Ah bliss, when ones favourite political writers turn their pens on each other! The spat takes place over the Harper governments feints at wielding the trade and commerce power it has in our constitution to knock down intra-provincial trade barriers. Both Andrews agree that this is a good idea, but Coyne rhapsodizes about the existential dimensions of this stronger federalism, and then from the other side of his mouth speaks about a worrisome reality that contradicts it.
Give that the abov is perhaps the least interesting introduction to a great political spat ever written, here is the article by Coyne, and here is the response by Potter. I excerpt the money quote from Potter below:
"But what Coyne seems to be claiming is that
Viewed strictly as a legal matter, the feds could probably invoke the Trade and Commerce power, and strike down provincial trade barriers unilaterally. But politically, they don’t dare.
Politically they don’t dare. Whatever could that mean? That the premiers would scream and yell? So what? If it’s
- Andrew Potter