This archived Web page remains online for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. This page will not be altered or updated. Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats of this page on the Contact Us page.
Keeping the Party Together
A page from Prime Minister Alexander Mackenzie's record book in the 1870s, showing the names of people and jobs they had been given. For example: "Bailey, Geo., has been employed on the York roads." Copyright/Source
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.