In an overview of the Prime Ministers who have led our country, we can see some interesting trends.
Two remained in their post for only a few months. One of these was the Right Honourable Kim Campbell, our only woman PM so far. The other was Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, Canada's youngest leader.
Some of our leaders retained power for a
long time. One, Mackenzie King, governed for over twenty years, 21 1/2 to
be exact. The second-longest lasting was Sir John A. Macdonald, who
stayed at the helm for nearly 19 years.
Third in line
for longevity was Pierre Trudeau at 15 1/2 years, and then came Sir Wilfrid Laurier, who was in the post for just a couple of months less
than Trudeau. The fifth longest governing was Jean Chretien, who lasted
just over 10 years.
Two regained the Prime Ministerial post after election losses put them in Opposition, and one of these, the Rt. Hon. William Lyon Mackenzie King, had two comebacks.
Three Prime Ministers had Mackenzie in their names.
Five Prime Ministers of 22 have been called John (six if you include the French John, Jean Chretien). This is nearly a quarter of the total.
Six of our leaders were from Quebec: Sir John J. Abbott, Sir Wilfrid
Laurier, Louis St. Laurent, Pierre Trudeau, Brian Mulroney, and Jean Chretien. The last five of these men spoke both French and English to
native speaker level, although Chretien retained a strong French accent.
BRITISH SIR KNIGHTS
Six had British knighthoods and were dubbed Sir, and three of these were called John.
One, RB Bennett, became a Viscount after he was PM.
OVER 70 YEARS OLD WHEN THEY STARTED AS PM
Sir John Abbott, Sir Mackenzie Bowell and Sir Charles Tupper were all over seventy years of age when they took on the job of Prime Minister.
MIDDLE-AGED FORTY AND FIFTY SOMETHINGS
Ten PMs were in their forties when they took office, and the rest in their fifties and sixties.
Only Joe Clark was under forty.
No less than 17 of the 22 Prime Ministers have been lawyers; a handful of these were law professors. Three were diplomats, and one a doctor (also a diplomat). The others have been authors, editors, businessmen, teachers and journalists.
LEADERS OF MINORITY GOVERNMENTS
Ten Prime Ministers have led minority governments.
WINNER OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE
One Canadian Prime Minister, Lester B. Pearson, was a Nobel Laureate.