Why are divorce rates so high for MPs? - Macleans.ca

Why are divorce rates so high for MPs?

Divorce rates among MPs are twice the national average, study reveals


Being a politician takes its toll on families and marriages, according to recent data showing divorce rates among MPs are twice the national average. According to Parliamentary Library research from this year, 85 per cent of MPs are divorced, well above the 70 per cent that were prior to the last election in 2011.

The data was commissioned by  a cabinet minister’s office, says Jeff Watson, a Conservative MP from Ontario who has six children and has managed to keep a healthy marriage by having his family nearby. He wouldn’t say who asked for the research.

While many of the divorced politicians split up before they got elected, MPs work long hours away from home, are often separated from families four days a week and spend a lot of time socializing and at functions. There are also a lot of young staffers on the Hill, a problem for some marriages. “Every potential stress point in a marriage is alive and well in political life,” says Jim Armour, a lobbyist and former Stephen Harper staffer.

One cabinet minister who divorced after becoming an MP, and didn’t want to be named, said although there were already cracks in the marriage, the distance made it hard. “Perhaps being away during the week made it easier to not deal with problems. Before you know it the marriage seemed unsavable.”

While divorce is not unique to any one party, several high-profile examples have involved cabinet ministers and Conservative MPs. Eve Adams, a Tory, remarried Dimitri Soudas, Harper’s former director of communications, after being elected. Former public safety minister Vic Toews went through a messy divorce, ending his 30-year marriage, while in office following an affair with a much younger woman with whom he had a child. Detailed allegations from his ex-wife were posted on the Internet by a Liberal staff member under the Twitter account Vikileaks. When he resigned, Toews said: “It is not an easy life for family.”

Some legislatures have looked at how to make political life family friendly. In 2008, Ontario MPP Lisa MacLeod led an initiative to eliminate night sittings so politicians could go home. Perhaps someone should counsel MPs to do the same.

Filed under:

Why are divorce rates so high for MPs?

  1. We expect our representatives to be at worse people like us and at best people who are more admirable than us

    It seems that in Canada our representatives are overwhelmingly people for whom it is difficult to say nice things about . Not that maintaining a working marriage is always possible but it is a good indicator of both values and resilience

    • True. But our rigged ballot only has low ethics people on it. They really represent the party leader and the back room lobby groups, yet lie with a smile to us and get our votes by pandering with other peoples money, our money.

      Most Canadians are too stupid to realize the truths of politics. They represent back room and big government and not one single party represent the productive middle class other than to tax us more.

      Only options on your rigged money/media bought ballot is for who gets more of your money and will do you little if any good for it. Sets up a situation that fosters deception,. bribery, favors, secrets and why they all lie for a vote.

      Biggest wealth robber int the land is governemtn waste, inflated contracts, buddy deals, bailouts and money for nothing transfers to support waste.

      Achilles heels of democracy, open unaccountable debt and lobby bribery. As they render the ruse of democracy by design.

  2. – narcissism.
    – self importance.
    – arrogance.
    – not a nice person inside at they lie too much.
    – job is about deception

    USA studies of congress even show a disproportional amount of spousal abuse than the national average. Who would what to be going to bed every with a gutter snip back room dealing politician? Only one reasons I can think of and its about pensions, money, and fame. So unless the wife is also like above, difference in values would end up in divorce.

    There is a reason why Weiner (US gov) wife stays with him and I can assure you it isn’t love.

  3. Its all about priorities at the end of the day

  4. I suspect one reason for the higher divorce rate (apart from the obvious) is that many marriages cannot accommodate that third person, the husband, the wife and the political ego.

  5. They don’t have the time to invest in their marriage and that is sure to take a toll.