Worth the Wait: Determinants of Ministerial Appointment in Canada, 1935-2008

Lay Summary 

The exploration of ministerial careers in the Canadian cabinet has attracted considerable interest in recent years. This article focuses on ministerial appointments, rather than ministerial exit or survival. It introduces an original dataset for Canada for the period 1935 – 2008. The dataset provides a base for an event history model that highlights the causal mechanisms that underlie the ministerial appointment process, while considering changes over time.

Analysis of the results confirms many of the commonly held assumptions re cabinet appointments in Canada. Characteristics that are particularly significant in accelerating appointment to cabinet are gender, legal training, previous ministerial experience and leadership challenger status.

Existing theories and explanations for ministerial appointments are tested using a series of variables identified in the Canadian and comparative literature. Recommendations for further research and integration with complementary country-specific and comparative research programs in the field of ministerial career paths conclude the article.

Published in: Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue canadienne de science politique 42:3 (September/septembre 2009) 593-611

Political Science
St. John's
Newfoundland and Labrador
Politics and Society
Federal government
Industry Sectors 
Federal Government Public Administration
Scientific Research and Development Services
Start date 
1 Jan 2009