Thursday, February 19, 2004


No, I'm not advocating another new statutory holiday. I draw attention to the fact that today is 'Tupper Day' for Prime Minister Martin. As of today Martin has been prime minister for seventy days and as such has surpassed Sir Charles Tupper as Canada's shortest serving prime minister. However Martin is eventually remembered it will not be as the shortest serving PM ever.

Martin will likely also outlast the records of John Turner (80 days, March 1st) and Kim Campbell (132 days, April 21st). If Martin postpones the election until the autumn he has a good chance of surpassing prime ministers Meighen and Clark as well. On August 8th he would surpass Meighen who served 240 days (non-consecutively) and on September 10th he would pass Joe Clark who served 273 days.

Sir Charles Tupper has the unfortunate distinction of having served as prime minister for a mere sixty-nine days, however, he had a distinguished political career. He was premiere of Nova Scotia prior to Confederation. He was a Nova Scotian Father of Confederation attending the Charlottetown, Quebec and London conferences. He convinced Confederation opponent Joseph Howe (quoted at the top of this page) to accept the union and join the ministry of Prime Minister Macdonald. Tupper himself served in various ministries in the Macdonald governments as well as High Commissioner to London. After losing office in 1896 to Wilfrid Laurier he remained leader of the Conservative party until 1901.

Posted by Matthew @ 1:38 a.m.