49 U. Toronto Fac. L. Rev. 174 (1991)
Power to the People: Initiative, Referendum, Recall and the Possibility of Popular Sovereignty in Canada

handle is hein.journals/utflr49 and id is 386 raw text is: Power to the People: Initiative,
Referendum, Recall and the
Possibility of Popular
Sovereignty in Canada1
DUFF CONACHER
In this article the authorsuggests that Canada 'spolitical tradition hinders Canadians'
development into full citizens and that a first, practical step in the expansion of
popular sovereignty in Canada is the institutionalization of a right of initiative,
referendum, and recall (I,RR) at all levels of government. The initial task is to
establish that a scheme of I,R,R rights is needed in Canada. In Part I of the article the
author suggests that in Canada's political system and culture most Canadians do not
have the right to participate significantly in the governing power because the means
of access to and influence of government in Canada are dominated by business
interests and the effects of media coverage and are limitedfor individual Canadians.
In Part 11 the author argues that establishing an I,RR system is a possible first step
towards allowing Canadians to participate morefully in government decision-making.
To this end the author sets out eighty-eight recommendations thatform the basis of an
I,R,R rights scheme within a parliamentary democracy.
Dans cet article, l'auteur maintient que la tradition politique au Canada entrave le
plein ddveloppement des canadiens en leur qualitj de citoyen et qu'un premier pas
vers l'expansion d'une souverainetj au Canada est l'institutionalisation, a tous les
1. This is an essay. As such, it is an attempt and the result of that attempt. The attempt was an
interpretative act and as such should not be considered to be hermetically (or hermeneutically)
sealed. I am indebted to several commentators on the I,R,R, systems in other countries and on the
limited I,R,R, history in Canada. Their research and suggestions are often cited and adopted as
part of the recommendations set out in this paper (See especially Lisa Whitehill, Direct
Legislation: A Survey of Recent Literature, 5 Legal Reference Services Quarterly at 3). This
paper is presented in the context of the following quotation:
A free man working for an open society is in a serious dilemma. To begin with, he does not
have a fixed truth. Truth to him is relative and changing. He accepts the late Justice Learned
Hand's statement that the mark of a free man is that ever-gnawing inner uncertainty as to
whether or not he is right. Having no fixed truth he has no final answers, no dogma, no
formula, no panacea. The consequence is that he is ever on the hunt for the causes of man's
plight and the general propositions that help make sense out of man's irrational world. He is
constantly examining life, including his own, to get some idea of what it means. S. Alinsky,
Reveille for Radicals (New York: Vintage Books, 1969) at x.

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