Quebec History Marianopolis College

Date Published:
February 2005

L’Encyclopédie de l’histoire du Québec / The Quebec History Encyclopedia


The Principle of Double Majority


Double Majority Principle, an unwritten convention which gained an uncertain vogue in Canada under the Union Act of 1841. This Act, in defiance of Lord Durham's express warning, gave to Upper and to Lower Canada equal representation in the House of Assembly; irrespective of population. As a result, there grew up a tacit and partially accepted understanding that there should be a majority from both parts of the province for legislation affecting both parts, and especially a majority from that part particularly affected. This dualism or quasi-federalism was reflected in the double-barrelled names of the administrations, in appointments to the civil service, and even in grants of money. The principle of "the double majority" proved, however, unworkable; and it was never, apparently, formally recognized.

Source: W. Stewart WALLACE, ed., The Encyclopedia of Canada, Vol. II, Toronto, University Associates of Canada, 1948, 411p., p. 228.

© 2005 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College