Greatest Prime Minister playoffs: Semifinals

A composite image of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Sir John A. Macdonald, Stephen Harper and Lester...

A composite image of William Lyon Mackenzie King, Sir John A. Macdonald, Stephen Harper and Lester B. Pearson. (QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

The battle for top Canadian prime minister sizzled into the quarter-finals with more votes cast than all previous stages combined.

Current Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper barely squeaked into the semifinals with a razor-thin 74 vote margin - 2,382 to 2,308 - over former prime minister John Diefenbaker.

Checking the standings we have two prime ministers left in each conference: Stephen Harper and Sir John A. Macdonald representing the Conservative Conference and Lester B. Pearson and William Lyon Mackenzie King in the Liberal Conference.

To recap, starting last Monday QMI Agency decided to have a bit of fun since fans and players were locked out of NHL hockey - plus the federal Liberal leadership race is starting to heat up - so we launched the Great Prime Minister playoffs with readers picking the various prime ministers in matchups that mirror the NHL playoffs format.

The semifinals feature some interesting matchups - Canada's first prime minister versus our current one and one of the most respected Canadians around the world versus the head honcho Canadians trusted to run our country the longest.

Readers have already voted more than 33,000 times in the various polls and whittled 22 prime ministers down to four.

The final stage will launch on Friday - pitting the top Conservative Conference winner against the top Liberal Conference winner.

On to the semis!

Conservative Conference:

Sir John A. Macdonald vs Stephen Harper

Sir John A. Macdonald was the first Canadian prime minister, integrated Rupert's Land and the North-Western Territory into Canada; oversaw the entry of British Columbia and Prince Edward Island into confederation and created the North-West Mounted Police. Stephen Harper introduced the federal Accountability Act which aims to reduce influence on parliament by corporate, union, or large political donations, he reduced the GST and created the veterans' Bill of Rights. He also apologized for the establishment of residential schools.

Liberal Conference:

Lester B. Pearson

Lester B. Pearson introduced Canadian universal healthcare, the Canada Pension Plan, Canada student loans and created a new Canadian flag. He also signed the Auto Pact with the United States and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957 for his role in the Suez crisis. William Lyon Mackenzie King was the longest serving Canadian prime minister over six elections at 21 years, 154 days and under him Canada first asserted diplomatic independence from Great Britain (Chanak Crisis), introduced old age pensions; nationalized the Bank of Canada and passed the Unemployment Insurance Act.


Videos

Photos