List of Canadian federal parliaments

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A view of a building interior with a chandelier hanging from the ceiling, four stain-glass windows on the left wall, and a large number of brown desks and green chairs on the floor.
The Chamber of the House of Commons

The Parliament of Canada is the legislative body of the Government of Canada. The Parliament is composed of the House of Commons (lower house), the Senate (upper house), and the Sovereign, represented by the Governor General. Most major legislation originates from the House, as it is the only body that is directly elected. A new parliament begins after an election of the House of Commons and can sit for up to five years. The number of seats in parliament has varied as new provinces joined the country and as population distribution between the provinces changed; there are currently 308 MPs and 105 Senators (when there are no vacancies).

Canada uses a Westminster-style parliamentary government, in which the leader of the party with the most seats in the House of Commons becomes Prime Minister, even if he or she is not an elected member of parliament. The leader of the party with the second-most seats in the House becomes the Leader of the Official Opposition, and debate (formally called Oral Questions) between the parties is presided over by the Speaker of the House. When the party with the most seats has less than half of the total number of seats, it forms a minority government, which can be voted out of power by the other parties. The Canadian Parliament is located at Parliament Hill in the capital city, Ottawa. The current assembly, as of October 2011, is the first session of the 41st Canadian Parliament, since the confederation of Canada in 1867.

Parliaments[edit]

Diagram[nb 1] Parliament
Election[1][2]
Sessions[3]
Duration Government Opposition
Writs Returned[4] Dissolution[4] Governing Party[2][5]
 • Prime Minister[2][6]Ministry[2][5][7]
House seat count as of election[2][8]
Senate seat count as of election[9]
Official Opposition Party[10]
 • Leader of the Opposition[10]
Third Parties with official party status
Chambre des Communes 1867.png 1st Canadian Parliament
Elected 1867
5 sessions
Sep. 24, 1867 Jul. 8, 1872 Conservative Party
 • Sir John A. Macdonald1st Canadian Ministry
100 of 180 House seats[nb 2] none  • Liberal Party
 • Anti-Confederation Party
Chambre des Communes 1872.png 2nd Canadian Parliament
Elected 1872
2 sessions
Sep. 3, 1872 Jan. 2, 1874 Conservative Party (1872–1873)
 • Sir John A. Macdonald1st Canadian Ministry
99 of 200 House seats[nb 3]
Liberal Party
 • Alexander Mackenzie
none
Liberal Party (1873–1874)[nb 4]
 • Alexander Mackenzie2nd Canadian Ministry
95 of 200 House seats (minority) Conservative Party
 • Sir John A. Macdonald
Chambre des Communes 1874.png 3rd Canadian Parliament
Elected 1874
5 sessions
Feb. 21, 1874 Aug. 16, 1878 Liberal Party
 • Alexander Mackenzie2nd Canadian Ministry
129 of 206 House seats Conservative Party
 • Sir John A. Macdonald
none
Chambre des Communes 1878.png 4th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1878
4 sessions
Nov. 21, 1878 May 18, 1882 Conservative Party
 • Sir John A. Macdonald3rd Canadian Ministry
134 of 206 House seats Liberal Party
 • Alexander Mackenzie (1878–1880)
 • Edward Blake (1880–1882)
none
Chambre des Communes 1882.png 5th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1882
4 sessions
Aug. 7, 1882 Jan. 15, 1887 Conservative Party
 • Sir John A. Macdonald3rd Canadian Ministry
133 of 211 House seats Liberal Party
 • Edward Blake
none
Chambre des Communes 1887.png 6th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1887
4 sessions
Apr. 13, 1887 Feb. 3, 1891 Conservative Party
 • Sir John A. Macdonald3rd Canadian Ministry
122 of 215 House seats Liberal Party
 • Edward Blake (1887)
 • Wilfrid Laurier (1887–1896)
none
Chambre des Communes 1891.png 7th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1891
6 sessions
Apr. 7, 1891 Apr. 24, 1896 Conservative Party
 • Sir John A. Macdonald3rd Canadian Ministry (1891)
 • Sir John Abbott4th Canadian Ministry (1891–1892)
 • Sir John Thompson5th Canadian Ministry (1892–1894)
 • Sir Mackenzie Bowell6th Canadian Ministry (1894–1896)[nb 5]
117 of 215 House seats Liberal Party
 • Wilfrid Laurier
none
Chambre des Communes 1896.png 8th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1896
5 sessions
Jul. 13, 1896 Oct. 9, 1900 Liberal Party
 • Sir Wilfrid Laurier8th Canadian Ministry
117 of 213 House seats Conservative Party
 • Sir Charles Tupper
none
Chambre des Communes 1900.png 9th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1900
4 sessions
Dec. 5, 1900 Sep. 29, 1904 Liberal Party
 • Sir Wilfrid Laurier8th Canadian Ministry
128 of 213 House seats Conservative Party
 • Robert Borden
none
Chambre des Communes 1904.png 10th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1904
4 sessions
Dec. 15, 1904 Sep. 17, 1908 Liberal Party
 • Sir Wilfrid Laurier8th Canadian Ministry
137 of 214 House seats Conservative Party
 • Robert Borden
none
Cdn1908.PNG 11th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1908
3 sessions
Dec. 3, 1908 Jul. 29, 1911 Liberal Party
 • Sir Wilfrid Laurier8th Canadian Ministry
133 of 221 House seats Conservative Party
 • Robert Borden
none
Cdn1911.PNG 12th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1911
7 sessions
Oct. 7, 1911 Oct. 6, 1917 Conservative Party
 • Sir Robert Borden9th Canadian Ministry
132 of 221 House seats Liberal Party
 • Sir Wilfrid Laurier
none
Chambre des Communes 1917.png 13th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1917
5 sessions
Mar. 16, 1918 Oct. 4, 1921 Unionist coalition (1918–1920)
 • Sir Robert Borden10th Canadian Ministry
153 of 235 House seats (coalition)[nb 6] Laurier Liberals
 • Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1918–1919)
 • Daniel Duncan McKenzie (1919)
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King (1919–1921)
none
National Liberal and Conservative Party (1920–1921)
 • Arthur Meighen11th Canadian Ministry
Cdn1921.PNG 14th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1921
4 sessions
Jan. 15, 1922 Sep. 5, 1925 Liberal Party
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King12th Canadian Ministry
118 of 235 House seats[nb 7] Conservative Party[nb 8]
 • Arthur Meighen
 • Progressive Party
Chambre des Communes 1925.png 15th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1925
1 session
Dec. 7, 1925 Jul. 2, 1926 Liberal Party (1925–1926)
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King12th Canadian Ministry
100 of 245 House seats (minority)[nb 9] Conservative Party (1925–1926)
 • Arthur Meighen
 • Progressive Party
Conservative Party (1926)
 • Arthur Meighen13th Canadian Ministry
115 of 245 House seats (minority)[nb 10] Liberal Party (1926)
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King
Chambre des Communes 1926.png 16th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1926
4 sessions
Nov. 2, 1926 May 30, 1930 Liberal Party
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King14th Canadian Ministry
116 of 245 House seats (minority)[nb 11] Conservative Party
 • Hugh Guthrie (1926–1927)
 • Richard Bennett (1927–1930)
none
Chambre des Communes 1930.png 17th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1930
6 sessions
Aug. 18, 1930 Aug. 14, 1935 Conservative Party
 • Richard Bennett15th Canadian Ministry
134 of 245 House seats Liberal Party
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King
none
Chambre des Communes 1935.png 18th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1935
6 sessions
Nov. 9, 1935 Jan. 25, 1940 Liberal Party
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King16th Canadian Ministry
173 of 245 House seats Conservative Party
 • Richard Bennett (1935–1938)
 • Robert Manion (1938–1940)
 • Social Credit Party
Chambre des Communes 1940.png 19th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1940
6 sessions
Apr. 17, 1940 Apr. 16, 1945 Liberal Party
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King16th Canadian Ministry
179 of 245 House seats Conservative Party[nb 12]
 • Richard Hanson (1940–1942)
 • Gordon Graydon (1943–1945)
none
Chambre des Communes 1945.png 20th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1945
5 sessions
Aug. 9, 1945 Apr. 30, 1949 Liberal Party
 • William Lyon Mackenzie King16th Canadian Ministry (1945–1948)
 • Louis St. Laurent17th Canadian Ministry (1948–1949)
118 of 245 House seats Progressive Conservative Party
 • John Bracken (1945–1948)
 • George Drew (1948–1949)
 • Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
 • Social Credit Party
Chambre des Communes 1949.png 21st Canadian Parliament
Elected 1949
7 sessions
Aug. 29, 1949 Jun. 13, 1953 Liberal Party
 • Louis St. Laurent17th Canadian Ministry
191 of 262 House seats Progressive Conservative Party
 • George Drew
 • Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
Chambre des Communes 1953.png 22nd Canadian Parliament
Elected 1953
5 sessions
Oct. 8, 1953 Apr. 12, 1957 Liberal Party
 • Louis St. Laurent17th Canadian Ministry
169 of 265 House seats Progressive Conservative Party
 • George Drew (1953–1954)
 • William Earl Rowe (1954–1955)
 • George Drew (1955–1956)
 • John Diefenbaker (1956–1957)
 • Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
 • Social Credit Party
Chambre des Communes 1957.png 23rd Canadian Parliament
Elected 1957
1 session
Aug. 8, 1957 Feb. 1, 1958 Progressive Conservative Party
 • John Diefenbaker18th Canadian Ministry
111 of 265 House seats (minority) Liberal Party
 • Louis St. Laurent (1957–1958)
 • Lester B. Pearson (1958)
 • Co-operative Commonwealth Federation
 • Social Credit Party
Chambre des Communes 1958.png 24th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1958
5 sessions
Apr. 30, 1958 Apr. 19, 1962 Progressive Conservative Party
 • John Diefenbaker18th Canadian Ministry
208 of 265 House seats Liberal Party
 • Lester B. Pearson
none
Chambre des Communes 1962.png 25th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1962
1 session
Jul. 18, 1962 Feb. 6, 1963 Progressive Conservative Party
 • John Diefenbaker18th Canadian Ministry
116 of 265 House seats (minority) Liberal Party
 • Lester B. Pearson
 • Social Credit Party
 • New Democratic Party
Chambre des Communes 1963.png 26th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1963
3 sessions
May 8, 1963 Sep. 8, 1965 Liberal Party
 • Lester B. Pearson19th Canadian Ministry
128 of 265 House seats (minority)[nb 13] Progressive Conservative Party
 • John Diefenbaker
 • Social Credit Party
 • New Democratic Party
Chambre des Communes 1965.png 27th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1965
2 sessions
Dec. 9, 1965 Apr. 23, 1968 Liberal Party
 • Lester B. Pearson19th Canadian Ministry
131 of 265 House seats (minority)[nb 14] Progressive Conservative Party
 • John Diefenbaker (1965–1967)
 • Michael Starr (1967)
 • Robert Stanfield (1967–1968)
 • New Democratic Party
Chambre des Communes 1968.png 28th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1968
4 sessions
Jul. 25, 1968 Sep. 1, 1972 Liberal Party
 • Pierre Trudeau20th Canadian Ministry
154 of 264 House seats Progressive Conservative Party
 • Robert Stanfield
 • New Democratic Party
 • Ralliement créditiste
Chambre des Communes 1972.png 29th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1972
2 sessions
Nov. 20, 1972 May 9, 1974 Liberal Party
 • Pierre Trudeau20th Canadian Ministry
109 of 264 House seats (minority) Progressive Conservative Party
 • Robert Stanfield
 • New Democratic Party
 • Social Credit Party
Chambre des Communes 1974.png 30th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1974
4 sessions
Jul. 31, 1974 Mar. 26, 1979 Liberal Party
 • Pierre Trudeau20th Canadian Ministry
141 of 264 House seats
76 of 102 Senate seats
Progressive Conservative Party
 • Robert Stanfield (1974–1976)
 • Joe Clark (1976–1979)
 • New Democratic Party
Chambre des Communes 1979.png 31st Canadian Parliament
Elected 1979
1 session
Jun. 11, 1979 Dec. 14, 1979 Progressive Conservative Party
 • Joe Clark21st Canadian Ministry
136 of 282 House seats (minority)
18 of 104 Senate seats
Liberal Party
 • Pierre Trudeau
 • New Democratic Party
Cdn1980.PNG 32nd Canadian Parliament
Elected 1980
2 sessions
Mar. 10, 1980 Jul. 9, 1984 Liberal Party
 • Pierre Trudeau22nd Canadian Ministry (1980–1984)
 • John Turner23rd Canadian Ministry (1984)
147 of 282 House seats
71 of 104 Senate seats
Progressive Conservative Party
 • Joe Clark (1980–1983)
 • Brian Mulroney (1983–1984)
 • New Democratic Party
Cdn1984.PNG 33rd Canadian Parliament
Elected 1984
2 sessions
Sep. 24, 1984 Oct. 1, 1988 Progressive Conservative Party
 • Brian Mulroney24th Canadian Ministry
211 of 282 House seats
23 of 104 Senate seats
Liberal Party
 • John Turner
 • New Democratic Party
Canada 1988 Federal Election seats.svg 34th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1988
3 sessions
Dec. 12, 1988 Sep. 8, 1993 Progressive Conservative Party
 • Brian Mulroney24th Canadian Ministry (1988–1993)
 • Kim Campbell25th Canadian Ministry (1993)
169 of 295 House seats
36 of 104 Senate seats[nb 15]
Liberal Party
 • John Turner (1988–1990)
 • Herb Gray (1990)
 • Jean Chrétien (1990–1993)
 • New Democratic Party
Canada 1993 Federal Election seats.svg 35th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1993
2 sessions
Nov. 15, 1993 Apr. 27, 1997 Liberal Party
 • Jean Chrétien26th Canadian Ministry
177 of 295 House seats
41 of 104 Senate seats
Bloc Québécois
 • Lucien Bouchard (1993–1996)
 • Gilles Duceppe (1996)
 • Michel Gauthier (1996)
 • Gilles Duceppe (1996–1997)
 • Reform Party
Cdn1997.PNG 36th Canadian Parliament
Elected 1997
2 sessions
Jun. 23, 1997 Oct. 22, 2000 Liberal Party
 • Jean Chrétien26th Canadian Ministry
155 of 301 House seats
51 of 104 Senate seats
Reform Party (1997–2000)
 • Preston Manning
 • Bloc Québécois
 • New Democratic Party
 • Progressive Conservative Party
Canadian Alliance (2000)
 • Deborah Grey (2000)
 • Stockwell Day (2000)
Cdn2000.PNG 37th Canadian Parliament
Elected 2000
3 sessions
Dec. 18, 2000 May 23, 2004 Liberal Party
 • Jean Chrétien26th Canadian Ministry (2000–2003)
 • Paul Martin27th Canadian Ministry (2003–2004)
172 of 301 House seats
55 of 105 Senate seats
Canadian Alliance (2000–2004)
 • Stockwell Day (2000)
 • John Reynolds (2001–2002)
 • Stephen Harper (2002–2004)
 • Grant Hill (2004)
 • Bloc Québécois
 • New Democratic Party
 • Progressive Conservative Party
Conservative Party (2004)
 • Grant Hill (2004)
 • Stephen Harper (2004)
 • Bloc Québécois
 • New Democratic Party
Elec2004.PNG 38th Canadian Parliament
Elected 2004
1 session
Jul. 19, 2004 Nov. 29, 2005 Liberal Party
 • Paul Martin27th Canadian Ministry
135 of 308 House seats (minority)[nb 16]
64 of 105 Senate seats
Conservative Party
 • Stephen Harper
 • Bloc Québécois
 • New Democratic Party
Canada 2006 Federal Election seats.svg 39th Canadian Parliament
Elected 2006
2 sessions
Feb. 13, 2006 Sep. 7, 2008 Conservative Party
 • Stephen Harper28th Canadian Ministry
124 of 308 House seats (minority)
23 of 105 Senate seats
Liberal Party
 • Bill Graham (2006)
 • Stéphane Dion (2006–2008)
 • Bloc Québécois
 • New Democratic Party
40th Can House.svg 40th Canadian Parliament
Elected 2008
3 sessions
Nov. 4, 2008 Mar. 26, 2011 Conservative Party
 • Stephen Harper28th Canadian Ministry
143 of 308 House seats (minority)
21 of 105 Senate seats
Liberal Party
 • Stéphane Dion (2008)
 • Michael Ignatieff (2008–2011)
 • Bloc Québécois
 • New Democratic Party
41st Can House.svg 41st Canadian Parliament
Elected 2011
1 session (as of 2014)
May 23, 2011 Conservative Party
 • Stephen Harper28th Canadian Ministry
166 of 308 House seats
52 of 105 Senate seats
New Democratic Party
 • Jack Layton (2011)
 • Nycole Turmel (2011–2012)
 • Thomas Mulcair (2012–present)
 • Liberal Party

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The diagrams show the composition of each parliament, colour-coded by party (click on an image to see its key) and arranged as the MPs might sit. The speaker of the house is shown on the left hand side, with the governing party on the speaker's right (the bottom of the diagram) and the opposition on the speaker's left (the top).
  2. ^ In Canada's early parliaments, many members of the Conservative Party, including the Prime Minister, used other labels for themselves, the most common being "Liberal-Conservative". The seat totals here is the sum of all labels Conservative Party labels.
  3. ^ There were two Independent Conservatives in the 2nd Parliament, giving the government an effective majority.
  4. ^ After the 2nd parliament's Pacific Scandal, the Liberals took power between elections.[11]
  5. ^ After the dissolution of the 7th Canadian Parliament, Mackenzie Bowell stepped down and Sir Charles Tupper became Prime Minister on May 1, 1896. Tupper was the only Prime Minister during the 1896 election campaign, which he lost, so he was never Prime Minister of a sitting parliament and is therefore not included in this list.[12]
  6. ^ During the First World War, Borden governed from a united party with a Cabinet of 12 Conservatives, 9 Liberals and Independents, and 1 "Labour" MP. There were, however, still a number of MPs in opposition to him.[13]
  7. ^ In the 14th Parliament, King’s Liberals won exactly enough seats to form a slim majority government, and due to resignations and floor crossing, they shifted back and forth between majority and minority status. However, the government was in little danger of losing a confidence vote because the Progressive party usually allowed free votes among its members, some of whom would always vote with the government.
  8. ^ In the 14th parliament, the new Progressive Party led by Thomas Crerar had the second-most seats, yet Arthur Meighen's Conservatives formed official opposition.
  9. ^ In the 15th parliament, Mackenzie King's Liberals were initially supported by some members of the Progressive Party of Canada until one of King's appointees in the Department of Customs and Excise was revealed to have taken bribes.
  10. ^ In the 15th parliament, Arthur Meighen's Conservatives had the most seats, but Mackenzie King formed the government with the support of the Progressive Party. After the King–Byng Affair, Arthur Meighen's Conservatives took power between elections.
  11. ^ In the 16th parliament, Mackenzie King's Liberals were supported by some members of the Progressive Party of Canada, which did not enforce strict party discipline.
  12. ^ In the 1940 election, Hanson's Conservative's ran under the name "National Government".
  13. ^ In the 26th parliament, Pearson's Liberals were initially supported by Tommy Douglas's New Democratic Party without forming an official coalition.
  14. ^ In the 27th parliament, Pearson's Liberals relied on the small opposition parties in order to remain in power without forming an official coalition.
  15. ^ In 1990, Prime Minister Brian Mulroney used Section 26 of the Constitution, a never-before used clause, to fill the Senate above its regular limit, giving his party 54 of 112 seats.
  16. ^ In the 38th parliament, Martin's Liberals were initially supported by Jack Layton's New Democratic Party without forming an official coalition.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Canada. "General Elections". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-06-14. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Canada. "Prime Ministers of Canada: Political Information - Governmental Majorities and Minorities". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  3. ^ Canada. "Parliaments - Duration of Sessions". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  4. ^ a b Canada. "Key Dates for each Parliament". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  5. ^ a b Canada. "Duration of Canadian Ministries: 1867 to Date". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  6. ^ Canada. "Prime Ministers of Canada". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  7. ^ Canada. "Guide to Canadian Ministries since Confederation". Privy Council Office. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  8. ^ Canada. "Party Standings (1980 to Date): In the House of Commons". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  9. ^ Canada. "Party Standings (1974 to date): In the Senate". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-10-31. 
  10. ^ a b Canada. "Leaders of the Official Opposition in the House of Commons Since 1873". Library of Parliament. Retrieved 2011-06-18. 
  11. ^ Terence Allan Crowley; Rae Murphy (1993). Canadian History: Canada Since 1867 Essentials. Research & Education Association. p. 8. ISBN 0-87891-917-1. 
  12. ^ Frances Stanford (2002). The Prime Ministers of Canada. S&S Learning Materials. p. 24. ISBN 1-55035-721-2. 
  13. ^ Robert Bothwell; Ian Drummond; John English (1990). Canada, 1900-1945. University of Toronto Press. p. 129. ISBN 0-8020-6801-4.