It's Not You, It's Me: Determinants of Voluntary Legislative Turnover in Canada

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Abstract

The Canadian federal parliament is unique among Westminster parliamentary democracies due to the unusually high level of voluntary and involuntary MP turnover that occurs at each general election. This article builds on existing research to test the hypothesis that the MP career duration is related to MPs' expectations about parliamentary roles, insofar as voluntary turnover is concerned. Data on MPs drawn from historical records collected by the Library of Parliament and from surveys conducted in 1993 and 20011 are used to develop an event history model which estimates the hazard of voluntary career termination when different parliamentary roles are taken into consideration. Findings suggest that a number of individual factors play a role in voluntary turnover, most notably that MPs who enter Parliament hoping to affect policy are the most likely to move on.

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