by Tyler Difley

National Post | Full Comment

 

The past couple of weeks have offered a vivid demonstration of this country’s penchant, as someone once put it, for pulling ourselves up by the roots every so often to see if we’re still growing. Responding to the demands of precisely no one, the NDP offered up a private member’s bill, C-470, it proposes should replace the Clarity Act, the 1999 legislation setting the conditions under which the federal government would enter negotiations with “a province” — let’s call it Quebec — proposing to secede.

Where the latter required a “clear majority” on a “clear question” in a referendum on secession, the clarity or otherwise of both to be assessed by Parliament, the NDP bill sets out in black and white what at least one of them would mean: a majority of just 50% plus one. Moreover, it reverses the onus. Where the Clarity Act forbids the government from…

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