Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Conrad Black’s fix for a Divided Federation

Our late-fall reformer Conrad Black offers a new constitutional formula for Clearing the Quebec Air. Having spent millions of his own money on commercial lawyers, he’s found a way to re-employ teams of constitutional lawyers across Canada.

“What is needed now is an omnibus clearing of the air. Any province that votes by 60% or more to secede can do so, provided that any federal voting constituency that votes by 60% or more not to secede will remain in Canada, and referenda cannot be more frequent than every 10 years. Any seceding province will assume half the percentage of the Canadian federal debt that the seceding province has as a population of Canada’s (pre-secession) population. If necessary, joint censuses will establish these figures. Any federal government assets in the seceding province will be paid for, if the seceding province wants them, over 10 years, at a price agreed by joint commissions, with a casting vote, if necessary, from the International Court of Arbitration. If the province doesn’t want those federal assets, the federal government may sell or keep them as it wishes.”

So, off you go, everybody: this marriage contract can be kept inside your wallets for easy reference; it leaches out all the love, and it makes divorce impossible.

What would have happened if King George III had sent his rebellious North American subjects off to collect super-majorities in every county in his 13 colonies?

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