The Madness Revisited

Time to check in on what those useless humanities profs and social scientists are up to.

Oh look: UofT Press has put out an instant book on The Madness — although they’ve given it the extraordinarily dull title Parliamentary Democracy in Crisis (there must be a hundred books with that title). It’s edited by Peter Russell and Lorne Sossin, has a fwd by Adrienne Clarkson, and fourteen essays on the roots of The Madness, the decision to prorogue, the constitution and coalitions, and broader trends in Canadian democratic culture.

It looks like a very useful read, with a full slate of top-notch academics — Ned Franks, Jennifer Smith, Lawrence LeDuc, and a bunch of others. My only complaint, personnel-wise, is that some of the most important voices during the debate itself last fall have been left out (Errol Mendes, Richard Van Loon, Norman Spector, Michael Bliss) and the choice of Michael Valpy as the journalist to set the stage seems a bit predictable. (Yes, fine, I’ll admit I would have preferred to see someone from Blog Central given the conch, but there you go).

Meanwhile, if you’re in Ottawa next week:

William Cross will moderate a roundtable on the implications of coalition governments for Canadian politics featuring Kaare Strom, professor of political science at the University of California in San Diego and a leading expert on coalition governments; David Docherty, dean of arts at Wilfrid Laurier University and author of several books on Canada’s Parliament and seasoned political practitioner and commentator Senator Hugh Segal. The roundtable will be held on March 31 at 7 p.m. in room 618, Robertson Hall. Admission is free.

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