Master Gunner wrote:Canada "works", but it was touch and go for a while. At confederation (and not too different now), Ontario and Quebec weren't far off in terms of population (1.5 million vs 1.1 million), which was reflected in the House of Commons, and in the senate they had equal representation. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, meanwhile, had drastically smaller populations and were severely overrepresented in parliament (I think we've actually lost seats since then to bring it in line).
The Senate is, of course, meaningless. As for the Commons, rep by pop has been the principle, and seat adjustments have been made over the years to keep things in line with that. In fact, we're due for a big adjustment next year.
As for constitutional separation of powers? Even that can be touchy at times. There was a lot of political controversy in Canada's early days about more and more power being claimed by Ottawa/Ontario through "inventive" interpretations of the relevant clauses.
Forgive me, but I'm not sure that's strictly true. Constitutional law in Canada has been a history of the federal government losing
power to the provinces over time. The JCPC especially was very sympathetic to the provinces over the feds in jurisdictional cases. So has the Supreme Court, more recently. Hell, they wouldn't even rule that a single securities regulator is a federal responsibility, which is, as far as I know, unprecedented in the OECD.
In the states, the "Commerce Clause" of their constitution is frequently invoked by Congress and their Supreme Court in order to apply their power (if it can be argued that an issue affects trade between states, then they get to make their say).
That's true - the trend in the US has been the opposite of the trend in Canada. It's a trend towards further centralization down there.
Mostly it worked because it allowed Quebec some freedom from British rule, Ontario got to feel good about themselves. Nova Scotia immediately tried to leave until they were payed off too, and nobody cares about New Brunswick.
But the compromise did
work. I don't see why it also shouldn't in the UK. Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland get some freedom from London's rule, and England feels good about remaining at the centre of things while not losing parts of the UK.