Canada's electoral history from 1867 to today

There's a lot of people in this database!
(And many details, too!)

by Maurice Y. Michaud (he/him)

J2019 federal compositeust as the people who vote are at the heart of every election, the people who run for office are at the heart of this database. In fact, there are 67,868 persons to be found in this section!

I have spent and I continue to spend countless hours revising the data over and over to ensure that the same person has been entered consistently and correctly. Their gender identity is also recorded, including those who identified as non-binary despite the fact that they still represent a minuscule minority of those who stand for election. Then, for every candidate for whom I could find more information (mostly those who have won, but others as well), I have created a profile showing their date of birth and death (if applicable), whether or not they died while in office, their relationship with other profiled candidates and, of course, their electoral and political history that takes into account their age at each pivotal moment of their career. All the other candidates have minimally a unique numerical identifier to make it easier and faster for you and me to pull their electoral data.

These tables summarize how many unique names are recorded in this database, by jurisdiction. The Total row makes an adjustment in order to give the real number of unique names, as the same person could have run at both levels or even in several jurisdictions. Additionally, we can see the number of electoral runs of each person, by gender identity.

Unique names
F: Federal    P: Provincial/Territorial    T: Total
Juri. M F X Total
F P T F P T F P T F P T
9 AB 1,764 4,394 6,158 414 885 1,299 0 1 1 2,178 5,280 7,458
8 BC 2,295 4,452 6,747 595 882 1,477 1 2 3 2,891 5,336 8,227
11 MB 1,172 3,135 4,307 207 476 683 1 1 2 1,380 3,612 4,992
3 NB 781 2,678 3,459 126 482 608 0 0 0 907 3,160 4,067
7 NL 324 1,316 1,640 77 268 345 0 1 1 401 1,585 1,986
2 NS 955 2,536 3,491 118 456 574 0 2 2 1,073 2,994 4,067
14 NT 61 454 515 18 106 124 0 0 0 79 560 639
13 NU 18 234 252 9 64 73 0 0 0 27 298 325
15 NW 47 175 222 0 0 0 0 0 0 47 175 222
6 ON 7,622 8,399 16,021 1,487 1,531 3,018 1 1 2 9,110 9,931 19,041
4 PE 255 1,201 1,456 41 170 211 0 0 0 296 1,371 1,667
5 QC 6,493 8,111 14,604 1,299 1,781 3,080 1 1 2 7,793 9,893 17,686
10 SK 1,090 2,879 3,969 165 423 588 0 0 0 1,255 3,302 4,557
12 YT 60 351 411 12 126 138 0 0 0 72 477 549
Total 22,937 40,315 63,252 4,568 7,650 12,218 4 9 13 27,509 47,974 75,483
Diff. = -6,545 56,707 Diff. = -1,069 11,149 Diff. = -1 12 Diff. = -7,615 67,868
The name of 243 candidates (0.36%) is incomplete. Given the nature of archiving and record keeping in the 19th century up to the mid-20th century in some jurisdictions, it is unlikely that those names will ever be found.
  Electoral runs
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10+ Total
M 73 35,027 9,819 4,499 2,729 1,792 1,095 659 387 270 357 56,707
F 5 7,896 1,852 729 339 136 80 48 17 12 35 11,149
X 0 9 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 12
T 78
0.11%
42,932
63.26%
11,673
17.2%
5,229
7.7%
3,068
4.52%
1,928
2.84%
1,175
1.73%
707
1.04%
404
0.6%
282
0.42%
392
0.58%
67,868
In other words, an important plurality of unique names appear only once in this database.
In most cases, 0 electoral run represents a person who chose not to run after having been elected prior their jurisdiction's entry into Confederation. However, a few represent unelected ministers who sat in the Senate or their jurisdiction's legislative council, senators related to an elected individual, or pre-Confederation persons of interest for whom a full profile has been created.

And as I mentioned, in addition to "Unique names," there are the people from whom there is a full profile on this website, who can be found according to multiple criteria (by gender identity, whether they are alive or not, etc.) or by category. "Elected candidate" is by far the most common category, followed by "Known but unelected candidate" and "Perennial candidate." Candidates are considered perennial if they were never elected and ran five times or more at the federal or provincial level. By that definition, there are 831 such candidates, representing only 1.22% of all unique names, but 113 of which (13.60%) have a full profile. Extreme perennials are those who ran ten times or more, of which there are 106, or 0.16% of all unique names but 45 of which (42.45%) have a full profile. Eventually getting closer to 100% for this sub-category would definitely be wonderful!

What brings this database to a higher level compared to others of its kind is the fact that each profile usually has at least one link to an external website which leads to more details on the profiled individual. It is by following some of the 33,035 links recorded so far to 29,959 online documents that you are likely to get engrossed as I did into reading about some of these individuals. So the second table shows the number of profiles by the number of links they have (links to bilingual websites are counted only once), while the last table shows how many of these individuals have or had at least one familial link with another profiled individual.

Profiles in PoliCan (22.31%)*
Alive    Dead
Category
M F X Total
T T T T
Elected 3,490 9,456 12,946 1,092 192 1,284 3 0 3 4,585 9,648 14,233
Unelected 131 568 699 52 38 90 4 0 4 187 606 793
Perennial 50 48 98 12 4 16 0 0 0 62 52 114
Total 3,671 10,072 13,743 1,156 234 1,390 7 0 7 4,834 10,306 15,140
* Percentage of unique names with a full profile

The profile of someone elected prior to Confederation but NOT afterwards has been filed in the "Elected" category, while the profile of someone elected only at the municipal or county level has been filed in "Known but unelected candidate" as those lower levels of government are outside the scope of this database. Senators who served in cabinet have also been filed in "Known but unelected candidate" if they have never been elected federally or provincially.

While the relatively small number of profiles for women is glaring, it is interesting to note that most of the women who have a profile are still alive. Even though women have had the right to vote for a bit more than a century in most jurisdictions, they only started to be elected in more significant numbers to legislative assemblies in the 1980s, and parity with men is still very far from being achieved.
  Number of profiles with X external links
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10+ Total
M 88 3,064 6,128 3,660 577 172 44 8 2 0 0 13,743
F 1 277 476 584 40 4 5 1 1 0 1 1,390
X 0 3 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
T 89 3,344 6,605 4,247 617 176 49 9 3 0 1 15,140
Links 3,344 13,210 12,741 2,468 880 294 63 24 0 11 33,035
The most common number of external links per profile is 2, 3, and 1 respectively. Of concern at this time are the 89 profiles (0.59%) for which there is not yet an external link, as all but two represent elected persons about whom nothing is known.

Profiles with family relations (13.92%)**
Alive    Dead
Category
M F X Total
T T T T
Elected 268 1,521 1,789 101 36 137 0 0 0 369 1,557 1,926
Unelected 29 112 141 18 8 26 0 0 0 47 120 167
Perennial 3 8 11 2 1 3 0 0 0 5 9 14
Total 300 1,641 1,941 121 45 166 0 0 0 421 1,686 2,107
** Percentage of full profiles with at least one family relation

So far, 2,962 connections have been found and noted (parents, grandparents, siblings, cousins, spouses, domestic partners, etc.). A connection between two persons results in a pair of connection records in this database — for example: (1) would indicate that Robert was the father of Maurice and (2) would indicate that Maurice was the son of Robert.

So if your Uncle Charlie, or your great-grandfather, or even you ran in a federal or provincial election, if should take you only a few seconds to find the details now that you have arrived on this website!



© 2022 Maurice Y. Michaud :: PoliCan.ca
Pub.:  5 Jun 2022 18:20
Rev.: 13 Jun 2022 18:59 (but data revised dynamically)