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Using parliamentary questions to measure constituency orientation

Martin, Shane G. (2010) Using parliamentary questions to measure constituency orientation. Working Papers in International Studies Series. (Paper No. 2010-4). Centre for International Studies, Dublin City University, Ireland.

Individual legislators differ in the degree to which they work to cultivate personal votes. While conventional wisdom declares that the electoral system typically motivates the choice of legislative role, researchers have found difficulty assessing empirically the role-orientation of legislators. This study suggests using content analysis of parliamentary questions as a mechanism to measure variations in personal vote earning strategies. To demonstrate the usefulness of this approach, and the constituency-orientation of Irish parliamentarians, 123,762 questions tabled by Dáil Deputies between 1997 and 2002 are analysed. While evidence of some orientation toward localism is apparent, the data suggests significant variations in role-orientation within the chamber. Explanations of intra-system variation in personal vote earning effort are hypothesised and tested. Characteristics such as electoral vulnerability, geography, intra-party competition and career only partially explain the variation. The results highlight the need to move beyond using electoral rules as a general proxy for role-orientation.
Item Type:Working Paper (No. 2010-4)
Subjects:Social Sciences > Political science
DCU Faculties and Centres:Research Institutes and Centres > Centre for International Studies (CIS) > Working Papers in International Studies Series
DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Science > School of Law and Government
Publisher:Centre for International Studies, Dublin City University
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:15434
Deposited On:30 Jun 2010 12:33 by Shane Martin . Last Modified 19 Jul 2018 14:50

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