After the George-Étienne CARTIER
-John A. MACDONALD
ministry in the PROVINCE OF CANADA
was forced to resign on 29 July 1858, a Reform ministry was formed under George BROWN
and A.A. DORION
. Under parliamentary rules, newly appointed ministers were obliged to resign their seats and face a by-election; but this rule did not apply to a minister who resigned one office and took another within a month. When the Reform ministry fell on August 4 and Governor General Sir Edmund HEAD
called upon Cartier and Macdonald to form a second government, each minister took a new portfolio on August 6 and resumed his former office on August 7. The notorious "double shuffle" allowed the Macdonald-Cartier ministry to retain power without facing by-elections.
George-Étienne Cartier, politician
Sir George-Étienne Cartier was the key person in persuading French Canadians to accept Confederation (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-8007).