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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

Mr. Smith Goes to Ottawa

Life in the House of Commons

In Mr Smith Goes to Ottawa, the author compares the 34th (1988-93) and the 35th (1993-97) Parliaments. The former, the second consecutive Conservative-led majority government, could not appear more different from the Liberal one which followed. Over two-thirds of its members were rookies. More significantly, over one-third represented two new political parties - the Bloc Quebecois and the Reform party. Yet, for all this change, Docherty shows that the new agendas of the 35th Parliament have not translated into changes in the legislative behaviour or socialization of new members. Unlike Jimmy Stewart in Washington, the majority of the men and women who go to Ottawa end up accepting a limited policy role.

320 pages


Table of Contents

Preface Introduction 1. Building a Theory of Canadian Political Careers 2. Representation, Amateurism, and Turnover 3. The Candidates 4. Arriving in Ottawa: New Politicians and Old Rules 5. Turning Expectations into Actions: Living with Preference Rules and Roles 6. Coming to Terms with Parliament: Views on Leadership and Party Discipline 7. Home Style-Members and Their Constituencies 8. The Life Cycle of a Political Career 9. Leaving Parliament Conclusion: Members, Parliament, and Party Appendix: Testing Models of Career Disappointment and Voluntary Retirement References Index

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