Dictionary of Canadian politics aims to demystify obscure lingo

Who exactly are "Tim Hortons' voters?" What the heck is a "salmon-arm salute?" Which party is the "natural governing party?" What does "Diefenbuck" refer to? For the answers to these questions and more, there's a new online parliamentary dictionary to consult.

'Parli' launched this week

Former prime minister Jean Chrétien tries a sample of a beer called the Shawinigan Handshake in 2012. Don't know what "Shawinigan handshake" refers to? Well, now there's a dictionary for that. (The Canadian Press)

A new online dictionary is seeking to demystify obscure Canadian parliamentary terms and phrases for the average civilian — or should we say the "Tim Hortons' voter?"

If you've ever wanted to know who "Premier Dad" is, or what the name of a popular orange carbonated beverage has to do with Canadian politics, look no further.

Parli is a dictionary of Canadian politics started by Campbell Strategies, a public affairs consultancy firm. It was launched earlier this week.

"I think there are a number [of entries] that are amusing," says Barry Campbell, a former Liberal MP and president of the firm.

"This is also serious history, but I think top of the list of most amusing and almost forgotten might be 'Salmon-Arm Salute,' which was a rather crude gesture that prime minister [Pierre] Trudeau made from a train car."

Here are a few other entries you can find in the dictionary:

Do you know any other terms that the dictionary is missing? Leave a comment below. To submit terms directly to Parli, head to their website or send a tweet to @parlidotca.

"This will live and keep on going," Campbell says. "We're adding as we go. We will of course, in a very Canadian way, try to be very serious about the definitions but have a little bit of fun, too."


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