Minority Government and Constitutional Convention (Viewpoint Essay) - Peter Russell

Minority Government and Constitutional Convention (Viewpoint Essay)

By Peter Russell

  • Release Date: 2010-06-22
  • Genre: Law


Four years of minority government have introduced serious strains on Canada's parliamentary institutions. This article suggests what needs to be done to strengthen parliamentary institutions whether the electorate returns a minority or a majority parliament. In January 2010 the United Kingdom's Institute for Government issued a report entitled, Making Minority Government Work. The report aims at preparing the United Kingdom for a minority government that may well result from an election due later this year. The research team who wrote the report visited Westminster parliamentary jurisdictions that have had experience with minority government in recent years: namely Canada, New Zealand and Scotland. Its chapter on Canada is headed "Canada's Dysfunctional Minority Parliament." Its message to British parliamentarians is that if you want to learn how not to operate a minority parliament take a good look at Canada. (1)