Parliamentary Questions and Individual Representation in a Party-Dominated Environment: Evidence from Portugal

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Recent studies (Colomer 2011, André & Depauw 2014) have found that personal representation is likely to emerge also in proportional system, but little is known about the mechanisms behind it. The Portuguese electoral system features a multi-member closed-list PR system with relatively centralized procedures of candidate selection. In such systems, the specific placement a candidate gets on the list is likely to be decisive for his/her re-elections. Who make a decision on list ranking are party elites at district and central level, therefore there seem to be few incentives to cultivate a personal vote and to build an individual reputation. If electoral reasons are expected to play a marginal role (Carey & Shugart 1995), a puzzle remains as to why Portuguese MPs differ so much in their role orientation. The present paper focuses on a specific (but to date fairly neglected) type of parliamentary individual activity, parliamentary questions. Through a novel dataset covering the population of written questions to the cabinet in Portugal from 2007 to 2015, it explores the impact of electoral (electoral vulnerability, type of candidate selection methods within political parties) and non-electoral explanations (career, gender, education, ideology) on the number of questions asked by individual MPs. By examining this understudied topic, the Portuguese case can shed more light on the growing importance of the individualization of parliamentary roles and the conditions that foster the use of parliamentary questions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages1-36
Number of pages36
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
EventGeneral Conference of the Standing Group of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) - University of Munich, Munich, Germany
Duration: 30 Jun 20162 Jul 2016
Conference number: 3rd
https://ecpr.eu/Events/EventDetails.aspx?EventID=110

Conference

ConferenceGeneral Conference of the Standing Group of the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR)
CountryGermany
CityMunich
Period30/06/162/07/16
Internet address

Keywords

  • political representation
  • Parliamentary Questions
  • ndividual Representation
  • Dominated Environment
  • vulnerability
  • Parliaments
  • Portugal

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