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Theory and Practise

by
November 2003, no. 256

Peace, Order and Good Government: State Constitutional and Parliamentary Reform edited by Clement Macintyre and John Williams

Wakefield Press, $39.95 pb, 333 pp

Theory and Practise

by
November 2003, no. 256

Speaking in the context of the Quebec secessionist movement, Stéphane Dion described Canada as ‘a country that works in practice but not in theory’. Whilst particularly telling of that country’s political turmoil, Dion’s summary also points to an abiding tension in all Western democracies: the perceived gulf between the theory and the practice of modern government. Constitution and parliament, the people and their representatives, tradition and modern requirements: in theory, each pair dovetail, but in practice they tend to be loose at the edges. (Try finding, for example, any reference to ‘prime minister’ in our Constitution.) The ongoing efforts within Australia to reconcile the theory and practice of government are at the centre of this important book, which was released to coincide with the South Australian Constitutional Convention (held in August 2003).

Grant Bailey reviews ‘Peace, Order and Good Government: State Constitutional and Parliamentary Reform’ Edited by Clement Macintyre and John Williams

Peace, Order and Good Government: State Constitutional and Parliamentary Reform

edited by Clement Macintyre and John Williams

Wakefield Press, $39.95 pb, 333 pp

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