Hello, I would like to know the fundamental difference between a federal union and a legislative union.
Explanation from Alloprof
This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.
These are two types of power (power is distributed differently under the two unions).
Legislative Union :
This union is the type of union favored by many politicians in Upper Canada and the Maritimes. This union wants to increase the power of the central government. The strength of a central government aims to limit linguistic and cultural conflicts within the nation. John A. Macdonald envisioned " a Canada with one government, inhabited by as homogeneous a population as possible, and who shared common institutions and traits" (Macdonald, Biography of Canada). The imperial government also favors this type of union, fearing the administrative burden of a federal union. George-Étienne Cartier and Antoine-Aimé Dorion are firm opponents of legislative union. The legislative union favors a voting system based on representation (Rep by pop). Dorion fears that Canadians will be quickly crushed because of their low demographic weight. He said that would be the way to accomplish the assimilation process of Canadians.
Confederal Union :
The debate on representativeness remains a central point in the debates on the union of the colonies. The political space of linguistic groups is an element of contention. The fact remains that to avoid annexation, “(…) Canadians have the right and the duty to make Canada their first, if not their only homeland. »(Groulx, 20). The confederal idea is present in French Canadian political consciousness. The peasantry of the French Canadian fathers of Confederation leaves no doubt that they favored this type of union. Did they not call the union “Canadian Confederation”? The confederal union guarantees increased power to local government and leaves an important place for the autonomy of the regions. The central government is weak. This type of union makes it possible to freely convey the collective values which coexist in the same territory. The weak central government does not have the power to impose itself in the affairs of local government. Opponents believe that this type of union leads to points of tension resulting in confrontations between different local governments as is the case south of the colonial border (Groulx, p.14 and Cartier, p.95). This type of union is quickly discarded because some politicians fear in addition that linguistic and religious minorities risk being harmed in this type of union. The attraction to union-type governance nevertheless remains an assurance of autonomy for local government, which becomes a condition for French-Canadians to join the union.
Federal union :
The union is then seen as a happy medium between the first two types of union. The federal union shares political and legal power between local governments and the central government. Cartier conveys the idea that the federal union is a partnership between peoples. Federal union is a means of reducing the gap between religious and linguistic dualities. Cartier recalls the new context of the formation of nations on the world stage by saying that “nations are now formed by agglomerations of various peoples brought together by interests and sympathies. This is our proposal at the present time ”(Cartier, 98). Local government then becomes the vehicle that promotes the representation of a majority in its local government and all the more assures it of its linguistic place in the development of the Canadian nation. The federal union then creates a triangulation which reduces the differences between the governments. Cartier also recalls that this type of union “(…) never seeks to deprive the minority of its rights” (Cartier, 99).
John Alexander Macdonald fears that a federal union will favor a weak central government. (Macdonald, biography of Canada). To alleviate this concern, Macdonald creates real central power in the constitution by seizing, among other things, the powers of national defense, finance, commerce, taxation, currency and banking. This centralizing force becomes Macdonald's consolation for this type of union because “they were wanted to be weak (local government), he argued, and they were to one day cease to exist” (Macdonald, biography of Canada). This attitude raises the uncertainty of the strength of local governments. This weakness is according to Antoine-Aimé Dorion offer to the central government the forces necessary for the assimilation and the reduction of the power of the local power. Legal autonomy is also threatened. Antoine-Aimé Dorion and Lionel Groulx raised fears of the central government's encroachment on traditional Canadian affairs, its civil code and the process for appointing judges.
These excerpts are taken from the article Powers and powers of the HEC.
Hope this helps !