Free voting in a provincial parliament: The case of ‘same-sex’ legislation in Ontario, 1994

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Previous research on parliamentary free voting, which has been confined exclusively to national parliaments and almost exclusively to the British House of Commons, has found relatively little constituency impact on members’ voting decisions, even on the most contentious issues of social policy. Since sub-national parliaments tend to be smaller, less professionalised, and (arguably) ‘closer to the people’, it is possible that a more significant ‘constituency connection’ might be observed in these legislative arenas. This study extends the literature on this topic by empirically examining the fate of a recent homosexual rights bill in the Ontario Legislative Assembly. Contrary to expectations, none of the constituency characteristics used in logistical regression models generates a significant MLE coefficient, suggesting that Canadian provincial legislators may be even less sensitive to constituency preferences than their national counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-183
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Legislative Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations
  • Law


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