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Political Science Canadian

Two Cheers for Minority Government

The Evolution of Canadian Parliamentary Democracy, Second Edition

by (author) Peter Russell

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2024
Canadian, Political Parties, Elections
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Mar 2024
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2023
    List Price
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Feb 2024
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it


Two Cheers for Minority Government presents a concise, accessible analysis of the prevalence of minority governments in Canada. Using the Canadian case to reflect on the processes and procedures of the parliamentary system, Peter H. Russell explores the tendency for people in parliamentary government to prefer elections which result in one party getting a margin of seats.


Russell aims to explain why a minority government is not only a likely outcome of parliamentary elections in Canada but is also, for most, the best possible outcome. He argues that the best result of parliamentary actions is for no party to end up with a majority of seats in the lower house. This makes for government that is more accountable to the people.


This new edition reveals how the increasing frequency of parliamentary elections that do not result in majority governments is a positive development for democracy. Ultimately, Two Cheers for Minority Government aims to help both citizens and politicians understand and make the most of the opportunities presented by minority governments.

About the author

Peter H. Russell is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto. He has written extensively on issues related to the Canadian Constitution and Canadian politics in general.

Peter Russell's profile page