Constituency Influence in Parliament
Countering the Centre
Canada’s parliamentary system has been characterized as “executive-dominant,” with governance focused on the “centre,” and scholars have paid little attention to the legislature and its members. But members of Parliament are, in fact, primary actors in governance. Constituency Influence in Parliament illuminates how MPs, in their pursuit of various goals in the legislature, play an important representative role in shaping policy.
This critical volume offers the first full-scale examination of the rules and conduct of parliamentary Private Members’ Business and of the electoral and policy motivations of those who hold the country’s highest elected office. Kelly Blidook offers a thought-provoking assessment of the representational and policy dynamics that exist within the Canadian institutional structure. His examination of what MPs do, why they do it, and what effect it has, serves to resurrect the relevance of Canada’s Parliament.
This book will appeal to students and scholars of Canadian and comparative political science, policy groups, journalists, and government actors.
- , Commended - The Hill Times List of Top 100 Best Books for 2013
- , Commended - The Hill Times List of Top 100 Best Books for 2012
A first-rate book on Private Members’ Bills, including their success rates, policy areas, and partisan and ideological breakdowns, supplemented by one-on-one interviews with members of parliament. Blidook’s detailed and compelling analysis highlights the critical role these bills play in the representation process, and in Parliament itself.
This splendidly crafted book not only provides valuable and original insights into Parliament and into the behaviour and influence of individual MPs, but also reaffirms the value of detailed empirical research into the Commons and, crucially, that Parliament matters. Essential reading for anyone interested in parliamentary government in Canada.
1 Parliament and Its Members: Representation and Governance
2 The Electoral Connection and Legislative Behaviour in Canada
3 Legislation in the House: Private Members’ Business
4 Private Members’ Business: Participation and Motivation
5 Constituency Interests and Private Members’ Business
6 The Nation’s Interests, the Party’s Interests, or the MP’s Interests?
7 Does It Matter? Do Members of Parliament Influence Policy?
8 Conclusion: Individual Autonomy and Representation
Appendices; Notes; Bibliography
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