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Asymmetry has become flavour of the month for federations, and nowhere more than in Canada. In reaction to the failure of the Meech Lake and Charlottetown accords, the federal govern-ment’s insistence that each province had to be treated in the same way as every other province has collapsed. The denial of asymmetry this involved was always slightly ludicrous as there have been plenty of examples in Canada of asymmetric arrangements, but it was a doctrine rigorously applied by the federal government. Not surprisingly, many are trying to understand where the new road to asymmetrical federalism may lead.1 In this article I want to try to bring a comparative perspective to this particularly Canadian set of problems.

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