chapter  2
14 Pages

Democratic multinational federalism under scrutiny: Healthy tensions and unresolved issues in Canada


The concepts of multination, multinational democracies and multinational federations have gained prominence in academic circles during the last decade. Democratic multinational federations are characterised by a propensity to reflect deep diversity and stability even though significant strains do exist. Contrary to non-democratic multinational federations, these are capable to resist better the test of time through the proper management of politics and power sharing. Most democratic federal multinational federations, such as Belgium, Canada and Switzerland,2 have faced different types of challenges over the years. All three have proven to be rather stable under different conditions of stress. Other types of democratic multinational federation exist as well. The United Kingdom and Spain, for example, offer an additional basis for comparison as “unions of states” to use Murray Forsyth’s terminology.