The Official languages are english AND french but...

lims   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 06:42 GMT back to between 1867 to 1984, Canada has had 4 British Prime ministers-- specifically 2 Scots and 2 Englishmen. Are people from France allowed to be elected as Prime Ministers too?
Queen Elizabeth II is on all canadian currency, so I'm suspposing the answer is no? I don't know the rule in France but Prime Ministers in Canada can serve and be elected for as many terms as the population wants them to be.
Jim   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 08:10 GMT
She's not on the $5, $10 & $50 dollar notes nor anything minted before 1952. I don't know whether Frenchmen are elligible to be voted in as PM, I doubt it though, and if they're not elligible I don't expect Englishmen or Scots would be anymore either.
nic   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 08:18 GMT
In France, the system is different. Politicians in France must be french or it's impossible to be a gov member. We do not elect the prime minister, we are a republic. Elections are made to choose our president. The president choose his own government. Sometimes you have a conservative president with socialist government, sometimes the opposite.
Easterner   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 13:50 GMT
lims said: >> back to between 1867 to 1984, Canada has had 4 British Prime ministers-- specifically 2 Scots and 2 Englishmen.<<

I guess this is because Canada is part of the Commonwealth, with the Queen as supreme head of state, so an English or Scots prime minister is not a foreigner in the proper sense. On the other hand, France has nothing to do with the Commonwealth, so I think no French citizen could become a Canadian PM.
Easterner   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 13:53 GMT
By the way, in a political sense France has nothing to do with French Canadians, because they are British subjects as much as Anglo-Canadians, regardless of speaking a different language.
Easterner   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 14:00 GMT
Sorry, I should have said "British subjects with Canadian citizenship".
Easterner   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 16:31 GMT
I always learn something new. I have found out that Canadians were British subjects until 1947, but no longer. So I guess not even a British citizen could be PM in Canada today. There is more about this at
Ed   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 19:23 GMT
The Commonwealth sux
lims   Wednesday, November 10, 2004, 20:28 GMT
Jim, since Queen II didn't become a queen till 1952, I guess the previous king or queen may have been on the coins and dollars-- I don't know.

Oh okay, I see that the France system is quite different, Nic.

Interesting read, Eastener. I tried looking for an answer on the web about whether a British born person is still allowed to become prime minister since it was still possible in 1984-- found no info as yet. I noted that the Queen II is represented by the Governor General of Canada, whom she appoints upon the recommendation of Canada's PM.
Jackson   Thursday, November 11, 2004, 00:18 GMT
>I always learn something new. I have found out that Canadians were
>British subjects until 1947, but no longer. So I guess not even a British >citizen could be PM in Canada today. There is more about this at

After 1947, weren't Canadians both British subjects AND Canadian citizens? I can't find any information on the *exact year* Canadians actually ceased to be British subjects. Does anybody know?

Australia followed the example of Canada, and the Australian Nationality and Citizenship Act of 1948 introduced a separate Australian citizenship for the first time.

Nevertheless, Australians retained "British subject status" alongside their Australian citizenship right up until 1973:-

In fact, I believe that up until the early 1970s Australians were still being issued with BRITISH passports.

Did a similar situation prevail in Canada? When did Canadians get their own passport, and when did they actually stop being British subjects (in the legal sense)?
Jim   Thursday, November 11, 2004, 01:45 GMT
That's right, Lims, King George VI and before him Edward VIII then George V, Edward VII, Victoria, etc.

I wish we could still get British passports: it would be nice to travel freely anywhere in the EU.
Easterner   Thursday, November 11, 2004, 11:18 GMT
To Jackson:

I still think Canadians actually did not cease to be British subjects in 1947, because the Queen is still the formal head of state. In a legal sense, what happened is that they were endowed with Canadian citizenship including a Canadian passport etc., instead of a British one. So I guess they are still subjects of the British monarchy in a sense, without this having any legal significance.
Ottawan   Thursday, November 11, 2004, 16:49 GMT
OK... I think it's time someone FROM Canada actually weighed in on this.

First of all... like Australia... there was no 'official' Canadian Citizenship before 1947. Because of the Empire/Commonwealth, people living in this country, including French Quebecers, were classified as British subjects. For that reason, it was very easy for people from any Commonwealth country to move to Canada... and immediately have the right to vote in Canadian elections and run for office.

The Prime Ministers we had that were born in Scotland and Britain had all lived in Canada for several years, which made them Canadians (in fact, at that time most of the people in Canada were originally from other countries).

The flow went both ways, too. One Canadian-born Prime Minister... R.B. Bennet, actually moved to Britain after leaving office and became a member of the British House of Lords. Several other prominent British politicians in the early 1900s also originally came from Canada, the most famous one was Lord Beaverbrook.

Since 1947, all of our Prime Ministers have been Canadian Citizens. Although, we did briefly have a British-born Prime Minister in 1984. John Turner, who was born in Surrey, but moved to Canada as a young child.

So, British Citizens cannot be Prime Minister of Canada anymore unless they also become Canadian Citizens... the same applies for French Citizens. Canada has never had a 'French' Prime Minister, although we have had many, many French-Canadian Prime Ministers.

As for the Queen, yes, she is the Canadian Head of State and is on all of our coins and some of our paper money. BUT, in Canada, she is considered to be the Queen of Canada and Head of the Commonwealth of Nations... who also happens to be the Queen of England.

We recognize the immediate members of the Royal Family as having special status, but none of the other members of the British nobility have any privileges, rights, etc.

Canada has a Governor General, who is a permanent representative of the Queen, and who serves as our Head of State. Before 1952, lesser members of the Royal Family generally held the position. But since that date, all Canadian Governors General have been Canadians.

In history, when we learn about the various foreign monarchs who ruled over Canada, we usually include all the French Kings before 1759, when France lost Quebec to the British.
Ottawan   Thursday, November 11, 2004, 17:07 GMT
Oops... I didn't mean to say that none of the earlier writers were Canadians, just that most of the information seemed to be coming from Jackson, who is Australian, and Easterner who is from somewhere in Europe.

Sorry to my compatriots.
lims   Friday, November 12, 2004, 01:05 GMT
???..That's right, Jackson, inquiring minds want to know.

Yes, it would be good if British passports were issued still, Jim.

Ottawan, Canada's current Governor General was born in Hong Kong. I gather from your information above that anyone who has got Canadian citizen status can run for Prime Minister even if they were born in another country. Would it be correct to assume that someone who was born in Africa or Britain, for instance, is still eligible to run for PM of Canada as long as they become Canadian citizens?
Apparently anyone who'd liked to become the president of America has to have been born in America.