By Professor Michael Rush, Philip Giddings
This primary book-length learn of the socialisation of MPs makes use of questionnaire information amassed over Parliaments (1992-97 and 1997-2001) to determine how MPs find out about, and what their attitudes are in the direction of, their position as a Member of Parliament. It analyzes their participation in debates, using Parliamentary Questions and committee paintings.
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Extra resources for Parliamentary Socialisation: Learning the Ropes or Determining Behaviour? (Understanding Governance)
Our rationale for adopting this analysis is that these are three distinctive roles applicable to virtually all MPs. Indeed, they cannot escape them, however effectively they may or may not perform them and regardless of the relative importance they place on them or the time they choose to devote to each. The only exceptions are the rare and genuine Independent Members and, perhaps to a lesser extent, those who eschew the party whip but sit with an independent party label. The overwhelming majority of UK MPs are elected with party labels and continue to accept them once in the House of Commons.
8 From whom have you sought advice about how to do your work as an MP and how helpful have you found it? 9 How helpful were the arrangements made by the House of Commons authorities after your election? 10 How helpful was the assistance provided by your party after your election to help you learn about your job as an MP? 11 Do you intend to be/are you active in your parliamentary party’s subject committees? 12 Do you intend to be/are you active in any all-party groups in Parliament? 13 Have you been appointed to any standing committees (now public bill committees)?
We have moved a long way from the ‘jumping in at the deep end’ approach of the past, where no help was provided to new Members. In May 2010 the Commons authorities and the party whips offered a well-organised induction programme, supplemented by the Hansard Society and the Institute for Government. This ‘functional socialisation’ allows MPs to make a mark quicker than in the past – asking questions, as well as the chore of serving on legislative (public bill) committees. The most fascinating part of the book is what happens then.