In this paper we examine the length of political tenure in Canadian federally elected parliamentary governments since 1867. Using annual data on tenure length, we categorize the distribution of governing tenures in terms of a hazard function: the probability that an election will arise in each year, given that an election has not yet been called. Structuring the election call as an optimal stopping rule, we test whether that distribution responds predictably to characteristics of the political and/or economic environment. The results of using the continuous Cox and Gompertz models together with the discrete semi-parametric proportional hazard model suggest that governing parties in Canada do engage in election timing and that the only economic policy measure that is used consistently in conjunction with election timing is fiscal expenditure.

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Journal Canadian Journal of Political Science
Ferris, J.S, & Voia, M.-C. (2009). What determines the length of a typical Canadian parliamentary government?. Canadian Journal of Political Science, 42(4), 881–910. doi:10.1017/S0008423909990680