October 17, 2021

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A minority government, how does it work?

Recent polls from poll site 338 Canada show that Canadians are preparing to elect another minority government. We examined experts to learn about various possible situations.


Coralie Laplande

Coralie Laplande
Press

What is a minority government?

The minority government does not have a majority in the Lok Sabha. Andre Lamarex, a political scientist and professor of political science at the University of Quebec in Montreal, explains that “the total number of seats in the opposition is higher than the number of seats controlled by the government party.” UQAM). In Canada, an absolute majority is achieved when a party wins 170 seats out of 338.

Can Justin Trudeau’s Liberals win less seats and rule than Erin O’Dowl’s Conservatives?

Yes it is possible. The outgoing Prime Minister will remain in power until he resigns or loses the confidence of the House. The election call leads to the dissolution of parliament (legislative power), but not the cabinet with the prime minister and his ministers (executive power). “The outgoing prime minister has, first and foremost, the right to seek the confidence of the legislature, even if another leader succeeds in electing a large number of representatives,” explains Professor Jean Leclair. Law of the University of Montreal. This situation is conceivable when the difference in seats between the two parties is small. Justin Trudeau may try to gain the temporary support or formal support of some opposition parties in order to retain power.

What is the average lifespan of a minority government?

On average, minority governments last 18 to 24 months. “At the end of 18 to 24 months, we are coming at a time when tensions are very strong and other parties are ready to overthrow the government,” said Mark Andre Bodet, a professor of political science at Laval University.

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Elections are scheduled on fixed dates every four years. Why does a minority government choose to call elections before its deadline?

In a minority government, the party in power must continue to negotiate with other parties, thus making concessions. A situation that controls its room for maneuver. “Justin Trudeau wants both hands on the wheel and no one else should touch the wheel,” Andre Lamorex said of the last election call. However, in the context of a minority government, even if the negotiations are very intense, this does not mean that the government is paralyzed. On the contrary, many things are done [en situation de gouvernement minoritaire] Says Hugo Sayre, professor of political science and law at UQAM. For example, in 1965 Lester B. Pearson’s government, with the support of the New Democrats (NDP), was able to pass legislation to create universal health insurance across Canada.

What is a confidence vote?

“The policy of a responsible government ensures that those who form the government always have the confidence of the General Assembly,” Hugo Zaire said. Thus, many confidence votes take place during the time of the minority government. The first is on the throne speech and the second on the budget. But the confidence vote reflects the position taken by elected officials on any significant bill, says Andre Lamorex. Members may also submit a formal motion for audit. If the government of the day “fails” in these votes, the government will fall. In such a case, the leader of the ruling party must submit his resignation to the Governor-General. If the latest election is recent, it could ask the head of another government (or coalition of parties) to try to form a new government. If the party leader fails in his attempt to win a majority in the House, he may ask the Governor-General to dissolve parliament and call new elections.

Photo by Justin Tang, archiving Canadian bond

Mary Simon, Governor-General of Canada

What is a coalition government?

A coalition government is formed when members of parliament from different parties hold cabinet positions. For example, in 1917, Robert Borden’s Conservative government was the result of an alliance between conservatives and dissident Liberals. Prior to the Confederacy, from 1848 to 1867, all governments in the United Canada were coalition governments. Most recently, in 2017, a coalition government was formed in British Columbia. On May 9, the Liberal Party’s Christy Clark won 43 seats, the NDP 41, and the Green Party 3 seats, Mr Lamarex recalled. In June, after defeating Christy Clarke’s government in a vote of confidence, the NDP and the Greens invited the state’s lieutenant governor to form a government, which was accepted, the professor continues. Also, in 2008, the hypothesis of a “semi-coalition government” was raised by the Canadian Liberal Party, led by Stephen Dion, Gilles Duseb, Black Kubekois and the NDP, along with chef Jack Layton, Andre Lamorex notes. The parties sought to reach a coalition agreement that promised to support the LBC-led government for at least two years. However, Conservative leader Stephen Harper broke the bill by asking parliament to adjourn.

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Can the minority government allow other types of alliances to stay in power?

Apart from the coalition government, two other types of coalitions allow the ruling party to maintain the confidence of parliament, details Mark Andre Bodet. The parties can form a parliamentary alliance, that is, an agreement with a party that supports the government on a number of issues. However, the frequent situation in Canada, sometimes with some support from other parties, during the last command of Justin Trudeau’s Liberals, was sometimes supported by the NPD’s Black Quebecois. .

Can the parties join the Black Cubs after Monday’s election?

According to Hugo Zir, it is not possible for a coalition government to formally form part of the Black Quebeco government. “Black Quebecois, on the other hand, agrees to support a party that will form the government, as it did in 2008,” he said. In this case, two options are possible. The professor explains that in exchange for various concessions, the constituency may decide to support a party “piece by piece” during certain confidence votes. Or, as in 2008, the Black Quebecos could pledge to support one party for two years.

How many minority governments have sat in Canadian history?

A total of 13 minority governments have ruled Canada since 1921.

Minority Governments in Canadian History

  • William Leon McKenzie King, Liberal Party, 1921-1925
  • William Leon McKenzie King, Liberal Party, 1925-1926
  • Arthur Maken, Conservative Party, 1926
  • John Tiffenbaker, Conservative Party, 1957-1958
  • John Tiffenbaker, Conservative Party, 1962-1963
  • Lester b. Pearson, Liberal Party, 1963 to 1965
  • Lester b. Pearson, Liberal Party, 1965 to 1968
  • Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Liberal Party, 1972 to 1974
  • Joe Clark, Conservative Party, 1979-80
  • Paul Martin, Liberal Party, 2004 to 2006
  • Stephen Harper, Conservative Party, 2006-2008
  • Stephen Harper, Conservative Party, 2008-2011
  • Justin Trudeau, Liberal Party, 2019 to 2021
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Source: Canadian Encyclopedia

Minority Governments in Canadian History

William Leon McKenzie King, Liberal Party, 1921-1925

William Leon McKenzie King, Liberal Party, 1925-1926

Arthur Maken, Conservative Party, 1926

John Tiffenbaker, Conservative Party, 1957-1958

John Tiffenbaker, Conservative Party, 1962-1963

Lester b. Pearson, Liberal Party, 1963 to 1965

Lester b. Pearson, Liberal Party, 1965 to 1968

Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Liberal Party, 1972 to 1974

Joe Clark, Conservative Party, 1979-80

Paul Martin, Liberal Party, 2004 to 2006

Stephen Harper, Conservative Party, 2006-2008

Stephen Harper, Conservative Party, 2008-2011

Justin Trudeau, Liberal Party, 2019 to 2021

Source: Canadian Encyclopedia