Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Governments of Canada

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Senate of Canada FAR[edit]

Senate of Canada has been nominated for a featured article review. Articles are typically reviewed for two weeks. Please leave your comments and help us to return the article to featured quality. If concerns are not addressed during the review period, articles are moved onto the Featured Article Removal Candidates list for a further period, where editors may declare "Keep" or "Remove" the article from featured status. The instructions for the review process are here. Reviewers' concerns are here.

Move proposal: Disambiguate Burning of Parliament (British) and Burning of the Parliament Buildings in Montreal[edit]

There is a proposal to move Burning of Parliament to Burning of British Parliament and Burning of the Parliament Buildings in Montreal to Burning of Canadian Parliament. Please take part in the discussion at Talk:Burning of Parliament#Requested move 8 May 2015. Curly Turkey ¡gobble! 15:16, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Politicians resigning/dying on election day[edit]

On Alberta's election day, after the results were clear but before all polls had reported, Jim Prentice resigned. We have a policy at WP:CANSTYLE#Terms in office saying that if a politician resigns or dies after the election but before taking office, we list them as holding the office between election day and their resignation/death. Presumably, if someone resigned or died before the election, they would never take office, even if they won the election. Jim Prentice raises the interesting question of where the cutoff line is. Should we count someone as briefly holding office if they resigns/dies on election day at a time when they probably won but not all votes are counted? —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 19:19, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

I am unsure of the context here. Prentice already held these offices, so all that should matter is what dates he is officially no longer recognized in each role. In terms of being an MLA, his resignation would have ended that on May 5. The same date may be true of his Premiership, depending on the legalities of who (if anyone) occupies the role of Premier in the time between an election and when a new Premier is sworn in. Resolute 19:38, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • In that case, since he resigned before the Assembly was even sworn in, I would say no. Though it makes sense to note that Prentice was elected but resigned immediately. Resolute 22:20, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, that's a tricky one I don't know how to handle — it's a fairly unprecedented situation that I don't think anybody ever really took into account as a possibility. While it's not unheard of for a leader to announce right away on election night that they'll be stepping down as leader, generally either they've lost their own seat, and thus their term in the legislature has already ended, or they were reelected and intend to stay on as leader and MLA/MP until a new leader is chosen, and thus their term in the legislature will continue for a few more weeks or months. But I don't think we've ever seen something like this before.
My best idea at the moment would be that for now we hang back a few more days to see what happens — even though he's announced his resignation as leader and MLA, technically he does still hold both positions until they're formally declared vacant by the appropriate authority (the party executive in the case of the leadership, Elections Alberta in the case of the MLA seat), and the processes for filling the vacancy formally initiated. It's kind of like giving notice that you're leaving a job — you've communicated your intent to resign, but for the next two weeks you do still have the job you're leaving. And political offices normally work the same way: usually when an MLA or MP announces that they're resigning their seat, they still hold it for another week or two or three to wrap up files and other business before they actually submit the paperwork to make it officialGlenn Thibeault, for instance, announced his resignation from the HoC on December 16 last year, but his seat wasn't formally vacated until January 5 of this year. And Michael Ignatieff announced his resignation as leader of the federal Liberals on May 3, 2011 — but he still held the position until May 25. Only on very, very rare occasions does the resignation take formal effect the very moment that the intention to resign has been announced — the person normally still holds the position for another couple of weeks until the necessary processes have been followed to make it official.
It now appears that an interim leader was chosen to replace Prentice earlier today, so his term as the leader of the party ended today, not on May 5. But for the moment, we still need to consider Prentice the incumbent MLA, until we can confirm that the vacancy has been formally registered with Elections Alberta. Bearcat (talk) 19:41, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Generally politicians don't immediately take office after the ballots are read. They are sworn in by the governor general or his lieutenant for that province. Usually this takes place a few weeks to a month or two after the election. They aren't in office until they are sworn in. - Floydian τ ¢ 20:21, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
    • @Floydian: I agree that they don't officially become MLAs until they're sworn in, or maybe at the official return of the writs. But how should we reconcile that with our policy of using election day as their first day in office? Should the rule be "If they eventually get sworn in, their start date is retroactive to election day, but if they don't eventually get sworn in, they never take office."? —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 20:31, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Officially that's true, but in practice it's generally not possible to reliably source the date on which an MLA's swearing-in actually occurs — it's a private one-on-one formality which occurs before the government gets formally sworn in as a government, doesn't necessarily occur on the same day for all newbies, and which doesn't actually get covered as any kind of news in its own right. Generally speaking, on their own websites virtually all legislatures denote the MLA/MPs term in office as beginning on the date of the election itself, rather than a followup date one or two weeks later — so the consensus here has been to use the date that the legislature's website uses regardless of any debate about its rightness or wrongness, because it's simply not possible for us to properly source any other date. "Officer" positions (the first minister, the cabinet, etc.) are different from regular member positions, however — that does get covered as actual news, and in the case of the cabinet we don't even know who's getting what position until the swearing-in ceremony itself. As of right now, Prentice is still the premier of Alberta in a caretaker sense — nobody's gainsaying that fact. But there's an open question about when to denote as the end of his terms as party leader and as MLA, which don't have to be the same date as the end of his term as premier. Bearcat (talk) 20:32, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • @Bearcat: He's certainly Premier until his replacement is sworn in. But remember that MLAs do not sit during elections, so for lists of MLAs the question is whether he ever retook the seat after the election. I don't think Elections Alberta is the proper source for this; they would call him the winner of the election even if he had resigned or died halfway through the campaign, and they wouldn't become involved again until a byelection is called, but such a person clearly would not have spent any time in office. A better source would be the Legislative Assembly itself. I know they didn't include Prentice when they listed the members of the 29th Legislature on their website a couple days after the election. But unfortunately they don't have a list of all past-and-present members of the current Assembly, so we don't know whether Prentice spent one hour as MLA. In my opinion, you can't be called an MLA until all of your riding's polling stations have reported. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 20:31, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Let's get things straight, right off the bat. Jim Prentice is still Premier of Alberta & will continue to be until he tenders his resignation to the Lieutenant Governor (on May 14), to make way for the appointment & swearing in of Rachel Notley. The only other way he'd ceased to be premier, would be death or the lieutenant governor dismissing him. As for an MLA? Prentice a re-elected (or about to be re-elected) MLA resigned immediately on election night May 5, 2015, therefore that should be his MLA end date. GoodDay (talk) 20:39, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
A resignation does not become official the very moment it's been announced — even regular grunts still have to give at least two weeks' notice of leaving a job, and still have the job during those two weeks. As I noted above, Michael Ignatieff announced his resignation as leader of the federal Liberals on May 3, 2011 — but he still was the leader of the federal Liberals for another three weeks after that date, and did not become the party's former leader until May 25. And Dalton McGuinty announced his resignation as premier of Ontario on October 15, 2012 — but he still was the premier of Ontario for another four months after that date. A resignation does not take effect until it's been made official, by virtue of (a) his seat as an MLA having been formally declared vacant by Elections Alberta, and (b) his position as leader having been formally accepted by the party by virtue of its choice of his replacement. Until that's been done, it's still just an announced "two weeks' notice" intention to resign, and not a fait accompli. Bearcat (talk) 20:43, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
If I recall correctly, Ignatieff did not announce his resignation as Canadian Liberal leader on May 2, 2011. He said "I will serve as long as the party wants to make me serve....". Prentice said otherwise for his Alberta PC leadership. GoodDay (talk) 21:01, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
That video is Ignatieff's speech on election night, which was May 2 rather than May 3. He did announce an actual resignation the following day — May 3, as I said in my comment — but still held the leadership for another three weeks after that. Bearcat (talk) 21:06, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Okie Doke, I missed your May 3 date :) GoodDay (talk) 21:42, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
One can hold a Ministerial position or party leader position until a replacement is found (even if one isn't an MLA). But you don't sit as an MLA until the by-election. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 22:11, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • One does not officially become an MLA until they are sworn in, or arguably when the official count is announced. Since we don't always have sources for those events, we use election day as a standard. That part is fine with me for the sake of consistency and cite-ability. However, in my humble opinion, this "retroactive to election day" rule should not be used if the person doesn't ever become an MLA. Ideally, we would have a cite-able source to tell us whether they were sworn in, but lacking that, I think we should at least exclude people who resign or die before the return of the writs. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 22:11, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
To avoid the possible confusion of exact date. I've often chosen to disregard month & day & just use year. GoodDay (talk) 22:17, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm not sure if re-elected MLAs are even sworn in again. That might just apply to newly elected candidates. Resolute 22:20, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
  • Yeah, I'm not sure about that either — of course in many cases it's a moot point, since the infobox wouldn't denote reelection to another four years as MLA or MP for the same district as a new office but simply as a continuation of the same one, but the question does come into play if a sitting member gets reelected for a redistributed and renamed district. Bearcat (talk) 22:58, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Well, just as an example, we have the case of John Dahmer, who won election as an MP in 1988 but then died scant days later before ever actually sitting in the House of Commons (and, in fact, before even being sworn in at all.) But he is still considered to have been a Member of Parliament, so it's still appropriate for us to maintain an article about him and to denote him as serving the same length of time (five days) that Parliament's website ascribes to him. And there's also the oddball case of Gary Keating — who also never actually sat in the legislature, and technically hadn't even been formally sworn in as an MLA either, but got elected and then resigned 22 days later. But there's no natural way to deem him ineligible for a Wikipedia article — where else could we go into the necessary level of contextual detail to explain how the guy won the election but then never actually served in the legislature? Bearcat (talk) 23:02, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
The Parliament website for John Dahmer shows that if you haven't resigned/died by the day after the election, you did serve for at least one day. So what's the cut-off point? What if you resign/die the morning of the election? What about after the polls close but before a winner is declared? What if, like Jim Prentice, you resign when most, but not all votes in your riding have been counted? —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:34, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

What's to be done with the article Calgary-Foothills? Shall we restore Prentice in the infobox or leave it 'vacant'? GoodDay (talk) 22:58, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

Leave it as vacant, imo. For the sake of an infobox of a single riding, I'd say the real situation on the ground is more relevant to a reader in that case than our pedantic efforts to be precise on the length of Prentice's term as MLA on his article. Resolute 01:10, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
I'm more concerned about the article 29th Alberta Legislature. If you resign/die the day before the election you aren't listed. If you resign/die the day after the election you are listed. But where is the cut-off line? When Jim Prentice resigned he was declared winner of his seat in the media, but not all votes had been counted. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 05:38, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Outgoing & Incoming MPs/MLAs[edit]

Note: We've inconsistancy throughout the MP & MLA bio articles, concerning leaving/assuming seats dates. Some use election dates & others use swearing in dates. GoodDay (talk) 21:03, 11 May 2015 (UTC)

None use "swearing-in dates"; those are almost never actually a properly sourceable fact at all. Some have historically used the date of their first formal sitting in the legislature, which isn't the same thing. A consensus was ultimately established to use the election date instead of the first-sitting date, although not all of the old articles which had used the first-sitting date have actually been corrected yet. Bearcat (talk) 21:09, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
For example: PEI MLAs who took their seats in 2007, are shown with the date June 12 (when R. Ghiz became premier), not May 28, when 2007 election was held. GoodDay (talk) 21:12, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Then that's one of those cases where a wrong date was used and still needs to be corrected. An MLA's swearing-in as an MLA does not coincide with the government's swearing-in as a government — an MLA got sworn in as an MLA in a separate ceremony from the premier-and-cabinet ceremony, which (a) occurred sometime between May 28 and June 12, (b) didn't necessarily happen on the same date for all newly elected MLAs, because each MLA is individually sworn in one-on-one rather than in any kind of en masse gathering, and (c) didn't get covered as news by anybody, and thus isn't reliably sourceable as to what exact date pertains to any given person. Bearcat (talk) 21:18, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
Okie doke. PS - If only we had been a republic ;) GoodDay (talk) 21:42, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
FWIW, the newly elected MLAs on PEI, are being called members-elect. GoodDay (talk) 21:13, 11 May 2015 (UTC)
I'd thought they were only members-elect as well FWIW when I created the articles. Usually the video of the swearing in ceremony gets posted to the Legislature website as well, by the way (for Alberta). Connormah (talk) 03:44, 14 May 2015 (UTC)

Feedback from Alberta Legislature Library[edit]

I asked someone in the legislature library and got this interesting reply:

Thank you for your request. All Members who were elected on May 5, including Mr. Prentice, are considered Members-elect until eight business days following the election (May 15) at which point they are declared elected. Following that there is a 10-day appeal period should any of the results be called in question. Members are officially considered MLAs at the end of the business day on May 25 and will be sworn in after that date before they can sit in the Assembly as Members of the 29th Legislature.
Section 139 of the Election Act ( outlines the process for a candidate who has been declared elected to disclaim that right.

So it sounds like the official start state is 8 business days + 10 days. For the sake of convenience and keeping Alberta pages in line with the rest of the country, I'm happy to keep using election day. However, in the case of Jim Prentice, notice that subsection 139(3) of the Election Act says that if a candidate declines the seat before becoming an official member, "the election in which that candidate was declared elected is void". That suggests to me that if he does his paperwork before the 25th, he never becomes a member of the 29th Assembly, and in fact was retroactively never even elected. No matter what we do, we're going to need some footnotes to explain this. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 16:51, 12 May 2015 (UTC)

Haha, I always knew that the election date was wrong to use as the ending/starting date of service for MPs & MLAs :) GoodDay (talk) 18:04, 12 May 2015 (UTC)
Sure, nobody ever thought it was the right date. But it's virtually never possible to reliably source the date that is actually the correct one — leaving us with absolutely no valid or possible choice but to arbitrarily pick one of two dates, either the election date or the date of the first legislative sitting, which are equally wrong because the real date is some almost always unverifiable date between the two. So consensus landed on the election date, solely because we had to pick something. That's the part you're missing — nobody ever thought that the election date was the right one, but it's almost always impossible to adequately source the more officially correct one (and even in the rare case where we can properly source a correct date, we can't justify treating that one person differently than we treat anybody else who was elected alongside them.) It's an issue where we're stuck in a position of having to pick one of two imperfect dates as there are no reliable sources that can actually be consulted to determine the actual "perfect" one. To be honest, I'd actually prefer, for a general MLA position, to just avoid the exact dates entirely and include only the year in the infobox — but that hasn't been the consensus position so far. Bearcat (talk) 18:12, 17 May 2015 (UTC)
@Bearcat: I agree that we have to agree on a date if we want to include more than just the year, but what do you make of the above Alberta law? It seems to me that "10 days after announcement of the official results" is a verifiable date that's more accurate than election day. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 14:52, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
The first problem I have with that is that private correspondence with an insider doesn't count as reliable sourcing for our purposes. I have no substantive reason to doubt that they're telling the truth, but we can't point to private e-mail if somebody asks about it later on — we would need to find and cite a publicly accessible source citation for the official date before we can call it verifiable by Wikipedia's definition of what verifiability means. The e-mail you received only gives an "exact text of the relevant law" citation for the "MLA-elect disclaiming the seat" portion of your request — it doesn't give us a usable citation for the "people officially become MLAs ten days after Elections Alberta confirms the official results" part.
The second problem is that it only applies to Alberta — what do we do for the other nine provinces, three territories, and the federal House of Commons, for which we still don't have a confirmed exact date? Do we institute a rule that we use the election date for every legislature in Canada except Alberta, for which we use "ten days after the official declaration of results" instead? Treating Alberta differently than anywhere else, just because it's the only province for which we've been able to locate an alternative date so far, seems a bit dodgy to me — we need a consistent practice that's common to all 14 legislatures. So as far as I'm concerned, it's an all or nothing situation — until such time as we can nail down the exact correct dates for the House of Commons and all 13 provincial and territorial legislatures, and thus are able to establish a consistent across-the-board policy that has no loopholes or exceptions or inconsistencies to it at all, knowing what date one province uses doesn't change what we should do, even for that one province's MLAs, in the meantime. YMMV, but that's my view. Bearcat (talk) 15:39, 22 May 2015 (UTC)

Federal, provinicial & territorial election results & their immediate effect.[edit]

I highly recommend that in future, when an election occurs where the results are a likely change in government, we get all related article semi-protected for about two weeks. It's almost a daily struggle to revert well-intentioned 'but' ill-conceived pre-mature edits by IPs & other newbies. The latest examples are at Jim Prentice, Rachel Notley, Alberta, Premier of Alberta etc etc.... you get the picture. GoodDay (talk) 01:55, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

  • @GoodDay: I agree. Wikipedia is usually wary of preemptive protection, but it's pretty clear that these well-intentioned edits are going to be a problem after every election. —Arctic Gnome (talkcontribs) 14:57, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
  • That has been proposed as standard practice in the past, but it's always failed — Wikipedia, as an institution, tends to be highly allergic to pre-emptive page protection on the basis that there might be a problem in the future. Unfortunately, we're stuck just having to deal with it as it happens — we can page protect if necessary once a problem has actually been identified, but cannot just automatically lock politicians' pages the moment election results which change their status have been announced. Bearcat (talk) 15:46, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
If recent polls are accurate, we'll be having a heck of a time in October 2015. GoodDay (talk) 20:09, 22 May 2015 (UTC)
Unfortunately, yes — but again, we do have the option of imposing page protection if and when a problem actually does crop up for real, so that does help mitigate things a bit (I agree not enough, but it's still better than nothing at all.) To be honest, I've long been a proponent that Wikipedia should entirely stop being editable by anonymous IPs, and should instead require full registration/login for all contributors — to me, the distinction between "anyone can edit" and "anyone can register to edit" is not compelling enough to override the significant problems we have with inaccuracies and misrepresentations and partisan spin and BLP libel other assorted bullpuckey regularly perpetrated on here. But there's never been a general consensus to move in that direction, and unfortunately there's not likely to be one anytime soon. Bearcat (talk) 20:32, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Members of the Diefenbaker government[edit]

Looking for specialists of the Diefenbaker era willing to help match names of members of the Diefenbaker government with faces on this photograph. (I tentatively identified a few but could have made mistakes. Please correct if you find any.) Thanks in advance. -- Asclepias (talk) 19:41, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

Anyone here?[edit]

Just wondering. Ottawahitech (talk) 15:46, 3 October 2016 (UTC)please ping me