Canada's electoral history from 1867 to today

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

by Maurice Y. Michaud (he/him)

2019 federal compositeJust as the people who vote are at the heart of every election, the people who run for office are at the heart of PoliCan. In fact, there are 69,029 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 candidates have at least a unique numerical identifier to make it easier and faster for you and me to pull their electoral data. As a result, PoliCan is very likely the only website where you can obtain, in under 10 seconds and one mouse click, the complete list of the members of Parliament since 1867.

These tables summarize how many distinct candidates are recorded in PoliCan, 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.

Distinct candidates
F: Federal    P: Provincial/Territorial    T: Total
Juri. Total Men (M) Women (F) Non binary (X)
F P T F P T F P T F P T
9 AB 2,182 5,512 7,694 1,765 4,542 6,307 417 969 1,386 0 1 1
8 BC 2,892 5,439 8,331 2,294 4,518 6,812 597 919 1,516 1 2 3
11 MB 1,422 3,726 5,148 1,208 3,209 4,417 214 516 730 0 1 1
3 NB 907 3,197 4,104 781 2,701 3,482 126 496 622 0 0 0
7 NL 402 1,591 1,993 325 1,319 1,644 77 271 348 0 1 1
2 NS 1,074 3,002 4,076 956 2,542 3,498 118 458 576 0 2 2
14 NT 80 592 672 62 473 535 18 119 137 0 0 0
13 NU 27 298 325 18 234 252 9 64 73 0 0 0
15 NW 47 175 222 47 175 222 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 ON 9,147 9,980 19,127 7,643 8,429 16,072 1,503 1,549 3,052 1 2 3
4 PE 297 1,448 1,745 256 1,237 1,493 41 210 251 0 1 1
5 QC 7,795 10,376 18,171 6,494 8,395 14,889 1,300 1,981 3,281 1 0 1
10 SK 1,257 3,347 4,604 1,092 2,905 3,997 165 442 607 0 0 0
12 YT 72 477 549 60 351 411 12 125 137 0 1 1
Total 27,601 49,160 76,761 23,001 41,030 64,031 4,597 8,119 12,716 3 11 14
Diff. = -7,732 69,029 Diff. = -6,620 57,411 Diff. = -1,111 11,605 Diff. = -1 13
The name of 250 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 117 35,369 9,894 4,572 2,816 1,820 1,114 674 393 275 367 57,411
F 11 8,149 1,914 780 387 161 84 49 21 12 37 11,605
X 0 8 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 13
T 128
0.19%
43,526
63.05%
11,812
17.11%
5,353
7.75%
3,203
4.64%
1,981
2.87%
1,198
1.74%
723
1.05%
414
0.6%
287
0.42%
404
0.59%
69,029
In other words, an important plurality of unique names appear only once in PoliCan.

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 "Distinct candidates," there are the people for 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."

What sets PoliCan apart from other websites 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 37,222 links recorded so far to 34,108 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 (22.69%)*
Alive    Dead    T Total
Category
Total Men (M) Women (F) Non binary (X)
T T T T
Elected 4,548
4,069
9,852
4,399
14,400
8,468
3,402
2,943
9,638
4,191
13,040
7,134
1,141
1,121
214
208
1,355
1,329
5
5
0
0
5
5
Unelected 326
284
799
489
1,125
773
224
187
735
441
959
628
99
94
64
48
163
142
3
3
0
0
3
3
Perennial 68
58
68
41
136
99
54
45
64
38
118
83
14
13
4
3
18
16
0
0
0
0
0
0
Total 4,942
4,411
10,719
4,929
15,661
9,340
59.6%
3,680
3,175
10,437
4,670
14,117
7,845
55.6%
1,254
1,228
282
259
1,536
1,487
96.8%
8
8
0
0
8
8
100.0%
* Percentage of unique names with a full profile

The top number in each cell is the count of actual profiles while the bottom number is the count of those with an image.

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 PoliCan. 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. Their small number and late entry into the political scene in good part explains why an image could be found for most of them.
Number of profiles with X external links
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10+ Total
M 5 2,242 5,933 4,742 890 234 62 7 2 0 0 14,117
F 3 258 488 706 66 6 7 0 1 1 0 1,536
X 0 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 8
T 8 2,504 6,421 5,452 956 240 69 7 3 1 0 15,661
Links 2,504 12,842 16,356 3,824 1,200 414 49 24 9 0 37,222
The most common number of external links per profile is 2, 3, and 1 respectively. A profile without a link is likely very new and will eventually have at least one soon.
Profiles with family relations (15.74%)**
Alive    Dead    T Total
Category
Total Men (M) Women (F) Non binary (X)
T T T T
Elected 438 1,762 2,200 308 1,722 2,030 130 40 170 0 0 0
Unelected 63 181 244 37 166 203 26 15 41 0 0 0
Perennial 7 14 21 5 13 18 2 1 3 0 0 0
Total 508 1,957 2,465 350 1,901 2,251 158 56 214 0 0 0
** Percentage of full profiles with at least one family relation

So far, 3,558 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 PoliCan — 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, it should take you only a few seconds to find the details now that you have arrived on this website.



© 2019, 2024 :: PoliCan.ca (Maurice Y. Michaud)
Pub.:  5 Jun 2022 18:20
Rev.: 13 May 2024 23:05 (but data presented dynamically)