This study extends the analysis of parliamentary free voting by examining a non-British example: Canadian MPs' voting behavior on Bill C-43, which attempted to establish a federal abortion law. As in most previous studies, we find that partisanship was by far the best predictor of voting behavior. Unlike previous research, however, we analyze free votes at every stage of the legislative process and find different voting dynamics at different stages. In general, Canadian MPs felt at greater liberty to vote as their consciences dictated when their votes mattered least. On the key roll calls leading to final disposition, however, when voting was most visible and outcomes most important, Canadian MPs re-coalesced around their parties.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science