Talk:Federal minority governments in Canada

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This is my first attempt at a non-orthographical/non-grammatical edit (AKA non-minor edit). There are most-definitely errors. Please, therefore, feel free to hack, revert, and slash to your heart’s content.

If someone with a bit more experience than I could please make an executive decision as to the 'currentosity' of the Paul Martin section and either keep or remove the current event banner, I would be much obliged.

As well, I’d like to know how to better-word/handle the external link at the end.

Aeolien 02:37, 2005 May 14 (UTC)

Thank you SimonP[edit]

Many thanks for the heads up, SimonP. I realize that there is probably a better system. However, I found that, without the headings, the article was incredibly hard to read and follow. It definitely needed some sort of structure.

On a somewhat related note, does Arthur Meighen get his own section? Even then, that makes 7 of the reported 10 minority governments. I hope to take some time tomorrow or the next day to track down the missing sections.

Aeolien 03:28, 2005 May 14 (UTC)

You are very right, the page looks much better now. What you are missing is that King, Diefenbaker, and Pearson each had two minority governments. - SimonP 04:12, May 14, 2005 (UTC)
Great! Now, how should the double-minority governments be displayed. I don't believe that they should be their own additional section, but should be separated/divided into two sections somehow. – Aeolien 05:36, 2005 May 15 (UTC)

Minority government with smallest percentage of seats[edit]

Hmm, the Conservatives have only 40.3% of the seats. I started looking through historical results, and got back through the 1960's, but still couldn't find a government that had the most seats, but had fewer than 40.3%. Did I miss something? This would make this a very weak minority government! Nfitz 07:19, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't think there was one. In fact, there have been minority governments where the second place party led the government and still had a higher percentage than the Conservatives presently do. Could be the weakest government on record (parliamentary speaking), but I'll keep looking. --Otter Escaping North 16:10, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
Take a look at the first couple of elections. It's an odd situation. The Conservatives won with less than 40% in 1867 and 1872 (with 31.5%). The problem is, Macdonald was the leader of the Conservatives and the Liberal-Conservatives, and so controlled both parties. Anyway, check it out - very weird. --Otter Escaping North 16:24, 24 January 2006 (UTC)
So would it be fair to say (given that Macdonald essentially governed as a majority) that this is the weakest minority government since Confederation? Nfitz 02:20, 25 January 2006 (UTC)
I've been walking around saying just that. --Otter Escaping North 13:58, 25 January 2006 (UTC)

Weakness really needs to be definied and clarified in this case. If it is purely a mathematical measure of power than needs to be explicitly stated. If it is a measure of how the power is used by the Government in office than it is a much stronger minority Government than either the Clark or Martin minorities. What do you mean by MacDonald governing *as if* he had a majority. He always had majorities. The Liberal-Conservatives always ran wth the understanding the would sit with the Conservatives in the House. Schoeppe 06:03, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Graphs Need Legends![edit]

I'd ad them myself but I don't know what they are, someone who knows what the colours represent should add one.

Reasons for absence of formal coalitions?[edit]

This would require some real live research and citations from reliable secondary sources, but it would be interesting to know why formal coalition governments never really became a part of Canadian political culture, considering that minority governments seem to happen fairly frequently there. I'm interested in how the election in Quebec will play out in this regard: would there be any way for the second and third parties to form a government if they agreed formally or informally to support one another? --Jfruh (talk) 01:36, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

Party Colours[edit]

I am not sure why the historical Conservative Party of Canada should have the same colour as the Progressive Conservatives rather than the new Conservative Party of Canada. If people insist on differentiating be the historical party and the new party a third colour would be more accurate than lumping all past variations of the centre-right party in Canada with the same colour.

Schoeppe 00:25, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

This has been debated at length elsewhere, and consensus was that all the historical Conservative Parties were legally just name changes, whereas the new one is the product of a merge and legally a new party. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:05, 8 November 2007 (UTC)


I am not sure wy my edits were reverted. The following are the guidelines I read on reverts:

Reverting is a decision which should be taken seriously. Reverting is used primarily for fighting vandalism, or anything very similar to the effects of vandalism. If you are not sure whether a revert is appropriate, discuss it first rather than immediately reverting or deleting it. If you feel the edit is unsatisfactory, improve it rather than simply reverting or deleting it.

Have I been accused of vandalizing these pages?

I would much rather have my edits edited, or discuss them, rather than being reverted. Schoeppe 00:54, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Looking at the edit history, I see that I didn't give a reason for my revert; that was my mistake. It has been decided that in tables like this the old Conservatives should use the same colour as the Progressive Conservatives, and that the new Conservatives should have their own colour, seeing how it is legally a new party. Your edit made the old and new Conservatives share a colour, which goes against this colouring scheme. If you feel that the policy should change, you can address your conserns to the talk pages of either Wikipedia:WikiProject Political parties and politicians in Canada or Template:Canadian politics/party colours. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 02:25, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

My objections to separating the new Conservative Party of Canada from all former non-Liberal Party of Canada governments as a clear violation of NPOV has been stated on Template:Canadian politics/party colours. The Progressive Conservative Party of Canada was a new legal entity distinct from the historical Conservative Party of Canada. By portraying the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada as an heir to the historical Conservative Party of Canada while explicitly stating that the new Conservative Party of Canada is distinct from any other party that has governed Canada clearly violates NPOV by reinforcing an image the Liberal Party of Canada is trying to foster. The image that the new Conservative Party of Canada is unrelated to the history of the historical Conservative Party of Canada or the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada as the party of the centre-right in Canada. Using one colour for both Conservative Party's of Canada recognizes that the party in power at the time was legally the Conservative Party of Canada. A neutral standard that is an agreement with NPOV. Schoeppe 05:19, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

But your way isn't NPOV, it's just POV in the other direction: supporting the Conservative's view that they are a product of the historical parties. And who's POV are you using to make the PCs a different colour when the 19th century and 21st century Conservatives are the same colour? --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 06:11, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Schoeppe, the current CPC may well be the legal successor of the old PCs, but it's also the legal successor of the Canadian Alliance. It is the result of the merger of two distinct political parties. Whereas the pre-1942 Conservatives did not merge with another party to create the PCs; all they did was change their name. That's the difference here.
Your approach is not acceptably neutral, as it creates the fiction that the CPC is only related to the old Conservatives and not to any other political party. It privileges one parent over the other, and Wikipedia simply can't do that under NPOV policy. The new CPC is simultaneously the legal successor to two different political parties, which is why it can't be the same colour as just one of those two. Bearcat 11:28, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Bearcat has threatened me with being edit blocked for something I haven't done. Where does Bearcat derive the legal authority to threaten me? Bearcat states that I have not left the impression that the new CPC is related to the old PCs. That is false. I have maintained that the new CPC is related to the old CPC. None of my edits over the past two days have left new CPC with the same colour as the old CPC. Bearcat is clearly not operating from NPOV. He is pushing forth the agenda of the Canadian left, as a self-proclaimed supporter of the NDP it is understandable why he is arguing for this change. But the edits Bearcat made clearly violate NPOV. Who is Bearcat to threten me?Schoeppe 15:28, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Schoeppe, I'm going to have to disagree with your statement that "None of my edits over the past two days have left new CPC with the same colour as the old CPC", because this edit did just that. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 16:15, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
What kind of agenda could you possibly imagine that "the Canadian left" has with regards to what party colours Wikipedia uses on templates? Let's go over this one more time: the Progressive Conservatives are the same thing as the old Conservatives. The party merely changed its name, but was legally still the same organization before and after that change. The new Conservatives, however, resulted from a merger in which two distinct political organizations shut themselves down and incorporated a new third organization. That organization may be the legal successor to its parents, but it isn't the same thing as either of them.
For a comparison, if you change your name in a court of law, you're still the same person. Whereas if your parents die, you inherit all their possessions, but you don't suddenly become your parents under law; you're just their heir. If you think there's some kind of political agenda involved in promoting simple facts, you're quite frankly beyond any kind of help.
And for the record, I'm a site administrator with a responsibility to block people who violate policies such as 3RR. Bearcat 15:52, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

There is no reason to condescend or insult. "Beyond any kind of help" is not apporpriate language. The historical Conservative Party of Canada became a new legal entity when it became the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. It had to legally change it's name to be recognized under a new name in the House of Commons. That is where your argument falls apart. Your comparison is false. There appear to be only three users interested in this discussion. Does that mean the three of us can work to forge a new consensus? Or does your intransigence imbue you with the power to end all discussion on this matter? Again, the recent edits I have made have not been to use to change the colours of the old PC Party of Canada.Schoeppe 16:10, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

A name change does not constitute becoming a new legal entity distinct from the old name; it's just a name change. And you're seriously misunderstanding what's being said to you if you think anybody's accusing you of changing the PC colour; what's being said to you is that your change distorts the historical relationships that actually exist between the various conservative parties. Bearcat 16:29, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
The historical Conservative Party of Canada had to change its name to the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada in order to run candidates in the 1945 election. They were not the "same" organization as they had legally changed their name. My argument is as follows. Characterizing the new Conservative Party of Canada as separate and distinct from any historical Tory party violates NPOV. It is the view of political opponents of the new Conservative Party of Canada. If legal standing is the sole NPOV standard than the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada should have a distinct colour as well.
Arctic.gnome the edit you referred to did indeed change the colour of the old Conservative Party of Canada to the new Conservative Party of Canada. What I said was a mistake. I meant to say that none of my edits changed the colour of the Progressive Conservative Party of Canada. Schoeppe 19:01, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
And that confuses me even more. I could understand if you wanted all of the variations of the Tory parties to use the same colour, but what makes you think that the Progressive Conservatives are more different from either the 19th century Conservatives or the 21st century Conservatives than those two are different from each other? If any of them should have a different colour, why the Progressive Conservatives? --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 19:15, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
In what way was the historical CPC "not the same organization"? They changed their name, but retained the same party organization, constitution, riding associations, membership, etc. The same is not true when the PC Party dissolved and most of its members joined a new party with a new constitution, etc. If you argue that "Characterizing the new Conservative Party of Canada as separate and distinct from any historical Tory party violates NPOV", how can you not also argue that "Characterizing the new Conservative Party of Canada as separate and distinct from the Canadian Alliance party violates NPOV. "? You seem to want to consign the CA to the dustbin of history and treat the new CPC as the PC Party having absorbed the CA. That is not how it happened. The CA membership (including Stephen Harper) play a significant role in the new party. Ground Zero | t 20:22, 8 July 2007 (UTC)
Schoeppe, what you're missing is that an organization which merely changes its name does not become a new entity under law. It's the same legal entity; it just has a different name. An organization changing its name is not the same thing as an organization shutting down and reincorporating as part of a new one. Bearcat 21:44, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

I don't care about the parties of the past, I do however object to (new) being included with the Conservative Party of Canada. There is the New Democratic Party, but since the historical Conservative Party is identified as such, being historical and no longer in use, what purpose does the (new) serve? None. Remove it you say? Why, I would love to, thank you. Jeremy99 03:13, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Where is Brian Mulroney in this page?[edit]

Where is Brian Mulroney in this page? How come he is not shown? (talk) 02:31, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

Mulroney never led nor was involved with a minority government. - SimonP (talk) 13:47, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

"Longest minority government"[edit]

Contrary to Stephen Harper's propaganda, the longest minority in Canadian history was King's 1921 minority, followed by Pearson's 1965 minority. So anyway, I'm taking the part out that says Harper's was the longest. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gingerbreadmen (talkcontribs) 14:38, 13 October 2009 (UTC)


According to the Wikipedia article Canadian federal election, 1872, there were 200 seats in the House and the Conservatives won 99; wouldn't this be a minority, then? (talk) 16:22, 22 October 2009 (UTC)

Our source does not consider it to be a minority government because there were two Independent Conservative MPs and one Conservative-Labour MP. However, it might be worth mentioning the 1872 Parliament somewhere in the article. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 01:54, 21 November 2009 (UTC)

Who should be first on the list?[edit]

There have been reverts back and forth for a while regarding who should be first on the list here: the 14th Parliament of W.L.M. King or the 39th of Harper. According to our source, the 14th was longer, but it went back and forth between majority and minority. If we measure how long it actually spent as a minority, it would only be 7th place, but we have no source to verify the exactly amount of time it spent as a minority; the number listed in the prose and footnotes looks like original research. So, the question is: should we keep King's in first place like our source does, even though it is misleading, or should we put it in 7th even though it is original research? --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 21:48, 4 December 2009 (UTC)

The information about when people joined and left the parliament and when is available at the 14th parliament article. We would still need to figure a few things out, such as the date the two Progressives crossed the floor. We would also need to know whether to count the gains and losses due to by-elections as happening on the writ return date or the date the MPs took their seats. Finally, we'd need to know what those dates are. Finally, we'd need to get those dates. I assume most of those dates could be gleaned from a book about the era or about Parliament.
There is, though, an additional problem. If we got all that info and worked out the time in minority, we would be making that distinction for exactly one parliament. Are we sure about that all the others on the list being in minority for their full durations? Also, wouldn't we have add any other parliaments to the list that had brief minority periods (such as the very end of the 2nd Parliament)? Perhaps this isn't really a barrier, but is something that would have to be addressed before doing anything.
In the end, it's doable, but it requires work for determining what happened during the 14th and verifying that no others would be affected by the change. -Rrius (talk) 22:46, 4 December 2009 (UTC)
The end of the 2nd Parliament is more comparable to the second half of the 15th after the King-Bing Affair, which is currently in the list. That is another issue we should figure out: do with include the end of the 2nd and 15th? Those are way easier to calculate on our own, so I think we can more easily get away with adding those to the source than adding the 14th. In fact, I think I'll add the 2nd now to make it consistent with the 15th. We can take it out later if we decide to be slavishly loyal to our source. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 00:25, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure you know the specifics of the 2nd and 15th far better than I do, so I'll defer to you and any others who come along. -Rrius (talk) 04:12, 5 December 2009 (UTC)
I've found enough information on floor-crossings, resignations, and deaths of MPs to calculate the time as a minority, but I'm wondering how to actually cite the information. The dates themselves can each be cited, but the math would be original research. --Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 19:21, 6 December 2009 (UTC)
I don't think it would be. To me it is summarising the data, which is perfectly legit. If it were, the age templates deployed across Wikipedia would be OR. So long as the dates are sourced, calculating the distances between events is fair game. -Rrius (talk) 00:35, 7 December 2009 (UTC)

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