The Hill Times: Best Books of 2017
What happens when crucial public issues are decided the people themselves?
Canadians answered “Yes” or “No” to prohibiting alcohol, conscripting soldiers, and revamping our constitution. Forcing such crucial choices at the ballot box is high-stakes democracy, both here and overseas — as witnessed with Britain’s transformative 2016 “Brexit” referendum.
Forcing Choice dissects Canada’s extensive use of ballot questions at all levels of government, and weighs the benefits of citizens making fundamental decisions for the nation. Holding referendums is tricky, and getting it wrong carries a high price.
This hard-hitting book draws on Boyer’s deep research on direct democracy and his experience advising governments about referendums, writing books, drafting and introducing the Canada Referendum Act, monitoring foreign referendums, and campaigning in Canadian ones.