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Banner: First Among Equals: The Prime Minister in Canadian Life and Politics
Leading Canada

Keeping the Party Together

To keep support in his or her political party, prime ministers have often used patronage. This means doing favours for people. A student president in a school might do this, by doing special things for friends who helped him or her win. Sometimes Canadians are unhappy with favours like this. Patronage is less obvious than it was a hundred years ago.

Sometimes a leader of a party loses the support of his or her party. When this happens there is a leadership contest. People in the party vote for the person they want to lead the party.


Key Word

  • patronage:
    • When politicians give special favours to people to reward them for being loyal.

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