Thursday, April 21, 2011

Conservatives Have Longest Serving Minority Government?

On April 19, Conservative Candidate for Kitchener-Waterloo, Peter Braid, in his answer to a question about contempt of Parliament used the phrase, "As the longest serving minority government in Canadian history..."

His boss, Stephen Harper has said much the same thing on many recent occasions.

The Thompson Citizen Editorial said this on January 26, 2011:

"Prime Minister Stephen Harper has just passed a very significant milestone – and one few would have predicted he would ever make when he first became Prime Minister on Feb. 6, 2006. Harper has now led the longest-serving minority government in Canadian history, surpassing the record of Liberal prime minister Lester Pearson, who led a minority government during the 26th Parliament from April 22, 1963 to April 19, 1968."

Conservative bloggers and main stream media have parroted this over and over again at every opportunity. And it sounds like a very noble and commendable achievement. Only it's not true. The last Parliament (40th) lasted 872 days. The 39th Parliament lasted 937 days before Mr. Harper went on his famous trip to Rideau Hall.

The fact is that the longest duration of Parliament with a minority government was the 14th Parliament from Dec. 1921 - Sept. 1925. It lasted a total of 1329 days. Now THAT'S an accomplishment by the longest sitting Prime Minister in Canadian History. Mr. Harper, you're no Mackenzie King.

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