Federal Minority Governments In Canada
During the history of Canadian politics, eleven minority governments have been elected at the federal level. There have also been two minority governments resulting from governments being replaced between elections, for a total of thirteen federal minority governments in twelve separate minority parliaments. There have been historical cases where the governing party had fewer than half of the seats but had the support of independents who called themselves members of the party; these cases are not included, as there was never any serious chance of the government falling.
In a minority situation, governments must rely on the support of other parties to stay in power, providing less stability than a majority government. At the federal level no minority government (excepting the odd case of the 14th) has lasted a standard four-year term. Most minority governments have lasted less than two years. The average duration of completed minorities in Canada is 479 days or approximately 1 year, 140 days counting only that part of the 14th Parliament that was a minority, or 1 year, 207 days counting the entire duration of it.
In addition to the minorities below, the 2nd Canadian Parliament was a minority for 56 days under prime minister Alexander Mackenzie after he took power from Sir John A. Macdonald following the Pacific Scandal. However, this event is generally not noted because Parliament was never in session while Mackenzie was in power.
The eleventh federal minority parliament was elected in the 2008 election.
Read more about Federal Minority Governments In Canada: Alexander Mackenzie, William Lyon Mackenzie King, Arthur Meighen, John Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Pierre E. Trudeau, Joe Clark, Paul Martin, Stephen Harper, Minority Governments By Term of Office
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