Amateurs versus Professionals: Explaining the Political (in)Experience of Canadian Members of Parliament

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    1 Citation (Scopus)
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    Abstract

    In contrast to many democracies that lament the rise of professional politicians, ‘amateur’ politicians have typically dominated federal politics in Canada. What explains this general lack of political experience among Canadian members of parliament (MPs)? This study tests three hypotheses on career development by analysing individual-level data on over 1000 MPs elected to the Canadian Parliament between 1993 and 2015. Conceptualising politics as a career path in its own right, it finds that at the key stages of establishing, maintaining and disengaging from a federal political career, there are specific challenges facing candidates and MPs in the Canadian context that are not significantly ameliorated by the possession of prior political experience. This leaves little incentive for individuals to work in the field of politics itself before standing for federal office.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)633-655
    Number of pages23
    JournalParliamentary Affairs
    Volume71
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 16 Jan 2018

    Fingerprint

    amateur
    parliament
    politics
    politician
    experience
    career
    political career
    possession
    candidacy
    incentive
    Canada
    democracy
    lack

    Keywords

    • Political Careers
    • Political Experience
    • Professional Politicians
    • Representation
    • Career Development Theory

    Cite this

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    abstract = "In contrast to many democracies that lament the rise of professional politicians, ‘amateur’ politicians have typically dominated federal politics in Canada. What explains this general lack of political experience among Canadian members of parliament (MPs)? This study tests three hypotheses on career development by analysing individual-level data on over 1000 MPs elected to the Canadian Parliament between 1993 and 2015. Conceptualising politics as a career path in its own right, it finds that at the key stages of establishing, maintaining and disengaging from a federal political career, there are specific challenges facing candidates and MPs in the Canadian context that are not significantly ameliorated by the possession of prior political experience. This leaves little incentive for individuals to work in the field of politics itself before standing for federal office.",
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    Amateurs versus Professionals: Explaining the Political (in)Experience of Canadian Members of Parliament. / Pow, James T.

    In: Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 71, No. 3, 16.01.2018, p. 633-655.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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