1994:  35). U n d e r N e h r u , the  and  were  difficult  a n d f e d e r a l i s m d i d not n e c e s s a r i l y h a v e to i n v o l v e  one  to  the  other.  Furthermore,  the  Prime  the  Ministerial  d o m i n a n c e that w o u l d c o m e to c h a r a c t e r i z e h i s d a u g h t e r ' s l e a d e r s h i p w a s d i s c o u r a g e d  his o w n  time.  N e h r u ' s death in 1964 had significant consequences for India. W i t h i n  C o n g r e s s , his death h a d the effect o f inciting o p e n c o m p e t i t i o n  vacancy prompted  spectrum  a power vacuum; numerous  b e g a n a m a d - d a s h to  f r a g m e n t a t i o n b e g a n to  Under  these  gain control  a m o n g s t party elites.  Congress factions  o f the party  across the  (Sudarshan,  1994:  Indira  Gandhi  made  a  steady  A s  leader, o f  the  Congress and  Prime  G a n d h i l e d the g o v e r n a n c e o f the I n d i a n state i n a n e n t i r e l y n e w  M a n y  of  the  immediately  posthumous  impact  The  party  show.  circumstances  76).  the  ideological  leadership, and signs o f  rise  to  c h a l l e n g e d the ' o l d g u a r d ' o f the C o n g r e s s , c l a i m i n g t h e m to b e i d e o l o g i c a l  years  in  developments  following  that characterize the  Nehru's  o n the stability  death.  Nehru's  Minister  She  reactionaries  of  India,  Mrs.  direction.  c r i s i s b e g a n to  style  power.  of  emerge  governance  o f the I n d i a n federation. B r a s s maintains  the  in  the  had  a  Indian  f e d e r a t i o n has b e e n i n a state o f i m b a l a n c e s i n c e then ( 1 9 9 4 : 35). H e m a i n t a i n s that  "the  87  policies p u r s u e d b y the goverriment  o f India after N e h r u ' s death h a v e p l a y e d a m a j o r  i n the i n t e n s i f i c a t i o n o f c o n f l i c t s i n [the P u n j a b , the N o r t h e a s t , a n d K a s h m i r ]  the process highlighted  a major  and have  structural p r o b l e m in the Indian political s y s t e m "  227). Likewise, Corbridge and Harris  role  in  (1994:  argue:  the 'standard' historiography, representing the Nehru period as one in which there was a 'a legitimate and moderately stable state that was confident of its ability to lay out India's agenda for socio-economic change'...and the period afterwards, dominated (even after her death) by Mrs. Gandhi, as one in which the state declined in its capacity to bring about change, even whilst it became more authoritarian, is not wrong (2000: 68).  Indira Gandhi's Leadership: Centralization and Prime Ministerial Dominance O f great s i g n i f i c a n c e i n the y e a r s l e a d i n g u p to the crisis w a s the n o t i c e a b l e  from  Nehru's  style  of  governance  to  Mrs.  Gandhi's. M a n y  aspects o f  Mrs.  shift  Gandhi's  rulership are d i s s i m i l a r to N e h r u ' s : h e r leadership o f the C o n g r e s s , her p o l i c y a g e n d a , a n d  her  thirst  for  power.  Under  her  leadership,  the  void  left  by  Nehru's  departure  e x a c e r b a t e d . C o r b r i d g e a n d H a r r i s refer to the e a r l y y e a r s o f M r s . G a n d h i ' s  as 'the e n d o f C o n g r e s s d o m i n a n c e ' ( 2 0 0 0 : 71), c i t i n g b o t h the f r a g m e n t a t i o n  were  governance  o f the  party  a n d its i n a b i l i t y to m a i n t a i n e l e c t o r a l c o n t r o l at t h e state l e v e l . L i k e w i s e , j u s t p r i o r to  her  assassination, C h u r c h o b s e r v e d that despite the p a r t y ' s traditional  the  Congress  had  become  almost continual  increasingly  crisis from  out  the time  of  touch  with  society  populist following  and  continued  o f M r s . G a n d h i ' s a c c e s s i o n to p o w e r  to  (1984:  be  in  233-  234).  U n d e r M r s . G a n d h i ' s leadership, centralizing trends w e r e e x t e n d e d far b e y o n d  original  India's  expectations  of  the  founding  leadership had dwindled  fathers.  The  sharing of  common  ideals  the  amongst  b y the late 1 9 6 0 s . T h e C o n g r e s s w a s n o l o n g e r able  to  88  maintain  a government  in  all  states. M o r e o v e r , the  existed under N e h r u disintegrated under M r s .  Corbridge  and Harris point  to t h e  intergovernmental  cooperation  that  Gandhi.  failing  electoral success rate o f the C o n g r e s s 28  Party  as the  beginnings  of  tensions  between  the  center  and  the  states  (2000:  106).  U n a b l e to s e c u r e a C o n g r e s s g o v e r n m e n t i n e v e r y state, a n d f i r m l y c o m m i t t e d to t h e i d e a  o f a strong central government,  intensified  tremendously  drives towards  under  Mrs.  a centralization o f power in N e w  Gandhi.  The  promotion  subnational l e v e l ceased. T r e m b l a y a n d K u m t a k a r suggest the  of  democracy  Panchayati Raj  Delhi  at  system  local government, w h i c h promoted local democracy and participation, was "viewed  disfavour b y  the  "elections  these bodies were  to  contemporary  l e a d e r s h i p e s p e c i a l l y at t h e  getting repeatedly postponed, w h i c h  e r o d i n g their l e g i t i m a c y i n the eyes o f the p e o p l e " ( 1 9 9 8 :  Mrs.  and  Gandhi rescinded Nehru's  state-level  "fundamental  politics.  state l e v e l . "  Brass  encouragement  observed  that  They  h a d the  the  of  with  maintain  effect  of  6-7).  of  under  a separation between  Mrs.  Gandhi  there  center  emerged  changes i n the structure a n d f u n c t i o n i n g o f the central government, i n  the  f o r m and character o f party political competition, a n d in the relationship a m o n g central,  state,  and  local  institutions  of  governance  and  politics"  (1994:  G a n d h i set o u t to r e m o v e e v e r y C o n g r e s s C h i e f M i n i s t e r w h o  and...[replaced]  independent  them  base"  with  (40).  Chief  What  is  Ministers  more,  personally  loyal  intergovernmental  33).  He  argues  "Mrs.  had an independent  to  her  and  relations  base  without  involved  an  the  i m p o s i t i o n o f central d o m i n a n c e o n a c q u i e s c e n t states, a n d m o r e e x t r e m e m e a s u r e s s u c h  as E m e r g e n c y P o w e r s a n d P r e s i d e n t ' s R u l e o n the m o r e dissident o n e s . .  89  A d d i t i o n a l l y , the d e c l i n e o f a s y s t e m - w i d e C o n g r e s s h e g e m o n y l e d to a c h a n g e  in  the operation o f parliamentary institutions. P r i m e Ministerial d o m i n a n c e w a s encouraged,  cabinet  government  was  consolidated her power  done  (Corbridge  leadership was  and  not.  Ultimately,  intra-party  so that challengers w o u l d  Harris, 2000:  shaped b y  the  77).  To  difficulties  democracy  inter-party  centralist  mechanism,  dominance  characterized  a large  extent,  she faced: the  the  corruption,  style  of  Mrs.  Gandhi  &  sought  Mukarji,  fragmentation  Gandhi's  India':  and coercion (1984:  alternative  1992:  15). W o o d  centralization  11-12).  Gandhi  and  Likewise, Brass  once  Mrs.  Gandhi's  o f the  Congress  failures.  o r g a n i z a t i o n n e c e s s a r y to r e n d e r i n t e r g o v e r n m e n t a l  (Arora  'Indira  Mrs.  b e u n a b l e to e m e r g e as she h a d  P a r t y , the d i s s i d e n c e o f s e l e c t states a n d the s u b s e q u e n t e l e c t o r a l  L a c k i n g the party  ceased;  tools  that  would  identified  four  affairs  'safeguard'  elements  personalization,  an  that  intervention,  characterized Mrs.  Gandhi's  distinct style o f leadership as b e i n g d e c i d e d l y personalized and centralized, i n v o l v i n g  'unprecedented  Gandhi's  choice o f tactics  interventionist  popular  [assertion]  1992:  and  power  in  the  was ultimately  tools, partially  resentment  Mukarji,  of  restored the  Indian  political  utilitarian.  The  status q u o , but  electoral b a c k l a s h against blatant  system"  frequent  (1994:  and  40).  Mrs.  abusive use  in the b a l a n c e risked  over-centralization  an  of  inciting  (Arora  &  15-16).  T H E INDIAN CRISIS: T H E PROBLEMS T h e I n d i a n c r i s i s that e m e r g e d w a s a c o m p o u n d o f s e v e r a l p r o b l e m s .  underlying  disparity  and  consistent  became  the  problem  foundation  p r o b l e m w a s the overtly  was  upon  confrontational  the  which  Indian  other  economy.  problems  Poverty  were  and  built.  A  nature o f center-state relations. T h e s e  A n  regional  second  relations  90  were  characterized  simultaneously  by  a  states, a n d b y intense i n t e r g o v e r n m e n t a l  was  the  rise  mechanisms  problems.  A  of  ethnic  violence  expressly  final  designed  element,  an  and  for  'shoving  match'  competition  separatism.  crisis  aggregate  the  center  for citizen loyalty. A  The  management  result  between  of  the  center's  of  this  use  sort  preceding  and  third  of  the  problem  constitutional  exacerbated  problems,  these  was  the  a s s a s s i n a t i o n o f t h e I n d i a n P r i m e M i n i s t e r at t h e a p e x o f t h e c r i s i s .  The Economic Crisis: National Policy and Regional Disparity hardship E c o n o m i c p r o b l e m s confronted d u r i n g the crisis w e r e neither n e w , nor static,  were  further  originally  aggravated  c h o s e n to  as  the  federation  matured.  accommodate an ethnically  Though  the  federal  design  and territorially fragmented  developed additionally into a device for the treatment and reduction o f regional  disparity ( D u a &  The  Singh 1989:  founding  society,  faced  regional e c o n o m i c and industrial  Mukarji  a  major  obstacle  in  creating  a  well-balanced  developments were uneven. This disparity only  divisive multicultural  "the  economic  successive years of drought  development plans" (1992:  brought  served  and  and  financial  about  food  aftermaths  of  two  shortages, inflation  border  wars  the  and  and  a n d the c o l l a p s e  of  11).  These economic difficulties  of numerous  forces, m a k i n g federal integration  control,  o f national p o l i c y a d i f f i c u l t task ( S a r k a r i a C o m m i s s i o n , 1 9 8 8 : 8). A r o r a  note, that  it  economic  federation. T h e y c o u l d not a v o i d the p r o b l e m o f r e g i o n a l disparity. U n d e r B r i t i s h  formulation  was  17).  fathers  to c o m p o u n d potentially  and  w e r e best reflected i n the d e v e l o p m e n t  and  collapse  e c o n o m i c strategies in the 1 9 5 0 ' s and 60s. B y the t i m e o f N e h r u ' s death  1964, India h a d seen the failure o f t w o  ' f i v e - y e a r p l a n s ' a n d w a s a b o u t to e x p e r i e n c e  in  the  91 collapse  of  a  third.  Since  strengthening  industry  indicated  such  that  and  independence,  the  strategies  private  the  sector.  neglected  the  center  had  However,  agricultural  a  focused  1965  primarily  World  sector (Corbridge  Bank  report  and  Harris,  2 0 0 0 : 69), w h i c h m a d e u p the great majority o f the Indian e c o n o m y . T h e focus o f  energies  on  industry  and the  private  sector reinforced  the  interests  of  the  on  federal  urban  n e g l e c t e d the a g r a r i a n d e v e l o p m e n t o f the rural r e g i o n s , w h i c h i n t u r n s e r v e d to  elite,  widen  the gap o f disparity b e t w e e n the two. T h e d e v e l o p m e n t o f a fourth five-year p l a n , w i t h  a  30 greater  Harris  agricultural  maintain  focus,  that  did  "from  little  this  to  time  alleviate  the  economic  performance  of  pressures.  the  Corbridge  Indian  economy  w h o l e . . . r i g h t t h r o u g h to the e a r l y 1 9 8 0 s , w a s g r e a t l y u n s a t i s f a c t o r y " ( 2 0 0 0 :  In  the  context  presented a two-tiered  integrative  both  and  a  federation,  and  and  then,  these  nation-wide  affluent.  accountable,  These  and second, a challenge for the  economic  especially  when  challenges  required  redistributing  resources.  a  of  problems  providing  individual  the  as  78).  economic  c h a l l e n g e : first, a c h a l l e n g e f o r the center i n t e r m s  egalitarian treatment,  backward  responsible  of  and  states,  center  to  be  Conversely,  e c o n o m i c challenges did not take place without p u b l i c notice, nor did they pass  without  public concern over whether 'they' were getting m o r e than 'us' (Jeffrey, 1986: 4).  T h e e c o n o m i c d i m e n s i o n s o f the crisis had significant consequences for  developments  states  was  at the state l e v e l . T h e p o l a r i t y  partly  contingent  upon  federal  political  between backward and relatively  initiatives  that  created  affluent  "preferential  or  discriminate barriers" (Sarkaria C o m m i s s i o n , 1988: 8). V e s t e d political interests  seized  u p o n the resulting antagonisms and instigated the m o b i l i z a t i o n o f v a r i o u s groups  (1988:  14).  Church maintains  the  disadvantaged -  that is, the  lower  castes,  ex-untouchables,  92  tribes  and minorities  interests  (1984:  -  233).  were  easily  These  3 1  mobilized  appeals, made  by  tapping  into  their  to t h e d i s a d v a n t a g e d  socio-economic  o n the basis  o f  a  c o m m o n shared subnational identity, p r o v e d to b e the m o s t h a r m f u l to the stability o f the  federation.  game  Still, mass mobilization  to play.  mobilized,  Firstly, while  they  became  disadvantaged were  p r o v e d to b e a difficult a n d potentially  the disadvantaged were  a difficult  generally  force  regarded  to  many  manage.  as threatening  destabilizing  and easily accessible, once  Second,  gains  afforded  to those w h o already  to  the  enjoyed  a  m o r e fortunate s o c i o - e c o n o m i c standing ( W o o d , 1 9 8 4 : 14).  These  economic  difficulties  destabilized  the  unity  of  the  federation.  m o b i l i z a t i o n o f the m a s s e s b y vested political interests served to instigate ethnic  (Muni,  1 9 9 6 ; Jeffrey,  1986: 2), and incited  political  protest.  In turn,  these  T h e  violence  challenges  w e i g h e d h e a v i l y o n t h e l e a d e r s h i p at t h e c e n t e r . F o r M r s . G a n d h i , t h e t r e a t m e n t o f t h e s e  problems  meant  t w o pursuits.  First,  e c o n o m i c strategies a n d control  further  centralization  the distribution  in order  to better  manage  o f resources, and second, satisfying the  s u b n a t i o n a l d e m a n d s that l e d to t h e m o b i l i z a t i o n o f t h e m a s s e s b y h e r o p p o n e n t s . I n b o t h  cases,  M r s . Gandhi's  continued  policy  pursuits  h a d adverse  effects  o n the Congress  success.  M r s . G a n d h i centralized control over basic infrastructural  central  and her  political  p r e s s u r e s o n t h e states  worsened  already  tense  economic  conditions.  center-state  Arora  (Arora  relations  and Mukarji  &  Mukarji,  (1992:  contend  industries a n d increased  1992: 15). These  16), a n d d i d little  centralization  as  a  to  policies  improve  treatment  economic problems w a sa flawed approach:  Most such schemes depended heavily for their success on the states, on local bodies and , ultimately on popular participation. Unless the states [were] actively involved at all stages, and  o f  93  unless flexibility [was] inbuilt to adapt to the diversities of uneven development, the transition from central scheme to national mission [was] difficult to realize (Ibid). To  economic  policies  accommodate  that  were  subnational  more  demands,  appealing  to  M r s . Gandhi, campaigned  the disadvantaged,  and within  for  the  C o n g r e s s , f o r greater m i n o r i t y representation ( C h u r c h , 1984: 2 3 5 ) .B o t h pursuits h a dt h e  effect o f p r o v o k i n g d i s c o n t e n t w i t h i n t h e C o n g r e s s ; n u m e r o u s M P sr e s e n t e d h e r o v e r t l y  populist approach to e c o n o m i c p o l i c y (Brass, 1994: 4 1 ) . Importantly, h e r p o l i c y  were  pitted against h e r chances o f reelection. W h e n faced w i t h the potential  choices  effects  rural unrest a n d ethnic violence o n the electorate, " M r s . G a n d h i d e c i d e d to precipitate  of  a  crisis w i t h i n the C o n g r e s s o n its future orientation o f e c o n o m i c p o l i c i e s i n order to arrest  the e r o s i o n o f its p o p u l a r support b a s e " ( A r o r a & M u k a r j i , 1992: 15).  A t t e m p t s to r e m e d y Indian's regional e c o n o m i c disparity l e d to a factional split i n  the C o n g r e s s P a r t y , r e s u l t i n g i n t h e rise o f M r s . G a n d h i ' s C o n g r e s s (I). A c c o r d i n g l y , t h e  weakness o f her political organization a n d the failure o f her populist approach worsened  the e c o n o m y , w e a k e n e d the federation, a n d l e d to a n increase i n c o e r c i v e a n d o p p r e s s i v e  tactics:  "as demands  prices,  opposition  increased in a worsening  w a s expressed increasingly  economic  situation  o n the streets,  with  provoking  steeply  a  rising  repressive  response" (Corbridge & Harris, 2000: 86).  Intergovernmental Confrontation: Central Control vs. Regional Movements Center-state  relations  during  the  crisis  were  confrontational.  These  confrontations t o o k t w o f o r m s : t h e first, a series o f ' s h o v i n g m a t c h e s ' b e t w e e n t h e center  a n d t h e states, a n d t h e s e c o n d , o p e n i n t e r g o v e r n m e n t a l  The  competition  for citizen  loyalty.  first f o r m , the ' s h o v i n g m a t c h e s , ' c o n s i s t e d o f a b r o a d series o f events i n w h i c h  a  94  l e v e l ' s a c t i o n s w e r e i n e s s e n c e a r e s p o n s e to t h o s e o f the o t h e r ' s . A s the c r i s i s w o r e  on,  the severity o f the responses increased, a n d confrontation w a s further exacerbated.  T h e already centralized nature o f the I n d i a n federation m a d e the f o r m u l a t i o n  national  tended  policy  to  be  a delicate  the  further  matter.  In  areas  centralization  of  such  the  as the  federal  economy,  system.  the  The  solution  more  of  sought  the  central  g o v e r n m e n t p u r s u e d c e n t r a l i z i n g p o l i c i e s , t h e m o r e it a g i t a t e d s u b n a t i o n a l p r e s s u r e s a n d  protest. F i n a l l y , n o n - C o n g r e s s g o v e r n m e n t s b e g a n to e m e r g e . C e n t r a l r e s p o n s e s , o r  those o f M r s . G a n d h i , t e n d e d to  groups  ethnic  and  be coercive. In  non-Congress governments  violence.  In  return,  Mrs.  r e s p o n s e to  b e g a n to  Gandhi  incite  invoked  her coercion,  dissidence, and  constitutional  in  rather  subnational  some  mechanisms  P r e s i d e n t ' s R u l e a n d E m e r g e n c y p o w e r s ; t h e y w e r e first e m p l o y e d as t h e y w e r e  cases  such  as  intended  to b e , a n d t h e n a b u s i v e l y , i n o r d e r to r e t u r n C o n g r e s s g o v e r n m e n t s to p o w e r . In r e s p o n s e ,  subnational  dissidence  confrontations  and  peaked in  ethnic  violence  ad  intensified,  1 9 8 4 w h e n , i n r e s p o n s e to  continuum.  central intervention  in the  These  Punjab,  Mrs. G a n d h i was assassinatedb y her S i k h bodyguards.  The  citizens'  second  form  of  intergovernmental  loyalty, w a s not mutually  inherently  divide citizen loyalty.  confrontation,  e x c l u s i v e o f the  A s with most  open  competition  'shoving matches.' Federal systems  federations, the India's  founding  fathers  c o n f e r r e d p o w e r s s u c h as health, e d u c a t i o n a n d s o c i o - c o m m u n i t y d e v e l o p m e n t u p o n  states. T h e s e p o w e r s c r e a t e d a d i r e c t l i n k b e t w e e n the c i t i z e n s a n d the state  to  the  waned,  detriment  capturing  of  the  citizen  loyalty meant electoral  center.  A s  support  support.  subnational  became  of  for  support  for  the  Congress  increasing importance;  the  governments  increasingly  capturing  citizen  95  M r s . G a n d h i a n d h e r s u b n a t i o n a l r i v a l s m a d e u s e o f p o p u l i s t tactics, a p p e a l i n g to  sensitive  be  sure,  Congress h e g e m o n y , whether under N e h r u , M r s . G a n d h i or a n y other leader, rested  upon  the  c o n c e r n s that  loyalty  parties  and  would  and traditional  subnational  guarantee  support  groups  of  who  the  the  mobilization  electorate.  sought  to  of  the  masses.  Equally, for  remove  the  To  emerging  Congress from  alternative  power,  the  l o y a l t y a n d s u p p o r t o f the e l e c t o r a t e w a s o f p a r a m o u n t i m p o r t a n c e as w e l l .  Though  citizen  participation  consisted  of  mobilization  by  superior  politically  e l i t e s , it d i d n o t d i m i n i s h t h e i r n e w i m p o r t a n c e a s p a r t i c i p a n t s i n t h e s y s t e m . A c c o r d i n g l y ,  J e f f r e y a r g u e s " v o t e r s k n o w the d i f f e r e n c e b e t w e e n n a t i o n a l a n d state e l e c t i o n s , a n d  they  k n o w h o w t o p u n i s h . T h e y m a y s e e t h e C o n g r e s s (I) a s t h e o n l y v i a b l e a l t e r n a t i v e [at  center] but  in their o w n  states, g i v e n g e n u i n e o p t i o n s , they w i l l  support  those  the  options"  (1986:21).  Mrs.  Gandhi's management  o f the Indian federation  h a d the effect  o f inciting  a  s u b n a t i o n a l r e a c t i o n . T h e C o n g r e s s P a r t y l o s t its a b i l i t y to w i n e l e c t i o n s at t h e s t a t e l e v e l .  A  counter-centralization  movement  emerged, equally  matched  by  a growing  sense  p r o v i n c i a l i s m . T h e m o r e the c e n t e r p u s h e d the states, the m o r e the states b e g a n to  of  push  back.  The Rise of Non-Congress Alternatives and Mass Mobilization F r o m the t i m e o f I n d e p e n d e n c e , the C o n g r e s s r u l e d b o t h the centre a n d all o f  states, m a k i n g  intergovernmental  relations  essentially an  intra-party  activity  (Sarkaria  C o m m i s s i o n , 1 9 8 8 : 15). In the n e a r l y t w o d e c a d e s that f o l l o w e d I n d e p e n d e n c e , India  almost  exclusively  having  opted  for  coloured  a  by  the  British-styled  policies  and  parliamentary  practices  system  of  a  whose  single  party.  successful  the  was  Despite  operation  96  d e p e n d e d h e a v i l y o n a m u l t i p a r t y s y s t e m , the C o n g r e s s o p e n l y e s p o u s e d distrust for  politics (Sudarshan, 1994: 62). A  were  fundamentally  mutual,  select group o f political elites, w h o s e varied  controlled  the  Indian parliamentary  party  interests  s y s t e m as w e l l  as  the  federation. S u c h arrangements facilitated the operation o f a federal s y s t e m , especially i n  t e r m s o f i n i t i a t i n g p o l i c i e s that f a v o u r e d the center o v e r the states.  However,  mid  1960s,  noticeable.  the  f r o m the  1960s o n w a r d , the C o n g r e s s stood o n s h a k y g r o u n d . B y  successive  failure  of  Nehru's  Moreover, competing political  economic  elites w e r e m o r e  plans  than  had  become  e a g e r to  were  fueled.  sentiment  Indeed,  which  is  as the  Sarkaria C o m m i s s i o n noted  initially  strength  with  regional  backwardness" (1988:  some  a blend  states p r o v e d  of  based  on  economic  reluctant  to  linguistic,  issues such  15-16).  reelect  Growing  "very  religious  as those  or  disparity  the  ethnic  groupings  to  The  subnational  land,  tensions  Congress governments.  draw  often,  relating  center-state  quite  openly  attention to this fact. In turn, subnational a g g r a v a t i o n s o v e r p o v e r t y a n d r e g i o n a l  the  gain  water  worsened  standard  and  when  response  f r o m the center to a l l s u c h s u b n a t i o n a l a c t i o n s w a s further c e n t r a l i z a t i o n .  At  the  center,  Congress majority in  support  the  began  to  1967 national  visibly  wane  following  the  reduction  elections. A s pressures from b e l o w  majorities  in  In  all but  the  two  1 9 7 2 state e l e c t i o n s the  states: M a n i p u r  and  C o n g r e s s (I)  m a n a g e d to  Meghalaya. Despite  p e r f o r m a n c e w a s tainted b y the C o n g r e s s P a r t y ' s recent factional  Gandhi's  Congress  (I)  in  organizational  bankruptcy;  the  the  intensified  a n d e c o n o m i c c o n d i t i o n s w o r s e n e d , t h e C o n g r e s s b e g a n to s e e f u r t h e r s i g n s o f  electoral support.  of  wavering  secure clear  a clear victory,  split, w h i c h  Congress  (I)  left  was  its  Mrs.  almost  97  structurally  incapable of following  through  o n the r e f o r m s p r o m i s e s that h a d s e c u r e d  its  electoral victory (Sudarshan, 1994: 78).  S h o r t l y after the  Bihar.  These  (Corbridge  &  sentiments.  Mrs.  events  3 2  Gandhi  1 9 7 2 state e l e c t i o n s , there e m e r g e d o p e n protests in G u j a r a t  reflected  Harris,  both  2000:  a  86)  loss  and  of  the  confidence  rise  of  in  the  parliamentary  anti-central  and  T h e s e m o v e m e n t s g r e w to u n a c c e p t a b l y v i o l e n t p r o p o r t i o n s  had,  for  example,  elections the f o l l o w i n g  invoked  President's Rule  in  Gujarat,  system  anti-Congress  so that b y  1974  promising  new  year. B u t what could these measures achieve? " E s p e c i a l l y in  b i g g e r o r m o r e a f f l u e n t s t a t e s , t h e w i n n e r s at t h e s t a t e l e v e l a r e a b l e t o a s s e r t t h e i r  against the p o w e r o f the center" ( W o o d , 1984: 2). A n d e v e n i f these forces w e r e  at  the  ballot  box,  and  they  did  not  abate  their  efforts.  And  if  they  the  power  defeated  succeeded, then  they  c a p t u r e d the p o l i t i c a l r e s o u r c e s vital to the center: o r g a n i z a t i o n , m o n e y , a n d v o t e s (Ibid).  What  Congress  is  more,  forces  in  chose  select  to  areas  pursue  -  notably  violent  Punjab,  rather  than  Kashmir,  political  and  forms  Assam  of  -  non-  expression.  L e g i t i m a t e n o n - C o n g r e s s alternatives d i d e m e r g e , s u c h as the A k a l i D a l i n P u n j a b a n d  A s o m  Gana Parishad ( A G P ) in Assam.  p o l i c y alternative.  In s o m e instances these parties  sought  a  T h e A k a l i D a l , w h i c h predates Independence, gained popular  as a r e f o r m m o v e m e n t  viable  support  capable o f p u r s u i n g specifically S i k h interests (Brass, 1994:  S i m i l a r l y , the A G P g a i n e d p o p u l a r support in A s s a m for their protests against  the  193).  immigrant  l a b o u r a n d their d e m a n d s for electoral r e f o r m . H o w e v e r , m o r e a g g r e s s i v e parties, s u c h as  a militant  wing  of  the  Akali  e m e r g e d as w e l l . T h r o u g h  militants  demanded  the  Dal  and  the  United  Liberation  Front  of  A s o m  (ULFA),  the u s e o f ethnic v i o l e n c e as a p r e s s u r e tactic, the A k a l i  creation  of  Khalistan, an  independent  S i k h territory.  Dal  Through  98  similar means, U L F A  demanded electoral reform  immigrant labourers from  U n t i l this point,  every  few  years.  as w e l l  as the c o m p l e t e e x p u l s i o n  Assam.  the m a s s e s h a d p l a y e d a relatively m i n o r  Their  of  seeming  political  unawareness  r o l e at t h e b a l l o t  allowed  them  to  be  box  easily  m o b i l i z e d . C u s t o m a r i l y this h a d b e e n left to the C o n g r e s s , w h i c h h a d traditionally  been  the o n l y v i a b l e alternative to the B r i t i s h R a j ( S u d a r s h a n , 1 9 9 4 : 6 1 - 6 2 ) . D u r i n g the c r i s i s ,  three trends t o o k shape. First, the accelerated politicization o f the masses. E s p e c i a l l y i n  the  case o f  the  subsequently,  various  impoverished, worsening hardship had  more  opportunities  non-Congress  to  movements,  demand  most  l e d to  change  headed  by  greater  (Church,  ambitious  expectations  1984:  241).  politicians,  Second,  sought  m o b i l i z e the m a s s e s against the established Indian leadership in m u c h o f the s a m e  the  Congress had  done  in  pre-Independence  times. Thirdly,  non-Congress  b e g a n to a b u s e t h e t o o l s o f d e m o c r a c y a g a i n s t I n d i a ' s m u l t i c u l t u r a l  and  to  way  movements  character. T h a t is, in  o r d e r to s e c u r e the greatest s u p p o r t p o s s i b l e , the m a s s e s w e r e m o b i l i z e d b y p l a y i n g  antagonisms o f s o m e groups against those o f others ( M u n i ,  Mounting  sentiments  of  state  chauvinism  the  1996).  ultimately  found  their  expression  in  i n c r e a s e d e l e c t o r a l c o m p e t i t i o n at b o t h t h e s u b n a t i o n a l a n d n a t i o n a l l e v e l s . T h i s w a s t o  large extent precipitated b y states d e m a n d s for decentralization and greater  in  the  national  alternatives  decision-making  found  unresponsiveness,  their  and  the  process  origins  coercion  in  (Arora,  the  that  lack  had  1995:  of  come  73).  The  rise  representation,  to  characterize  participation  of  subnational  the  the  center's  Congress'  m a n a g e m e n t o f the states. L i k e w i s e , p u b l i c t o l e r a n c e o f the C o n g r e s s a n d its tactics  waned. Arora and Mukarji  a  argue a "politicized and discerning electorate w e l c o m e s  had  the  99  e m e r g e n c e o f r e g i o n a l a l t e r n a t i v e s to a p a r t y w h o s e state l e a d e r s h a d c e a s e d to  respect  because  (1992:  12).  of  The  their  rise  ineffectual  and  success  representation  of  in  central  non-Congress  policy  parties  command  making  factored  forums"  heavily  in  the  e s c a l a t i o n o f the c r i s i s . T o a great extent the ' s h o v i n g m a t c h ' that t o o k s h a p e b e t w e e n  center  and  the  states  grew  out  of  the  threat  of party  competition  and  results for M r s . G a n d h i a n d the C o n g r e s s . L i k e w i s e , the competition  b e t w e e n the c e n t e r a n d the states rested i n part i n the p o l i t i c i z a t i o n  the  the  subsequent  for citizen  loyalty  and mobilization  of  the m a s s e s b y M r s . G a n d h i a n d the n o n - C o n g r e s s m o v e m e n t s .  T h e d e g r e e to w h i c h M r s . G a n d h i a n d the C o n g r e s s h a d f a l l e n f r o m g r a c e b e c a m e  clear in 1977. F a c i n g opposition and agitations nearly e v e r y w h e r e in the federation,  Gandhi  declared  unprecedented  allow  10).  the  an  all-India  proportions.  Janata Front  Emergency  in  1975;  T h i s , a c c o r d i n g to  3 3  coalition  to  an  exercise  Wood,  d i s p l a c e the  was  the  Congress from  of  personal  final  step  national  Mrs.  power  in  that  would  power  (1984:  3 4  Mrs. Gandhi's Response and its Unintended ConsequencesGandhi's  Mrs.  leadership  was  management  based  on  the  coercive  subnational dissent ( W o o d , 1984: 3).  example,  Mrs.  (Corbridge  &  Gandhi  Harris,  imposed  2000:  of  71).  3 5  the  federation  management  was  of  the  counter-productive;  states  that  in  turn  In the w a k e o f the failing ' C o n g r e s s s y s t e m , '  President's  Rule  These repeated  in  five  tactics  states  prompted  in  1967  and  "opposition  her  bred  3 6  1968  parties,  m a n y o f w h o s e l e a d e r s h a d g r a s p e d state g o v e r n m e n t a l p o w e r but h a d b e e n s u b m e r g e d  the  Indira  (Wood,  wave,  1984:  [to  become]  less inhibited  10). A d d i t i o n a l l y ,  "central  in  their  intervention  efforts  no  to  longer  recover  their  [had]  shock  for  in  position"  value;  in  100  fact, state p o l i t i c i a n s [had]  (1984:  l e a r n e d to m a n i p u l a t e  central intervention  to their  advantage"  12).  Mrs.  unintended  Gandhi's  tactics  consequences  on  of  repression,  her  leadership.  coercion  Rather  and  than  over-centralization  keeping  dissident  c h e c k , these p o l i c i e s resulted in the rise o f p r o v i n c i a l i s t a n d counter-centralist  That  is, "the  opposite  centralizing  politics  Consequently,  effectively  Congress  of  as  against  instinct  reaction  Brass  and  notes,  dominant  o f the  "in  Congress Party brought  decentralization"  many  regional  states,  parties  or  (Corbridge  the  leadership and the Congress P r i m e minister  &  Congress  [could]  do  forward  [made]  when  2000:  in  (Brass,  N e w  1994:  national  Delhi  33).  electoral  has  intensified,  Consider Mrs.  results, w h i c h  the  political  support  the  G a n d h i ' s electoral  paled  in  comparison  success  to  s t a n d as a f i r m e x a m p l e o f this trend. S o d o the i n t e r i m  1973 and  1974.  3 7  T h i s trend  from below  1979, and continued till her death in  the  sustain  in  the  crippling  it  110).  Central  a m a s s i v e effort"  to  and  [competed]  3 4 ) . F u r t h e r to the point, h e h a s n o t e d r e t r o s p e c t i v e l y " a s the d r i v e to c e n t r a l i z e d  power  in  sentiments.  longer  so o n l y  states  an equal  Harris,  no  had  has  (1994:  political  declined"  1970s. T h e  results  of  1972  1977,  events in Gujarat and B i h a r  in  d i d not abate, despite M r s . G a n d h i ' s return  in  1984.  1984-85: A TURNING POINT IN INDIA FEDERALISM T h e Indian  crisis p e a k e d w i t h the assassination o f Indira  Gandhi in  1984.  W h i l e t h i s e v e n t s i g n a l e d t h e h e i g h t o f t h e c r i s i s m o r e t h a n a n e n d to i t , it d i d c o n s t i t u t e  turning point.  S o o n after h e r death, M r s . G a n d h i ' s s o n , R a j i v G a n d h i , took control o f  C o n g r e s s a n d b e c a m e P r i m e Minister. In m u c h the s a m e w a y that Indira  o f governance was different  Gandhi's  f r o m that o f N e h r u ' s , R a j i v G a n d h i ' s p o l i c y p u r s u i t s  a  the  style  differed  101  from  those o f his mother.  concessions  to  the  The  Akali  f e d e r a t i o n to t u r n another  Dal  relaxation  in  Punjab  o f tensions, thanks  and  the  A G P  in  in part  Assam,  to R a j i v  allowed  Gandhi's  the  Indian  corner.  In the first instance, P r i m e M i n i s t e r R a j i v G a n d h i p r o d u c e d an a c c o r d w i t h  the leadership o f the A k a l i D a l in  dealt w i t h either through  1985 that w o u l d  l e g i s l a t i o n o r a d j u d i c a t i o n . In that s a m e y e a r , R a j i v G a n d h i a l s o  struck an a c c o r d w i t h the A s s a m M o v e m e n t  amendment  state.  In  of Assam's  see all substantive unresolved issues  leaders that w o u l d  p r o m i s e the r e v i e w  electoral rolls a n d the e x p u l s i o n o f illegal immigrants  these instances  a turning  point  c h a n g e in the center's, p o l i c y toward  in  the  crisis w a s  witnessed  dissident subnational groups -  first, b y  from  a  center's  p e r s i s t e n t s t a n d a g a i n s t b a r g a i n i n g w i t h t h e states t o w a r d s a n e n d to v a r i o u s d i s p u t e s ,  of  select  agreements  and  accords  between  demonstrate a turning point i n the p r o g r e s s i o n o f the  the  states  and  N e w  federation.  party politics. T h e p o l i c y pursuits o f the Indian federal government  o f a disproportionate  federal relationship.  necessary  maintain  involvement  of  coalition governments  the  states  in  decision-making,  in  still take place w i t h i n  H o w e v e r , w i t h the d e c l i n e o f  C o n g r e s s , these pursuits also take place w i t h i n the context o f t w o  the  the  Delhi  W h a t is m o r e , as i n C a n a d a , the e n d o f the Indian crisis w a s s i g n a l e d b y a shift  the context  of  and second,  b y the n o t i c e a b l e b a r g a i n i n g p o w e r o f the states. A f t e r years o f d e a d l o c k a n d the  negotiation  the  visible  a silent rejection  I n d i r a G a n d h i ' s p o l i c i e s a n d a r e t u r n to p o p u l i s t p o l i t i c s ( B r a s s , 1 9 9 4 : 1 9 6 ) -  and  the  n e w trends. T h e first is  particularly  in  order  at t h e c e n t e r . T h e s e c o n d , a n d e q u a l l y i m p o r t a n t ,  r o l e o f the p e o p l e , as a m o b i l i z e d e l e c t o r a t e , i n that s a m e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s .  is  to  the  102  See Peter H. Russell. 1993. Constitutional Odyssey: Can Canadians Become a Sovereign People? (Toronto: University of Toronto Press). See Neil Nevitte. 1996. The Decline of Deference: Canadian Value Change in Cross-National Perspective. (Peterborough: Broadview Press). Nevitte leads off the opening sentence of his third chapter, titled A Changing Political Culture?' stating "the turmoil Canadians experienced during the 1980s..." According to the Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Handbook, the second question on Aboriginal voting rights was carried with majorities in all six States and an overall majority of 4 656 106 votes, see http://www.aph.gov.au/library/handbook/referendums/index.htm Similarly, the Commonwealth of Australia Parliamentary Handbook notes the first question on House of Commons-Senate membership reform was not carried: it only received a majority in one State and an overall minority of 1 113 271 votes. See http://www.aph.gov.au/library/handbook/referendums/rl967.htm Section 91 of the Constitution Act, 1867, reads: "It shall be lawful for the Queen, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate and the House of Commons, to make Laws for the Peace, Order and Good Government of Canada, in relation to all Matters not coming within the Classes of Subjects by this Act assigned exclusively to the legislature of he Province..." McRoberts (1985) states, "in 1983-84 there were close to 250 federal-provincial programs in operation. Federal-provincial liaison bodies, drawing together federal-provincial officials, primarily bureaucratic, in a wide range of areas, grew from 64 in 1957 to, by one estimate, 4000 in 1972. First Ministers' Conferences have become regular events, occurring at least twice a year during the 1970s. In 1986, Quebec Premier Robert Bourassa put forward the following demands upon entering negotiations with the government of Canada: (1) the constitutional recognition of Quebec as a 'distinct society'; (2) a constitutionally assured role in immigration; (3) a provincial role in Supreme Court appointments; (4) limitations on the federal power to spend in areas of provincial jurisdiction; and (5) assured veto for Quebec in any future constitutional amendments (Simeon, 1988: 9). Senate seat distribution is as follows: Quebec and Ontario receive twenty-four seats each, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, ten seats each, Newfoundland, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia, six seats each, Prince Edward Island receives four seats, and the two territories, one seat each (Elazar, 1991: 61). Hurley (1994) states the following: the 1968-1972, 1978-1979, and 1980 periods were characterized by multilateral executive federalism; the 1975-1976 period was characterized by secret bilateral executive federalism; 1976 and 1978 were characterized by unilateral Parliamentary action; 1981 was characterized by multilateral executive federalism; the 1983-1987 period was characterized by extended executive federalism (6); and, though the 1990-1992 period was characterized by extensive public consultations, 1992 was also characterized by extended executive federalism (25). January 17-19, 1992, the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council held a conference on the distribution of powers in Halifax; January 24-26, 1992, the Canada West Foundation organized a conference in Calgary on national institutions; January 30 -February 2 , 1992, The C D . Howe Institute and the Institute for Research on Public Policy sponsoured a conference on the economic union in Montreal; February 7-9, 1992, the Niagara Institute held a conference in Toronto on the distinct society and Canada clause, and on the Charter of rights; finally, February 14-16, 1992, five independent agencies and the federal government shared responsibility for the closing conference, in Vancouver (Hurley, 1994: 18). ' Interestingly, despite having decided upon a federal form, delegates did not relegate their investigation to parliamentary federations alone. Their investigation of presidential federations such as the United States, and dual Prime Ministerial-Presidential systems such as Germany, indicate that at least initially, the pursuit of a British parliamentary form was not set in stone. Though in many respects the Canadian federation as a whole more closely resembles the Australian design, what with both adopting numerous British parliamentary traditions and a federal form, the American model seemed to have greater appeal for the founding fathers. Despite the immediate examination of the Canadian model during the opening days of the Constitutional Conferences, the American design proved to be more appealing because of Canadian drawbacks. Regardless of the apparent convenience in pursuing a model similar to that of Canada's, especially in terms of maintaining a continuity between the new Australian federation and its British traditions, it became apparent that the Canadian emphasis on defining and limiting the powers of each level of government, especially mechanism for disallowing provincial legislation by the Central government, would certainly not suffice in the case of the Australian colonies (Williams, 2002: 6-9). Ultimately, the selected aspects of the American design, 1  2  l  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  th  1  12  )  nd  103  especially its emphasis on an elected Upper house for the purposes of subnational representation, proved to be more appealing. In search of a popular mandate, draft versions were subjected to public approval on two separate occasions, as the first draft proved to be dissatisfactory to at least one of the colonies. Deviation from the Canadian design begins with this principle. Sharman (1990: 215) explains that the Canadian design intentionally sought to duplicate the previous colonial relationship: while the provinces were to enjoy a sense of autonomy, similar to that enjoyed by the colonies under British rule, it was presumed the federal government would assume the role and paramount power of the former imperial power. This proved somewhat difficult to duplicate in the Australian case because of the specific focus placed on the states and their continued autonomy. As such, the American model proved to be more valuable to the Australian founding fathers than did the Canadian example. 1 3  1 4  Case in point: the superiority of the British Parliament over its Australian counterpart lasted until 1986, when most ties - including recourse to the Privy Council - were removed. Thereafter, the monarchy remained the only link, however irrelevant, between Australia and Britain (Hughes, 1998: 201). Hughes (1998: 172) draws our attention to three significant parliamentary principles that do no find mention in the Australian Constitution. The first are the words 'Prime Minister' or 'cabinet,' or for that matter 'ministerial responsibility.' Second, despite the well-established existence of a party system during the colonial era, and its subsequent carry-over to the federation (as a parliamentary system is dependent on a functioning party system) there is, equally, no mention of such in the constitutional text. Finally, nowhere is it explicitly stated that the Governor-General is required to choose the party retaining the majority of the votes in the Lower House as the government of the day, and it's leader, the designated Prime Minister. The Commonwealth took over taxation powers during World War Two with the 'uniform taxation scheme' (Williams, 2002: 13). Additionally, Galligan argues apathy, partisanship, and pro-state sentiment are chiefly responsible for referendum failure. Notwithstanding the inevitable element of ignorance and apathy, he contends a necessary perquisite for a winning proposal is bipartisan support (1995: 128). Beyond this, he finds prostate sentiment to be a leading factor, citing Sharman and Stuart's findings as a leading indicator. He maintains firstly that "Australians have proved consistently reluctant at referendums to increase Central power at the expense of the States or to adopt any proposals that might jeopardize the position of the states"; and secondly that "there is always at hand a bevy of state politicians eager to exploit any semblance of central incursion of the States' domain" (1981: 129-230). 1 5  1 6  1 7  18  The Sarkaria Commission noted, "the provinces and local governments in the various empires, from the Maurays to the Mughals, enjoyed a considerable degree of autonomy" (1988: 5). The Sarkaria Commission noted that in the early twentieth century, under considerable pressure from organized Indian interests, "the British started devolving more and more powers to the province, involving increasing association of Indians on the one hand and promoting diverse forces on the other" (1988: 6). 1 9  2 0  Despite the considerable diversity amongst the Indian people, the Congress received popular support because of their strategy of "alliance and service [to the many] cultural societies and linguistic, ethnic and religious groups" (Rudolph & Rudolph, 1987: 127-128). 2 1  The Sarkaria Commission noted, "the Constitution-framers were aware that several provinces, regions or areas of India were economically and industrially far behind relatively to the others." (1988:8). For more elaborated examples that attest to the degree to which the founding fathers sought a federal framework with a strong center and subordinated units see part 1 of the Sarkaria Commission Report on Center-state Relations, sections 1.2.20 and 1.2.21. While selected members of the Drafting Committee attempted to voice certain aspects of the states' interests, no one was present for the expressed purpose of representing one or any of the would-be States. Here, Arora is referring to Elazar's interpretation of the Indian federation stating "the Constituent Assembly retained the essence of what Daniel Elazar has termed 'decentralized imperialism' but sought to combine it with a tolerance of diversity of far-reaching proportions" (Arora, 1995: 73). Arora has also commented that "in the 'strong center' perspective, the second level of government was justified primarily in functional terms, rather than as a means of deepening the roots of democracy" (Arora, 1995: 71). It should be noted that in defense of the formal Indian federal system as it was originally intended - more centralized than the traditional models - the specifics were so designed to ensure the survival of a divided federation. Morarji Desai, for instance, commented: "Why should we go by theorists? It is something that suits our requirements. What are our requirements? Our requirements are to have a political structure 2 2  2 3  2 4  2 5  104  which, while keeping sufficient power for the Center in order to see that there is no economic or political collapse, at the same time it leaves initiative for the units (Morarji Desai quoted in Bhattacharya, 1992: 98). The political transgression during, the crisis, wherein the centralizing features of the Constitution were abused, is however an entirely different matter, to which Arora's comments may very well be aimed. Examples of such measures include the ability of the center to alter state boundaries, create new states or even eliminate selected states altogether. Furthermore, the Center is empowered to collect selected taxes on the behalf of the states and distribute the revenues among them as it sees fit. In effect, then, the center controls the most lucrative sources of subnational income. Moreover, the constitutional ability to enact emergency powers and declare President's Rule, in effect directly controlling the administration of a state, provides the Center with perceivably unitary power over the states (Brass, 1994: 63). The Sarkaria Commission noted, "several entries in the Union List are expressly intertwined with certain items in the State List. These entries have been so designed that Parliament may, by making a declaration by law of public interest or national importance, assume to the extent so declared, jurisdiction to legislate on the connected matters in the State List" (1988: 11). Corbridge and Harris note that, for example, "in the period from 1950 to 1967 the Congress lost power in the states only once...Yet between 1976 and 1991 the Congress Party won only 45 of the 98 elections held in the major states of India, and it has continued to fair badly since 1991" (2000: 106). Wood draws our attention to the following four developments that characterize Mrs. Gandhi's political performance: Firstly, her efforts after 1969 to "centralize and personalize decision-making within the [Congress] and in the country as a whole". Secondly, and in contrast to Nehru's policy of state semiautonomy, "her interventions in state politics...choosing or dismissing chief ministers, deciding state ministerial allocations, and influencing the outcomes of factional struggles in state Congress Party units". Thirdly, the numerous rumoured corruptions that surrounded her leadership, such as "the extraction of money to fund elections in another, the overthrow of non-Congress governments, the partisan direction of state governors, and the use of central intelligence and surveillance to control ministers". Finally, the threat, use and abuse of President's Rule in order to keep states in check (1984: 11-12). The fourth plan called for the allocation of greater public sector resources toward agricultural development, as well as a shift in focus away from the Planning Commission, towards the Ministries of Agriculture and Finance. The institutional shift brought about a clash of interests among the ministries and the Planning Commission over which aspects of agricultural reform belonged to whom. This in turn lent itself to the eventual delaying of the plan and the devaluation of the Rupee in 1966 (Corbridge & Harris, 2000: 70). Firstly, an appeal could be made to their economic interests. The disadvantaged were made to identify themselves as 'the poor.' In doing so, they were convinced of the common bond they shared with the other disadvantaged 'poor,' and politically mobilized on that basis. Secondly, in addition to their economic interests, an appeal could be made to their social interests. In this instance the disadvantaged were usually mobilized by those of a higher social status, and promised social mobility in exchange for political support. Finally, an appeal could be made to a specific disadvantaged regional community with economic and social interests. In a similar manner to the previous method, this one involved an appeal by the more advantaged to the disadvantaged on the common basis of identity. That is, by convincing the disadvantaged that they and the advantaged were really part of the same shared subnational identity, the disadvantaged could be politically mobilized against the Center (Church, 1984: 233). 2 6  2 7  2 8  2 9  3 0  31  Brass observes that the protests in Gujarat and Bihar were triggered to a large extent by food shortages and rising prices, which compounded the already unfortunate economic conditions (1994: 41). This is not to suggest that the protesters were in fact demanding that the Congress rectify the problems. Rather, according to Brass's accounts, the protests were anti-central and anti-Congress; they believed the betterment of their situation lay in the removal of the Congress from power. As Brass further observes, "in March, 1974, a new and ominous development occurred when Jayaprakash Narayan took the leadership of the Bihar agitation and offered also to lead a country-wide movement against corruption and what he considered to be Mrs. Gandhi's increasingly authoritarian rule" (Ibid). 3 2  The nation-wide exercise of Emergency provisions reflected not only a national emergency, but a personal one as well. While the tools of the Emergency provisions were invoked in order to quell unrelenting subnational agitations that proved potentially harmful to India's stability, they also served Mrs. Gandhi's personal needs. On June 26, 1975, all of Mrs. Gandhi's major opponents, whether in opposition parties or within the Congress Parliamentary Party, were arrested. Furthermore, whereas Mrs. Gandhi had 3 3  105  been recently found guilty o f electoral fraud, she seized upon the opportunity o f an all-India emergency to employ extra-constitutional mechanisms under President's rule to alter the electoral laws she had been found guilty o f breaking (Brass, 1994: 41). In the 1977 elections, the Janata party w o n an impressive 295 seats. Together with non-Congress Opposition gains, the Congress was reduced to 155 seats, or just 28 percent o f the total number o f seats i n the L o k Sabha (Brass, 1994: 43). Additionally, W o o d observed that by 1978, only two states i n the U n i o n retained Congress governments. T h i s stood as a significant turning point i n India politics because there were, for the first time since Independence, numerous non-Congress governments at the state level, and a non-Congress government i n Delhi (1984: 10). 3 4  W o o d maintains her "electoral and governmental success - some would say survival — [depended] on her ability to control politics i n the states. H e r attempts to exert control, however, often [produced] dissidence, alienation, and...violent opposition" (1984: 3). O n the matter o f the rising non-Congress governments at the state level and the failing 'Congress System,' Corbridge and Harris have observed that "the 'Congress System' o f coalition and accommodation, with a strong center and strong governments in the states, was no longer functioning, and there was from this time a developing bifurcation between national level and state level politics, which was subsequently established institutionally b y Indira's tactical decision to delink national and state assembly' elections i n 3 5  3 6  1971" (2000: 71). These events reflect the sense o f discontent and outrage that emanated first from the States and then projected themselves to the national level. The 1972 election results reflected wavering subnational confidence i n the Congress, an echo o f 1964, over worsening economic conditions and weak national policy. T h e events o f 1973 and 1974 not o n l y reiterated subnational frustration over deteriorating economic conditions, but also projected the displeasure o f the states with the further - and ineffectual - centralization o f the federation i n the name o f stimulating the failing economy. Finally, the 1977 electoral results demonstrate the degree to which the M r s . Gandhi and the Congress had fallen out o f favour with the masses. Despite M r s . G a n d h i ' s populist appeals, the obvious over-centralization o f the federation topped off by the declaration o f an all-India Emergency was enough to encourage the states to push back as hard as they could. 3 7  106  CHAPTER 3: PARLIAMENTARISM AND THE FEDERAL BARGAIN At  the  onset,  parliamentary  federalism,  hamper  we  began  institutions  helping  efforts  at  not  and  only  with  two  practices  to  push  crisis resolution.  hypotheses. T h e  had  the  Most  a  negative  federation  notably  into  these  first  asserted that  impact  on  crisis, but  the  conduct  once  parliamentary  specific  in  of  crisis,  institutions  to  and  p r a c t i c e s , w h i c h a p p e a r e d at b o t h t h e c e n t r a l a n d s u b n a t i o n a l l e v e l s , i n c l u d e d a f u s i o n  of  p o w e r , the c o n d u c t o f party g o v e r n m e n t , the u s e o f party d i s c i p l i n e , and the p r o m o t i o n  of  executive dominance.  The  India  conclusions drawn  support  executive  this  power,  first  due  hypothesis.  largely  federal g o v e r n m e n t to act in an  from  f r o m the  to  In  analysis o f the crisis i n C a n a d a , A u s t r a l i a  all  three  parliamentary  instances, the  institutions  ultra vires m a n n e r ,  enhancement  and  of  practices, allowed  into crisis. W h a t  practices  did  indeed  hamper  efforts  at  crisis resolution.  The  the  away  is m o r e ,  three c a s e s d e m o n s t r a t e that o n c e i n a state o f c r i s i s , s p e c i f i c p a r l i a m e n t a r y  and  federal  legislating the shift o f authority  the s t a t e s / p r o v i n c e s , in turn p l u n g i n g the federations  and  all  institutions  tendencies  towards  e x e c u t i v e d o m i n a n c e , p r e v a l e n t at b o t h l e v e l s o f g o v e r n m e n t , e n c o u r a g e d t h e c o n d u c t  of  activities in a closed-door, executive federal manner. W h a t e v e r intentions lay b e h i n d  the  efforts o f the federal g o v e r n m e n t  to r e s o l v e the c r i s i s , its a c t i o n s w e r e p e r c e i v e d b y  the  electorate as n e i t h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e , n o r transparent o r a c c o u n t a b l e . A s s u c h , n o t o n l y  did  these actions not r e c e i v e the n e c e s s a r y p o p u l a r support, they also further a g g r a v a t e d  the  situation a n d p r o l o n g e d the crisis.  The  arrangement  second  is  hypothesis  a bargain  asserted  between  those  that  because  actors  the  quintessence  p r e d i s p o s e d to  entering  of  into  a  federal  such  an  107  arrangement,  original  and b e c a u s e the c r u x  o f e a c h crisis w a s the p e r c e i v e d d e v a l u a t i o n o f  federal bargain, these crises w o u l d  be  resolved by  negotiating  a new  the  federal  b a r g a i n . T h e c o n c l u s i o n s d r a w n f r o m the a n a l y s i s o f the crisis i n C a n a d a , A u s t r a l i a a n d  India do not  central  support this second hypothesis. That  government  is, in n o n e o f the three cases d i d  a n d the states o r p r o v i n c e s negotiate  the creation o f a n e w  the  federal  bargain, thus e n d i n g the crisis.  Interestingly,  while  the  negotiation  of new  federal bargain  was ruled  case suggests the act o f b a r g a i n i n g w a s not. T h a t is, b o t h sets o f b a r g a i n e r s -  and the states/provinces -  s o l u t i o n to  out,  each  the  center  w e r e p r e d i s p o s e d t o b a r g a i n i n g t h e i r w a y to at l e a s t a  partial  the crisis, b e c a u s e neither  was in  a position of power  to  resolve the  crisis  single-handedly.  WESTMINSTER PARLIAMENTARISM : A DRIVING F O R C E T h e practice o f W e s t m i n s t e r p a r l i a m e n t a r i s m concentrates a great deal o f  political  authority in the central executive (see A t k i n s o n a n d D o c h e r t y , 2 0 0 0 ; A u c o i n , 2 0 0 0 ;  Whittington,  2000). C o n v e r s e l y , the conduct o f federalism distributes political  and  authority  between two or m o r e levels o f government (see R o b i n s o n and S i m e o n , 2 0 0 0 : 2 3 9 ; R i k e r ,  1964: 5; H u g h e s , 1998; 2 6 8 ; and the Sarkaria C o m m i s s i o n , 1988: 23). T h u s  p a r l i a m e n t a r i s m and f e d e r a l i s m are c o m p e t i n g ideas: the f o r m e r p r o m o t e s  and  the  primacy  of  executive  authority  in  a  decentralization and consultation a m o n g multiple  single  government,  the  Westminster  centralization  latter  promotes  governments.  The coexistence of federalism and parliamentarism in Canada, Australia and  has  led  to  political  and  institutional  conflict.  Following  the  release  of  the  India  Sarkaria  C o m m i s s i o n Report o n Center-State Relations in 1988, for instance, D u a and S i n g h asked  108  "whether  a political  accommodating  the  system  with  diversities  of  absolute  the  parliamentary  Indian  federal  paramountcy  system"  (1989:  is  suitable  for  18).  Indeed,  the  elitism fostered b y the Indian parliamentary s y s t e m w e i g h s h e a v i l y o n Indian federalism.  D u r i n g t h e c r i s i s , t h e d o m i n a n c e o f t h e C o n g r e s s P a r t y at b o t h t h e c e n t e r a n d s t a t e l e v e l s  had  a  profound  effect  intergovernmental  Congress  on  the  relations,  conduct  of  federalism  especially  in  states  that  o b s e r v e d that  in  a federal  and  defiantly  the  development  chose  to  elect  of  non-  governments.  Smiley  awkwardly.  and  Watts  setting parliamentarism  W h e n b a c k e d b y the support o f the legislature, p o w e r a n d  functions  decision-making  are c o n c e n t r a t e d i n a s i n g l e i n s t i t u t i o n , t h o u g h the s y s t e m as a w h o l e is d e s i g n e d to  allow  for a diffusion o f authority amongst multiple institutional bodies throughout two levels  of  government (1985: 42).  S h a r m a n s o u g h t to i d e n t i f y this i n c o n g r u i t y  "there  is a b a s i c i n c o n s i s t e n c y i n the constitutional  in Australia and Canada. H e  design of parliamentary  argued,  federations  and particularly in those w h i c h have incorporated British parliamentary traditions"  (1990:  2 0 5 ) . H e m a i n t a i n e d that o f the three f u n d a m e n t a l c o m m o n a l i t i e s s h a r e d b y A u s t r a l i a a n d  Canada -  "it  is  a British parliamentary tradition, a colonial tradition, and a federal tradition  the  inheritance  that  constitutional tradition" (1990:  206).  This  British  incompatibility  reached between  'quasi-federation'  unclear:  are they  has  provides  been  the  most  demonstrated  by  federalism and parliamentarism. Canada  from  K.C.  federations  Wheare  because  their  that d e p e n d h e a v i l y  on  contentious  the  unbalanced  and India  system  element  their  compromises  earned the title  designs  parliamentary  in  -  were  of  seemingly  adaptations, or  are  109 they parliamentary systems with numerous federal adjustments (1963: 19)? Each of the systems examined here contains mechanisms by which the federal government can directly or indirectly override the states/provinces, powers reminiscent of their British unitary and parliamentary origins.  1  Parliamentarism has had a negative impact on the conduct of federalism in Canada, Australia and India. The data collected in the historical survey of the Canadian, Australian,  and Indian federations  supports  the  hypothesis  that  first,  specific  parliamentary institutions and practices helped to accelerate each case into crisis, and second, once in a state of crisis, specific parliamentary institutions and practices hampered efforts at resolving these crises. Ultimately, the practice of parliamentary principles in a federal setting compromised the diffusion of political authority and consensus building, and eroded public confidence in the system as well. Parliamentarism  and the Developments Leading to Crisis  In each case, having control of a parliamentary majority (maintained through the 2  practices of fusion of power, party government and party discipline) afforded the prime minister and cabinet the power to act in an ultra vires manner, enacting legislation that moved power away from the states/provinces into the hands of the center. The continued centralization of the Canadian, Australian and Indian federations in the post-war years, for instance, demonstrates the real power inherent in the federal executive's legislative authority. This central legislative  power allowed Ottawa to take advantage of the  economically weak provinces in the post-war years by legislating a variety of financial packages  with  stipulations  that  broadened  concurrency and eroded  provincial  110  j u r i s d i c t i o n a l a u t h o r i t y ( M c R o b e r t s , 1 9 8 5 : 7 5 - 7 6 ; A r c h e r et a l . , 1 9 9 9 : 1 5 8 ; R o b i n s o n a n d  Simeon,  2000:  249).  T r u d e a u to  undertake  Canberra's  policy  particularly  in  Importantly,  numerous  outlook  this  unilateral  towards  legislating  the  legislative  the  Uniform  power  initiatives.  Australian  Taxation  also  The  Prime  during  Similar  the  to  the  center,  which  jurisdictional authority  in  turn allowed  C a n b e r r a to b r o a d e n  shift  post-war  what  took  C a n a d a , the U n i f o r m T a x a t i o n P l a n r e n d e r e d the A u s t r a l i a n states f i n a n c i a l l y  on  Minister  s a m e is true o f the  states  Plan.  allowed  concurrency  in  years,  place  in  dependent  and erode  the  o f the states ( S h a r m a n , 1 9 9 0 : 2 2 5 ; H u g h e s , 1 9 9 8 : 2 6 8 ; W i l l i a m s ,  2002:31).  H o w e v e r , the negative impact o f parliamentary  crisis  seems  instances o f  to  be  most  prevalent  centralization  in  the  and unilateralism  Indian  in  practices in the years l e a d i n g  case.  India,  A s  in  whether  Canada  under  and  the  to  Australia,  leadership  of  N e h r u or M r s . G a n d h i , c h a l l e n g e d the jurisdictional authority  o f the states ( B r a s s , 1 9 9 4 :  227).  of  O f particular  interest  in the  Indian  case is the  impact  'the  Congress System'  ( C o r b r i d g e a n d H a r r i s , 2 0 0 0 : 71), w h i c h essentially r e d u c e d the c o n d u c t o f federalism  an intra-party  exercise (Sarkaria C o m m i s s i o n , 1988: 15; A r o r a and M u k a r j i ,  1992:  to  15).  U n d e r s u c h c i r c u m s t a n c e s , the p r i m e m i n i s t e r ' s l e g i s l a t i v e authority e x t e n d e d to all l e v e l s  of  government.  In all t h r e e cases the a b i l i t y o f f e d e r a l e x e c u t i v e to, i n essence, t a k e  jurisdictional  a u t h o r i t y a w a y f r o m the s t a t e s / p r o v i n c e s w a s m a d e p o s s i b l e t h r o u g h its u s e o f  a n d p r a c t i c e s d e s i g n e d to g u a r a n t e e the s t a b i l i t y o f a m a j o r i t y  government. A s a result  c o n d u c t o f f e d e r a l i s m , that is the e x p r e s s e d d i v i s i o n o f authority  levels of government,  s e e m e d to c e a s e i f not reverse itself;  institutions  between two  or  the  more  h e n c e the sense a m o n g  the  Ill states/provinces  holds  true that  that  their  respective  federal  specific parliamentary  bargains had  institutions  deteriorated.  and practices such  p o w e r between the executive and legislative branches o f government,  conduct of party government  Accordingly  as the  it  fusion  of  together w i t h  a n d the practices o f party d i s c i p l i n e h a d a negative  the  impact  o n the c o n d u c t o f f e d e r a l i s m , h e l p i n g to p u s h e a c h case i n t o a state o f c r i s i s .  Parliamentarism and Crisis Resolution Spiro maintained the practice o f W e s t m i n s t e r parliamentarism not o n l y a l l o w s  the  conduct  favourable  of  to  stable, efficient  responsibility  and  and  expedient  government,  accountability  it  (1959:124).  also  creates  a  The  responsibility  for  situation  and  a c c o u n t a b i l i t y are o w e d to the electorate b e c a u s e t h e y d e t e r m i n e the m e m b e r s h i p o f  the  L o w e r H o u s e , the g o v e r n i n g party, and c o n s e q u e n t l y g i v e the P r i m e M i n i s t e r and C a b i n e t  t h e m a n d a t e to g o v e r n ( A t k i n s o n a n d D o c h e r t y , 2 0 0 0 : 1 0 ; A u c o i n , 2 0 0 0 :  111).  I n f e d e r a l - p a r l i a m e n t a r y s e t t i n g s , it f o l l o w s t h a t t h e e l e c t o r a t e a r e o w e d a m e a s u r e  of  responsibility  governments.  systems  and  accountability  According  should  operate  to  Simeon  in  a  from  and  manner  both  Cameron  that  the  federal  (2002:  ensures  the  285),  actions  and  state/provincial  federal-parliamentary  of  the  national  and  s u b n a t i o n a l l e a d e r s h i p as w e l l as their legislatures r e m a i n transparent to the p u b l i c . T h e s e  a c t i o n s m o s t n o t a b l y i n c l u d e t h e d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s t h a t s h o u l d r e m a i n , at l e a s t  s o m e d e g r e e , o p e n to d i s c u s s i o n a n d s c r u t i n y as w e l l  as justification.  In  the  to  Canadian,  A u s t r a l i a n a n d I n d i a n e x a m p l e s , g o v e r n m e n t actions w e r e not c o n d u c t e d i n this m a n n e r .  The  details  of  each  case  suggest  that  once  in  a  state  of  crisis,  parliamentary  p r a c t i c e s c o n t i n u e d to h a v e a n e g a t i v e i m p a c t o n the c o n d u c t o f f e d e r a l i s m , a n d  efforts to r e s o l v e d i f f i c u l t i e s .  Importantly, over and a b o v e the concentration o f  hindered  political  112  authority  in  government,  the  the  federal  executive  events o f  consistent  each crisis s h o w  with  the  practice  a strong reliance on  the  of  parliamentary  practices o f  elite  a c c o m m o d a t i o n a n d e x e c u t i v e f e d e r a l i s m . G o v e r n m e n t activities s u c h as the M e e c h L a k e  and Charlottetown  A c c o r d s , the referenda tactics in A u s t r a l i a , a n d the e c o n o m i c plans,  President's R u l e and the  resolve difficulties.  these activities  Emergency powers used by  H o w e v e r , to  the C o n g r e s s Party, all sought  the p e r c e p t i o n o f various s e g m e n t s o f the  lacked representation, transparency, and  neither the g o v e r n m e n t s n o r their initiatives  accountability.  to  population,  F o r this  received m u c h support f r o m the  reason  electorate.  R a t h e r t h a n h e l p i n g to e n d t h e c r i s i s , the f a i l u r e o f t h e s e a c t i v i t i e s s e e m e d o n l y to  prolong  difficulties.  C o n s i d e r the steps taken b y O t t a w a , C a n b e r r a , a n d N e w D e l h i w h i l e i n the  o f c r i s i s ; all o f t h e m w e r e i n t e n d e d to r e s o l v e difficulties,  all o f them were exercises  enhanced federal executive authority, and all o f them were supported b y a  majority  that  guaranteed  expedient  included T r u d e a u ' s initiatives  Accord,  1987  and  the  from  and  efficient  1968 to  government.  1 9 8 2 , as w e l l  Charlottetown Accord,  1992.  midst  In  In  of  parliamentary  Canada,  these  steps  M u l r o n e y ' s the  Meech Lake  Australia  consisted  they  of  n u m e r o u s a m e n d m e n t p a c k a g e s e x c l u s i v e l y d e v i s e d b y the federal g o v e r n m e n t a n d  voted  on  steps  in  several  national  included Nehru's  Mrs.  Gandhi's  referenda  five-year  imposition  held  between  1967  1984.  e c o n o m i c plans p r o p o s e d d u r i n g the  of  President's  Rule  in  five  imposition o f President's R u l e once more in Gujarat in  all-India E m e r g e n c y in  and  1975.  states  In  India,  these  1950s and early  in  1967  and  1960s,  1968,  1974, and the declaration o f  her  an  113  Importantly,  these  initiatives  were  largely  the  result  of  executive  federalism:  closed-door, secretive negotiations amongst national a n d subnational government leaders,  whose mandate and legitimacy derived  most prominent  constitutional  from  their c o m m a n d o f legislative majorities. T h e  e x a m p l e s o f executive federalism i n C a n a d a were the negotiation o f the  packages from  1 9 6 8 to 1 9 8 2 , as w e l l as t h e 1 9 8 7 a n d 1 9 9 2  accords (for a thorough s u m m a r y o f executive federalism in Canada  see H u r l e y ,  1994:6, 25). In Australia executive  conduct o f intergovernmental  federalism  from  was most  constitutional  1 9 6 8 to 1 9 9 2 ,  prevalent  in  the  relations f r o m the e n d o f W o r l d W a r T w o until the 1960s.  In India, like A u s t r a l i a , the most noticeable instances o f executive federalism w e r e  conduct  o f intergovernmental  affairs,  especially under  the  'Congress system,'  the  during  N e h r u ' s leadership as w e l l as M r s . G a n d h i ' s .  In the perception o f a variety o f subnational groups, m a n y o f these initiatives  illegitimized  by  intergovernmental  majorities  their  the  manner  negotiations  in  which  obscured  at b o t h l e v e l s o f g o v e r n m e n t .  disapproval  the only  way  they  they  from  were  public  devised:  view,  through  'in-camera'  and backed by  Accordingly, subnational groups  could,  electorally,  and in  many  were  legislative  demonstrated  instances  they  derailed government plans.  In the perception o f m a n y Quebecois, the  Accord,  1987, a n d the  Charlottetown Accord,  Constitution Act,  1992 were  1982, the  all negotiated  Meech Lake  behind  closed-  doors, were all expediently ratified b y the H o u s e o f C o m m o n s ; and, most importantly,  failed to represent Q u e b e c ' s c o n c e r n s . E q u a l l y , i n the perceptions o f W e s t e r n  these three e n d e a v o u r s w e r e s e r i o u s l y p r o b l e m a t i c . A l l three failed to b e  because  they  focused  too  much  on  Quebec  without  properly  all  Canada,  representative  addressing  western  114  provincial  concerns.  All  three  were  the  result  of  closed-door  executive  federal  negotiations a n d so failed to b e transparent. F i n a l l y , all three w e r e e x p e d i e n t l y ratified  a p a r l i a m e n t that p l a c e d a great d e a l o f electoral w e i g h t  in Eastern C a n a d a , and so  by  they  f a i l e d to b e a c c o u n t a b l e .  O v e r the c o u r s e o f the crisis b o t h the Q u e b e c a n d W e s t e r n C a n a d i a n electorates  registered  their  d i s a p p r o v a l . In  the  wake  of  negative  public  opinion  Meech,  towards  provincial governments, some fearing an electoral backlash, s h o w e d wavering support  t h e A c c o r d u n t i l it d i e d at t h e h a n d s o f t h e M a n i t o b a l e g i s l a t u r e . I n t h e 1 9 9 2  the  Charlottetown Accord  the national  parties  referendum  f a i l e d to a c h i e v e s u b s t a n t i a l s u p p o r t i n Q u e b e c a n d i n a n y  the w e s t e r n provinces. A n d in the aftermath o f  for  for  swayed in  favour  Charlottetown's  of rising regional  failure, electoral  alternatives  (the  of  support  separatist  B l o c Q u e b e c o i s and the western-based R e f o r m Party).  To  a large extent, the s a m e h o l d s true for A u s t r a l i a as w e l l . In the p e r c e p t i o n  the state leaders a n d the  tensions  through  procedures  by  electorate, C a n b e r r a ' s attempts  constitution  which  reform  proposals  for  fell  well  short  constitutional  of  to  alleviate  being  change  intergovernmental  a suitable  were  of  devised  solution.  were  The  neither  representative, nor transparent; a n d the o n l y m e a s u r e o f accountability rested i n the  stages o f the p r o c e s s as a w h o l e , d u r i n g w h i c h the p r o p o s a l s w e r e put to a p u b l i c  final  vote.  T h e i n a b i l i t y o f the states to p a r t i c i p a t e i n the f o r m u l a t i o n o f the p r o p o s a l s let a l o n e m a k e  proposals o f their o w n  e n s u r e d that the p r o p o s a l s v o t e d o n i n referenda d i d not  state c o n c e r n s . L i k e w i s e , i n a s s u r i n g the n o n - p a r t i c i p a t i o n o f the states i n the  o f the  proposals, the  transparent.  process remained, up  until  the  voting  reflect  formulation  phase, o p a q u e rather  than  1.15  Over the course of the Australian crisis, the electorate registered its disapproval. Parker (1949: 166-167) as well as Sharman and Stuart (1981: 262-268) maintain that where referenda results were concerned, it is clear the states'electorates were unwilling to grant the transfer of powers from the states to the center, despite repeated proposals to do so. Moreover, Galligan (1995: 128-130) associates this unwillingness with the lack of representation and transparency inherent in Australia's process for constitutional reform. And, as in the Canadian case, the Australian electorate also registered its disapproval at the polls. National political parties were frequently rewarded and punished for their actions, and the patterns of strategic voting at the state level suggest the electorate were prepared to safeguard themselves from federal initiatives the best they could (Sharman, 1992: 13). India's federal government pursued numerous avenues in attempting to reduce economic malaise or else bring about stability when there appeared to be chaos. All such measures not only brought about a further centralization of the system, they purposely evaded state input. Like the Canadian and Australian cases, the remedies pursued by the Indian federal government (economic plans as well as the use of President's Rule and Emergency powers) lacked any real representation and transparency; and like the Canadian case, prime ministerial dominance ensured that the Lok Sabha would not be fully accountable. Though the system as a whole seemed less dominant under Nehru, the fact remained that the governments at the center and state levels were controlled by the Congress Party. Under the leadership of Mrs. Gandhi this fact seemed more pronounced. Whatever concerns might have been echoed by the state governments, they were quickly silenced by Mrs. Gandhi's tight hold over the Congress. Because intergovernmental  116  affairs h a d b e e n r e d u c e d to a n intra-party  exercise, M r s . G a n d h i ' s d e c i s i o n s to p u r s u e  use o f President's R u l e and E m e r g e n c y Powers were b y no means representative  states' o r e l e c t o r a t e s ' d e s i r e to d o s o . S u c h d e c i s i o n s w e r e i s s u e d f r o m the P r i m e  directly  to those s h e c o n t r o l l e d ,  transparency. W h a t  of  the m a j o r i t y  L o k S a b h a , a n y m e a n i n g f u l debate o n the u s e o f s u c h p r o v i s i o n s w a s  o f the  the  Minister  a n d so the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g p r o c e s s c o m p l e t e l y  is m o r e , as the C o n g r e s s c o n t r o l l e d  the  lacked  seats i n  the  thwarted.  M r s . G a n d h i ' s p o l i c y pursuits h a d the effect o f e r o d i n g support for the C o n g r e s s  n a t i o n a l l y a n d subnationally. A s i n C a n a d a and A u s t r a l i a , the Indian electorate reacted  by  p u n i s h i n g M r s . G a n d h i a n d t h e C o n g r e s s at t h e p o l l s . T h o u g h n a t i o n a l l y M r s . G a n d h i w a s  not unseated until 1977, support for the C o n g r e s s v i s i b l y d r o p p e d f r o m  then r e c o v e r e d slightly in 1971 b e f o r e p l u m m e t i n g i n  More  important  still  was  the  erosion o f  1 9 6 2 to 1 9 6 7 , a n d  1911?  electoral  support  at t h e  state  level.  reiterate a point m a d e b y Jeffrey: "voters k n o w the difference b e t w e e n national a n d  e l e c t i o n s , a n d t h e y k n o w h o w t o p u n i s h . T h e y m a y s e e t h e C o n g r e s s (I) a s t h e o n l y  a l t e r n a t i v e [at t h e c e n t e r ] b u t i n t h e i r o w n s t a t e s , g i v e n g e n u i n e o p t i o n s , t h e y w i l l  those  options"  concerns,  (1986:  21).  especially given  The  the  inability  failing  of  health  the  of  Congress to'properly  the  Indian  economy  state  viable  support  represent  and  the  support  for  elections  proved  to  them.  be  Wood,  for  destabilizing  instance, noted  for  the  that at t h e  Congress  because  state  "six  l e v e l , the  9).  and  1967  non-Congress  g o v e r n m e n t s c a m e to p o w e r a n d t h e C o n g r e s s w a s f o r c e d to e n t e r s h a k y c o a l i t i o n s i n  more" (1984:  state  resulting  p o l a r i z a t i o n o f the states a n d e t h n i c g r o u p s , s p u r r e d the rise o f n o n - C o n g r e s s parties  electoral  To  four  117  These events were tremendously significant in the derailment of the center's attempts at resolving economic and political malaise, and in prolonging the crisis. Waning support at the state level prompted Mrs. Gandhi to respond with repressive measures aimed at maintaining her hold over the system and ensuring that the central government remained strong. And in pursuing these measures, Mrs. Gandhi prompted the rise of more militant non-Congress groups. These groups, such as the militant wing of the Akali Dal and the United Liberation Front of Asom, not only received mass support and challenged the Congress hegemony, they challenged the stability of the federation, bringing it to the brink of chaos. It holds tme that specific parliamentary institutions and practices had a negative impact on the conduct of federalism. And it holds true that once in a state of crisis, specific parliamentary institutions and practices hampered the resolution of these crises. The inability of the federal governments to find a solution to the difficulties they faced was rooted in the manner in which they went about seeking these solutions. They sought remedies that required, by virtue of their federal-parliamentary designs, a decisionmaking process that lacked representation, transparency and accountability. These remedies were challenged at the polls and unpopular initiatives did not succeed. The electorate, whether of their own accord or mobilized by another party, indicated that approaches lacking some degree of real representation, transparency and accountability would no longer be looked upon with deference. In the absence of solutions supported by the governments and the masses, the crises wore on.  118  CRISIS AND T H E PREDISPOSITION TOWARD BARGAINING R i k e r argues a federation is the result o f a b a r g a i n struck b e t w e e n t w o  sets o f b a r g a i n e r s : t h o s e p r e d i s p o s e d to  a c c e p t i n g it ( 1 9 6 4 :  offering  the bargain  (Friedrich,  are  determined.  1968:  (Livingston:  173),  Importantly,  and  1964:  wherein the details o f a  because federations  socio-economic  1956: 4), the bargain runs  maintained (Riker,  and those predisposed  12). B e c a u s e these bargainers are i n c a p a b l e o f v e n t u r i n g out o n  o w n , t h e y c h o o s e to enter into a p r o c e s s o f n e g o t i a t i o n  arrangement  principal  the  patterns  risk  111; Friedrich, 1968:  and  are  needs  o f deteriorating  175-176). N o t  inherently  i f it  are  their  federal  dynamic  rarely  is not  only can we  static  frequently  can  identify  s u c h a bargain in the creation o f the C a n a d i a n , A u s t r a l i a n a n d Indian federations, w e  also identify,  to  can  b y m e a n s o f their respective crises, a sense that e a c h b a r g a i n h a d b e g u n  to  deteriorate, and h a d b e c o m e o u t m o d e d .  In  British North America Act,  creating the  1867, representatives o f  C r o w n a n d the w o u l d - b e c e n t e r h a d to c o m p r o m i s e their v i s i o n o f a u n i t a r y  the  British  parliamentary  system capable o f ensuring a strong C a n a d i a n e c o n o m i c and political infrastructure,  with  the v i s i o n o f a federal-styled s y s t e m p r o p o s e d b y the representatives o f Q u e b e c , O n t a r i o ,  a n d the M a r i t i m e  provinces. Likewise, while  representatives o f the A u s t r a l i a n  colonies  f a v o u r e d a federal m o d e l that c l o s e l y m i r r o r e d the A m e r i c a n e x a m p l e , t h e y w e r e  to  concede  a  number  of  features  in  accepting  the  parliamentary-driven  forced  model  the  representatives o f the B r i t i s h C r o w n a n d the w o u l d - b e center insisted u p o n . In India, u n t i l  Partition,  India's  the  great  intention  cultural  had  and  been  to  linguistic  design  a  diversity.  federal  A n d  model  while  that w o u l d  Partition forced  accommodate  the  founding  fathers to p u r s u e a h i g h l y c e n t r a l i z e d s y s t e m c a p a b l e o f e n s u r i n g a s t r o n g center a n d  the  119  c o h e s i o n o f the I n d i a n n a t i o n , they w e r e n o n e t h e l e s s f o r c e d to n e g o t i a t e w i t h the  B r i t i s h p r o v i n c e s , the P r i n c e l y States, a n d later, tribal g r o u p s i n the N o r t h e a s t , i n  at a s u i t a b l e f e d e r a l  arriving  compromise.  Importantly,  in  the  perception  of  a  specific  group  states/provinces, a series o f d e v e l o p m e n t s  i n the p o s t - W o r l d  these  outmoded.  bargains  former  had deteriorated  and were  p o w e r , the e r o s i o n o f state/provincial j u r i s d i c t i o n a l  In  of  bargainers,  War"Two  e a c h case the  namely  years  suggested  centralization  a u t o n o m y , a n d the s e e m i n g  l e a d - u p to c r i s i s . T h i s w a s e s p e c i a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t i n the A u s t r a l i a n c a s e as s u c h  More  a complete  reversal o f the  specifically, the  substantial  federal  growth  relationship  of  Western  that h a d e x i s t e d to  Canadian provincial  d e m o g r a p h i c strength, the ostensible s i l e n c i n g o f the rights debate a n d  in  the  behaviour  that  point.  wealth  and  non-participation  o f the A u s t r a l i a n states i n the r e f e r e n d u m p r o c e s s , a n d the rise o f I n d i r a G a n d h i ' s  o f g o v e r n a n c e i n India, w e r e all i n d i c a t i o n s that m a j o r  of  removal  o f the states/provinces f r o m the d e c i s i o n - m a k i n g process w e r e k e y d e v e l o p m e n t s  indicated  the  method  details o f each bargain had  been  violated.  Riker's  concept o f a federal  b a r g a i n is u s e f u l  bargains in C a n a d a , Australia and India.  in identifying  the original  T h e r e are, h o w e v e r , s o m e s h o r t c o m i n g s to  a r g u m e n t w h e n w e m o v e b e y o n d the initial bargain. N o t w i t h s t a n d i n g  on  the  American  observations  on  federal  any  other  model  as  federation  the  cited  basis  in  for  his  his  work,  his primary  argument,  his  more  arguments  s u s t e n a n c e o f f e d e r a l i s m b e y o n d the initial b a r g a i n i n g p h a s e are not  significance  is  his  observation  that  federal  centralization  -  the  overawe  so  reliance  than  his  concerning  the  supported here.  and  his  overrule  s u b n a t i o n a l l e a d e r s h i p w i t h o u t g o i n g so far as a n n i h i l a t i o n ( R i k e r , 1 9 6 4 : 5 0 ) -  O f  of  the  is the  key  120  to sustaining f e d e r a l i s m . T o be sure, these cases h a v e d e m o n s t r a t e d that the o v e r a w e  overrule  original  o f the s u b n a t i o n a l units b y the c e n t e r is p r e c i s e l y w h a t  and  h e l p e d to d e v a l u e  their  bargains.  What  Riker  fails  to  appreciate  is  the  significant  role  played  by  social  e c o n o m i c forces w i t h i n a federation. T h a t is, the s o c i o - e c o n o m i c c i r c u m s t a n c e s o f  and  today  w i l l differ s i g n i f i c a n t l y f r o m those that e x i s t e d d u r i n g the initial b a r g a i n i n g phase. A n d as  t h o s e s o c i a l a n d e c o n o m i c c o n d i t i o n s c h a n g e , they incite n u m e r o u s , g r o u p s to pressure the  federal  government  to  adapt  to  those  changes. Under  i n c r e a s i n g l y d i f f i c u l t for the federal g o v e r n m e n t  such  circumstances  it  becomes  to j u s t i f y a f u r t h e r c e n t r a l i z a t i o n o f  federation without provoking discontent and intergovernmental  the  conflict.  W e m u s t a s k o u r s e l v e s t h e n , w h e t h e r R i k e r ' s a r g u m e n t s are o f a n y u s e to us i n the  a n a l y s i s o f these cases, b e y o n d their o r i g i n a l b a r g a i n i n g p h a s e . W e c a n n o t rely, as R i k e r  himself  admits,  on  an  explanation  bargain (1964: 49). L i k e w i s e , w e ;  for  the  turning  themselves.  points  in  Ultimately,  these  the  of  military-diplomatic  cannot  crises  utility  of  pressures beyond  l o o k to c e n t r a l i z a t i o n  when  centralization  Riker's  argument  as a suitable  s e e m e d to  in  the  t u r n i n g points rests w i t h his c o n c e p t o f actors p r e d i s p o s e d t o w a r d s  It  was  initially  arrangement  is  arrangement,  a n d because the c r u x  original  a  hypothesized  bargain  between  federal bargain by  w o u l d be the negotiation  that  those  because  actors  the  o f e a c h crisis w a s the  to  initial  explanation  define  the  examination  of  crises  these  bargaining.  quintessence  predisposed  the  entering  of  a  into  federal  such  perceived devaluation  of  an  the  a specific group o f bargainers, the resolution o f these crises  o f a n e w federal bargain. H o w e v e r the data collected f r o m  h i s t o r i c a l s u r v e y o f e a c h case suggests first, that the t u r n i n g  point  in each crisis was  the  not  121  the  result  o f a n e w federal  bargain  a n d s e c o n d , that  each  crisis  w a s not  completely  resolved. A c c o r d i n g l y , R i k e r ' s theory as a tool o f analysis is called into question.  What  not  each case does indicate, however,  negotiated,  both  sets  of  bargainers  is that w h i l e  were  a n e w federal bargain w a s  nonetheless  predisposed  to  continue  bargaining because neither w a s i n a position to resolve the crisis single-handedly.  end,  Riker's  useful  tool  concept  o f actors  for analyzing  predisposed  the turning points  towards  bargaining  o f these  seems  crises. R i k e r  to be the  sets  o f bargainers:  the federal  governments,  others  o f each crisis situation. There are  a n d the states/provinces.  Within  s c o p e o f the d e s i g n o f e a c h federation, o n e set is m o r e c a p a b l e o f i n d e p e n d e n t action  the  other.  However,  the details  of  venturing  into independence. S e c o n d , s o m e bargainers are less capable o f independence than  two  most  bases his notion  predisposition o n t w o initial observations. First, all bargainers are incapable o f  (1964: 3-5). C o n s i d e r these observations i n the context  In the  o f each crisis suggest that neither  the  than  is capable o f single-  handedly resolving the crisis situation, a n dso e a c h is predisposed to bargain.  The Predisposition of the Federal Governments The  Australian  preferred  details  of  a n d Indian  each  federal  route to conflict  Beginning  i n t h e late  series o f constitutional  crisis  governments  culminated  resolve  1960s, the C a n a d i a n federal  difficulties.  of  the  In  each  Canadian,  case  a n d i n each case this route  the  failed.  government  began a n unprecedented  conferences. These conferences sought  to resolve the malaise o f  institutional  in the  to  the determination  resolution w a s institutional,  the federation t h r o u g h institutional  of an informal  demonstrate  change. T o these ends, they were conducted b y means  tool, First Ministers'  Constitution Act,  Conferences. Though  1 9 8 2 a n d the  Trudeau's  efforts  Charter of Rights and Freedoms,  122 Quebec's unwillingness to sign the former considerably reduced the ability of both documents to resolve Canada's many problems. Indeed, Canada's flirtations with major constitutional revision in the late 1980s and early 1990s had adverse effects on the federation. The Meech Lake Accord, 1987, which sought to exclusively address the institutional concerns of Quebec, failed because it was, in the perception of the rest of Canada, too narrow in focus. Conversely, the Charlottetown Accord, 1992, which sought sweeping institutional change for the entire federation, failed because it was too broad and too vague. These efforts had two longstanding effects on the federation that ultimately hindered any sort of substantive crisis resolution. The first was the further polarization of the federation. In 1982, Quebec felt betrayed; in 1987 it felt abandoned; in the aftermath of the 1992 referendum it felt isolated and so chose to flirt with separatism. Likewise, by 1982 the West felt ignored; in 1987 it felt unheard; in the aftermath of the 1992 referendum, it felt isolated and chose to shift its focus to the promotion of regionalism. The second effect, not mutually exclusive of the first, was a decline of deference that resulted from the disenchantment of the Canadian electorate, and in particular a number of subnational groups, with the actions of the Canadian government (Nevitte, 1996: 76). In the perception of these groups, the efforts of the federal government  were  undemocratic, were not transparent or accountable, and were deliberately aimed at excluding certain segments of the Canadian population (Cairns, 1992: 74; Hurley, 1994: 6; Bakvis and Skogstad, 2002: 17). The primary institutional tool of choice for the Australian federal government was the referendum. In an attempt to change the shape of the Australian federation, Canberra  123 initiated thirteen constitutional amendments in five national referenda held between 1967 and 1984 (Commonwealth of Australia, 1997: 61-109). In the Australian case, institutional change by means of constitutional amendment was a potentially useful tool for Canberra. According to the procedures for referenda, the states and the people wee excluded from all but the voting stages of the referendum process (Galligan, 1995: 128130), leaving the federal government with a virtual 'carte blanche.' But like the Canadian case, these efforts had adverse effects that ultimately restricted crisis resolution. O f the thirteen amendment proposals voted upon, only four were successfully carried. While these proposals sought to reshape the federation, Canberra had not counted on the growing awareness of the Australian electorate beginning in the 1970s (Sharman, 1992: 217). Moreover, it had not counted on a decline of deference and an unwillingness of the electorate to cede state powers to Canberra (Parker, 1949: 166-167; Sharman and Stuart, 1981: 262-268; Galligan, 1995: 128). Ultimately, Canberra's efforts at institutional change resulted in its inability to produce any change. Constitutional change was not the preferred method for quelling difficulties in the Indian case. Nonetheless, Mrs. Gandhi made use of a number of institutional tools she believed would resolve the India's crisis on her terms. As in Canada and Australia, Mrs. Gandhi's efforts had adverse effects that rendered crisis resolution improbable. In order to better India's economic malaise, Mrs. Gandhi pursued system-wide reforms in the early 1960s that centralized control over the economy, but at the cost of further polarizing the federation and worsening regional economic disparity. From the late 1960s to the late 1970s, Indira Gandhi made frequent use of President's Rule and the Emergency Powers, in hopes of quelling disturbances and maintaining the federation's structural integrity. In  124  the early  1980s, she ordered the establishment o f the  S a r k a r i a C o m m i s s i o n to  examine  center-state relations. A r g u a b l y , the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f h e r e c o n o m i c r e f o r m s i n states s u c h  as G u j a r a t a n d B i h a r , l e d to the u p r i s i n g s o f the late  imposition o f President's Rule from  1975 had the adverse effect  these  tactics  (Wood,  1960s. W h a t , is m o r e , the  1967-1974, followed b y an all-Indian  o f strengthening dissident groups by  1984:  10).  Ultimately,  these  groups  frequent  emergency  in  desensitizing them  to  mobilized  the  electorate a n d e r o d e d M r s . G a n d h i ' s a n d the C o n g r e s s (I)'s p u b l i c support  subnational  base.  T h e actions o f O t t a w a , C a n b e r r a , a n d N e w D e l h i h a d the effect o f d i s t a n c i n g b o t h  the states/provinces a n d their electorates f r o m the federal g o v e r n m e n t , p r e v e n t i n g  from  resolving  these  crises.  Accordingly,  each  case  government w a s incapable o f pursuing crisis resolution  demonstrates  that  the  them  federal  independently.  The Predisposition of the States/Provinces T h e details o f e a c h crisis e q u a l l y demonstrate that the states/provinces sought  resolve  difficulties.  resolution  was  p o l i t i c a l , a n d i n e a c h c a s e this r o u t e f a i l e d to a c h i e v e c r i s i s r e s o l u t i o n . F o r m a l t o o l s  were  frequently  used by  jurisdictional  In  each  the  autonomy,  case  federal  and  the  state/provincial  governments  reduce  the  to  role  route  broaden  of  the  to  conflict  to  concurrency, erode  states/provinces  in  the  provincial  decision-  m a k i n g p r o c e s s . U n d e r s u c h c i r c u m s t a n c e s , the states/provinces w e r e left w i t h f e w o r  forms o f institutional  recourse. Consequently, they pursued a number of political  they h o p e d w o u l d c i r c u m v e n t the actions o f the federal  In  Ministers'  Canada,  chief among  Conferences  Constitution Act,  these tactics w e r e  (McRoberts,  1982, the  failure  of  1985:  the  79),  no  tactics  government.  patterns  of  strategic  voting  Quebec's unwillingness  Meech Lake Accord,  1987,  in  to  a  in  sign  First  the  provincial  125  legislature, and the  Accord,  mobilization  of  various  'charter  groups'  against the  Charlottetown  1 9 9 2 . B u t w h i l e these tactics h a d the effect o f stalling the actions o f the  government,  they  did  very  little to  ameliorate  the  position  of  federal  the provinces, and  thus  resolve the crisis.  Like  institutional  the  Canadian  provinces,  the  Australian  states  had  no  real  forms  of  r e c o u r s e either, e s p e c i a l l y g i v e n that they w e r e e x p r e s s l y e x c l u d e d f r o m  the  process o f constitutional r e f o r m u n t i l the r e f e r e n d u m and the v o t i n g stage. T h e A u s t r a l i a n  states c h o s e to o p e n l y v o i c e their d i s c o n t e n t w i t h C a n b e r r a i n h o p e s o f stirring  support  f r o m subnational g r o u p s and the A u s t r a l i a n electorate. T h e y w e r e largely successful,  chiefly  responsible  for  the  successive  failure  of  numerous  constitutional  and  proposals  ( S h a r m a n a n d Stuart, 1 9 8 1 : 2 6 2 - 2 6 8 ) . H o w e v e r , t h e y w e r e n o n e t h e l e s s u n a b l e to r e s o l v e  the crisis situation b y  p r o c e s s at t h e i n i t i a l  virtue  o f their  inability  to  directly  participate  r e f o r m s is d i r e c t l y l i n k e d  ' C o n g r e s s s y s t e m ' and the c o n d u c t o f intergovernmental  A s  in  the  referendum  case o f  Canada  a n d Australia, the  p o l i t i c a l alternatives to institutional  of  situation.  T h e i n a b i l i t y o f the I n d i a n states to s e e k i n s t i t u t i o n a l  affair.  the  stages. T h u s their tactics, w h i l e successfully stalling the actions  the f e d e r a l g o v e r n m e n t , d i d little to a m e l i o r a t e their  the  in  Indian  relations as a n  states w e r e  to  intra-party  forced  to  seek  remedy. M o s t notably these actions i n c l u d e d the rise  o f n o n - C o n g r e s s parties and then the emergence o f n o n - C o n g r e s s governments. T h e y also  included the m o b i l i z a t i o n  Congress'  support  base.  o f the  At  militant groups s u c h as U L F A  its  state electorate b y  extreme  these groups  these actions  in order  included the  use o f  to  erode  violence  the  by  i n A s s a m and the militant w i n g o f the A k a l i D a l i n P u n j a b .  126  W h i l e these political acts w e r e successful in confronting m a n y o f Indira G a n d h i ' s tactics,  they c o u l d not o n their o w n resolve the crisis f a c i n g the Indian states.  The Predisposition Toward Bargaining and Compromise The  experience  in  each  case  indicates  these  federal  crises were  not  resolved.  H o w e v e r , the t u r n i n g p o i n t s that d i d t a k e s h a p e i n e a c h s y s t e m illustrate h o w the  governments  and  the  states/provinces  predisposed  Constitution Act,  N o t w i t h s t a n d i n g the success o f the  Freedoms ( b o t h  were  which  Ottawa had underestimated  Canadian  bargaining  electorate.  solution.  Charter of Rights and  1982 and the  Likewise,  the  though  1 9 6 8 to 1 9 9 2 , d e m o n s t r a t e the  determination  capable  of  o f the  whether  they  be  Quebec's  proposal  for  signaled  a change in  Senate reform.  desire  In  to  appoint  derailing  essence,  the  turning  Canadian federalism was  Ottawa and provinces: in exchange for  Supreme  Court  point  a new  in  degree  unfavourable  judges,  the  negotiated  or  sought,  the  West's  C a n a d i a n crisis  compromise  bargaining power  and  the  federal  changes they  a cessation o f provincial hostilities  the p r o v i n c e s h a v e r e a c q u i r e d their  failure  p r o v i n c e s , a n d later  initiatives, the p r o v i n c e s r e m a i n e d u n a b l e to s e c u r e the institutional  federation,  a  o f w h i c h remained dubious i n the eyes o f certain Q u e b e c o i s ) the  o f numerous constitutional revision packages f r o m  to  to  central  that  between  towards  the  decision-making  role.  L i k e w i s e , the t u r n i n g point i n the A u s t r a l i a n crisis reflected the predisposition  Canberra  and  underestimated  the  the  centralization. W h a t  states  lengths  towards  to  which  bargaining  the  states  a  were  temporary  willing  is more, C a n b e r r a also underestimated  the  to  solution.  go  ability  to  put  o f the  of  Canberra  a  halt  to  states  to  m o b i l i z e the electorate against C a n b e r r a ' s a m e n d m e n t proposals. C o n v e r s e l y , the  states,  127  while being successful in their actions against the federal government  nonetheless  remained in a position o f incapability: despite having successfully sunk thirteen amendment  proposals,  they  were  nonetheless  incapable o f initiating their  own  referendum proposals. Predisposed to bargain once more, they reached a tentative compromise that signaled a turning point in the crisis: a policy o f consultation during the constitutional reform process in exchange for a cessation o f anti-referendum campaigns. The compromise reached in the Indian case, which signals a turning point in the Indian crisis, was a harsh lesson for the Congress Party. M r s . Gandhi, and indeed Nehru before her, had underestimated the limits o f the states to allow N e w Delhi and the Congress to dictate state actions. Moreover, they underestimated the effect o f India's religious, cultural and linguistic diversity on the party system. In the aftermath o f the decline o f the Congress, no one party was capable o f securing a majority because o f the complexity o f cleavages in the Indian federation. A s such N e w Delhi today is predisposed to bargaining and compromising with the states in order to retain the minority coalition that allows the federal government to operate. Likewise, the states are predisposed to compromising with N e w Delhi in order to have their concerns heard, and more importantly, have them represented in a position o f power as well. CONCLUSIONS H o w and how well do the Canadian, Australian and Indian federations work? This thesis has demonstrated how they have experienced instances o f crisis. These instances should, however, not be interpreted as perilous, but rather as opportunities for change and evolution. In this context, these federations have worked well in so far as they are able to remain dynamic and challenge the status quo. However, these crises demonstrate the  128 difficulties of accommodating federal and parliamentary designs in a single system. The survey of events leading to each crisis as well as those that comprised each crisis demonstrates the need to maintain the federal bargain, especially when facing challenges and change. On a peripheral level, a comparative analysis of these crises supports many of the theoretical assertions made by Riker, Friedrich and Livingston. Though asserted some forty to fifty years ago, much of their work still applies to federalism today. The comparative study of these crises demonstrates, for instance, that Riker's concept of a federal bargain is not anachronistic. It is likely that an examination of a larger set of federations will demonstrate that the predisposition toward bargaining is ever-present. On a more specific level, these instances of crisis make clear that as students of federalism we cannot rely on theory alone in our analyses. Yes, Riker, Friedrich and Livingston provide an important foundation from which we can begin, yet it is still more important to not overlook the impact of political action; less we run the risk of falling into the same trap as the founders of these federal-parliamentary systems. The instances of crisis in Canada, Australia and India demonstrate the impact of political action. While these systems are laden with a variety of formal federal and parliamentary tools that dictate how they should be governed, it is the informal or political use of these tools that dictates how these systems are governed. The series of events that comprise these crises demonstrate the error of the founders in underestimating the political use of parliamentary institutions in a federal setting. The comparative study of this phenomenon, more so than any single-case study of it, demonstrates the need to  129 further examine the impact of parliamentarism on federalism, especially in instances of crisis.  Canada's Constitution Act, 1867, allocates powers of reservation and disallowance to the federal government, so that if necessary it can assume provincial executive authority and override provincial legislation (Sharman, 1990: 212). Similarly, the simple fact that the referendum procedures of the Australian federation (the only formal manner of constitutional change known to Australia) explicitly exclude the states at the initiation phase, demonstrates the concentration of power in the federal executive. Likewise, several sections of the Indian Constitution point to a principle of 'Union Supremacy' (Sarkaria Commission, 1988: 10). These include, most notably, the overriding authority of the center over state powers contained in the state and concurrent lists, as well as the Emergency Powers and President's Rule. For a breakdown of Canadian federal election results see Jackson and Jackson, 2001: 450. For information on Australian federal election results prior to and during the crisis years see http://www.australianpolitics.com/parliament/house/state-of-parties.shtml. Finally, for information on federal election results in India, consult Brass, 1994: 76-77. In terms of the percentage of votes polled in Lok Sabha elections, support for the Congress dropped from 47.8% in 1957 to 40.8% in 1967. Though it recovered to 43.7% in 1971, such a percentage pales in comparison to the Congress's success in the 1950s. The seat distribution in Lok Sabha elections more clearly demonstrates the slip in Congress support. The number of seats controlled by the Congress noticeably dropped from 371 seats in 1957 to 283 seats in 1967. Though it managed to recover to 352 seats in 1971, it could not recover to the levels it maintained in the 1950s. In the 1977 Lok Sabha elections the Congress received only 34.5% of the popular vote, reducing its representation to a mere 154 seats (Brass, 1994: 76-77). 2  3  130  REFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY  Arora,  Balveer.  1995. "Adapting  Innovations,"  Balveer  federalism  Arora  to  India:  Multilevel  and  Asymmetry  Multiple Identities in a in Comparative Perspective. 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