180 years of democratic evolution
The history of municipal democracy in Montréal officially begins in 1833 with the election of its first mayor, Jacques Viger. From that time until today, Montréal would evolve under a variety of democratic regimes.
Who can vote?
For a long time, only a minority had the right to vote in Montréal: initially, only male property owners, followed by taxpaying renters in 1860. At the end of the 19th century, the secret ballot was adopted. Adult women and widows who owned property were given the vote, followed by female renters in 1899.
Everybody can vote!
It wasn’t until the municipal elections in 1970 that all Montrealers were granted access to the polls. Universal suffrage was finally achieved. The number of voters jumped from 380,068 in 1966, to 698,369 in 1970. In 1980, municipal political parties were officially recognized by the Québec government and, a few years later, elected members of city council could be reimbursed for research and support expenses.
To learn more about municipal democracy : ville.montreal.qc.ca/archives/democratie