Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Leave it to the amateurs : a career development explanation of political experience among Members of… Pow, James Timothy 2015

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata


24-ubc_2015_november_pow_james.pdf [ 614.55kB ]
JSON: 24-1.0166641.json
JSON-LD: 24-1.0166641-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 24-1.0166641-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 24-1.0166641-rdf.json
Turtle: 24-1.0166641-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 24-1.0166641-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 24-1.0166641-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

	  	  	   LEAVE IT TO THE AMATEURS:  A CAREER DEVELOPMENT EXPLANATION  OF POLITICAL INEXPERIENCE AMONG  MEMBERS OF THE CANADIAN PARLIAMENT   by  James Timothy Pow  B.A., The Queen’s University of Belfast, 2014     A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS  in  The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies  (Political Science)     THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)   August 2015   © James Timothy Pow, 2015  	  	   	   ii Abstract  In many advanced democracies, political scientists have lamented the rise of professional politicians as a challenge to the effective representation of diverse electorates. In contrast, their relative absence from Canadian federal politics gives rise to concerns over high levels of political amateurism among Canadian MPs. This study, thus, seeks to account for the numerical weakness of individuals with an occupational background in politics in the Canadian Parliament. It utilizes both individual-level quantitative data on MPs serving between the 35th and 41st Parliaments, inclusive, as well as material from qualitative interviews with over seventy former MPs.  Conceptualizing the field of politics as a career in itself, and drawing on career development theory, the study finds that at the key stages of establishing, maintaining, and disengaging from a federal political career, there are specific challenges that are not significantly ameliorated by the possession of professional experience in politics itself. Professional politicians, therefore, have no major advantage over those with non-political occupational backgrounds in their career development. Furthermore, by acknowledging the existence of different types of professional politician, it finds that those whose primary occupational background was in politics itself to be in a distinct minority, but the extent of political amateurism is challenged by a much larger minority of MPs whose primary occupation was non-political but who still possess some secondary or electoral experience prior to entering Parliament.    	  	   	   iii Preface  I first developed an academic interest in the occupational backgrounds of politicians in my undergraduate studies at Queen’s University Belfast. As part of my coursework I completed a paper entitled ‘Still Rising: The Career Politician in the British House of Commons’, under the supervision of Dr. Elodie Fabre. It has since been published in the Queen’s Political Review. This thesis is motivated by the same fundamental interest, but departs significantly from my previous work. Its main foundations were laid in a term paper completed for the Core Seminar in Canadian Politics in UBC’s Department of Political Science, under the supervision of Dr. Gerald Baier. The original paper was primarily descriptive in nature, presenting empirical data limited to members of the 41st Parliament of Canada (2011–). The more explanatory focus of the present work expands on the original project by broadening the time horizon to include six earlier iterations of Parliament (1993–) and by utilizing qualitative interview data made available by Samara Canada (2015). In addition, it adopts a more systematic framework of analysis by drawing on career development theory. There were no additional collaborators, and no ethical approval was required. The work is the original intellectual product of the author.    	  	   	   iv Table of Contents  Abstract .............................................................................................................................. ii Preface ............................................................................................................................... iii Table of Contents ............................................................................................................. iv List of Tables ......................................................................................................................v List of Figures ................................................................................................................... vi Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................... vii Dedication ....................................................................................................................... viii 1 Introduction ............................................................................................................1 2 Political Experience and Political Career Development .....................................4 3 Data and Method .................................................................................................15 4  Results ...................................................................................................................19 4.1 Professional Politicians as a Parliamentary Minority ..............................19 4.2 The Challenge of Establishing a Political Career .....................................21 4.3 The Challenge of Maintaining a Political Career .....................................29 4.4 The Challenge of Premature Withdrawal from Federal Politics ...............31 5 Discussion .............................................................................................................36 Bibliography .....................................................................................................................42 Appendices ........................................................................................................................47 Appendix A: List of Variables ........................................................................................47 Appendix B: Descriptive Statistics .................................................................................48 Appendix C: List of Interviewees ...................................................................................49 Appendix D: Interview Schedule ....................................................................................52 	  	  	   	   v List of Tables  Table 1  An adaptation of Super’s (1957) typology of career stages, with  corresponding hypotheses ............................................................................8 Table 2 Predictors of different types of professional politician in the  Canadian House of Commons ...................................................................22 Table 3 Predictors of Cabinet experience ...............................................................25  Table 4  Predictors of involuntary exit from Parliament  ........................................28 Table 5 Predictors of length of time in office among retired MPs .........................32   Table A1 List of variables and details of their operationalization ............................47 Table A2 Occupational backgrounds of MPs serving between the 35th and  41st Parliaments .........................................................................................48 Table A3 Descriptive summary of selected variables ................................................48 Table A4 List of former MPs who participated in Samara exit interviews ...............49 	    	  	   	   vi List of Figures  Figure 1  The percentage of MPs with different types of prior political  experience ..................................................................................................20 	      	  	   	   vii Acknowledgements  I offer my enduring gratitude to the faculty, staff and my fellow students at UBC, both in the Department of Political Science and outside, who have motivated me throughout my graduate studies to the point of completing this thesis. I am particularly grateful to Dr. Gerald Baier for his expert guidance on the Canadian political system, his insightful feedback and his generous encouragement in supervising this project, and to Dr. Christopher Kam for serving as my examiner.  By opening the door to my use of mixed research methods in this thesis, I am indebted to Samara Canada for granting me access to its collection of transcripts from extensive exit interviews with former MPs. It has been a privilege to engage with this material and further the organization’s aim of shining a light on Canadian democracy. Finally, I wish to thank my parents, not only in a practical sense for their willingness to proofread my manuscript, but more importantly for their constant support and encouragement behind my academic pursuits. Any errors in this paper are, of course, my own.     	  	   	   viii     To my parents       	  	    	  	   	   1 1. Introduction  The world is wearied of statesmen, whom democracy has degraded into politicians. Benjamin Disraeli (1975: 56), former British Prime Minister   If the existence of politicians is the price to be paid for modern democracy, the existence of professional politicians may be more objectionable. In Britain, political scientists have expressed concern at the steady rise of the so-called career politician in the House of Commons; the growing dominance of this cohort possessing only a narrow degree of real-world experience is argued to threaten the substantive representation of a diverse society (Cairney, 2007; Criddle, 2010; Cowley, 2012). It is not a recent development. Writing in the early twentieth century, Weber (1958) distinguished between notables who lived ‘for’ politics and an emerging group of political professionals who lived ‘off’ politics. In Canada, however, scholars have lamented the relative amateurism of elected Members of Parliament (MPs) (Docherty, 1997; Franks, 1987). In this context, it is the lack of professionalization of political careers that is seen as a threat to the legislature’s ability to function effectively. There are two principal ways in which political amateurism may be observed in the modern Canadian case: amateurism as limited experience, and amateurism as limited tenure (Docherty, 1997). Political amateurism, in contrast to political professionalism, can thus be understood both in terms of an MP’s career before getting elected and after entering Parliament. Whereas Docherty (1997) primarily focuses on the latter definition, the present study primarily addresses the former. Its central objective is to understand the 	  	   	   2 role of pre-parliamentary political experience in the development of political careers in Canada: why are there so few MPs for whom politics is their career before reaching the federal level? To answer this question, the study draws on career development theory as a framework of analysis. By taking this approach, it adapts Super’s (1957) argument that a professional career develops across various stages. Three of these stages – establishment, maintenance, and disengagement – are directly relevant to the development of a political career. Thus, to conceptualize the field of politics as a career path in itself, professional politicians are those who seek to establish themselves securely on the political career ladder, to acquire and maintain stability in their profession, and to disengage from their role having reached the peak of their career. An examination across these three career stages allows us to formulate three corresponding hypotheses that account for the relative scarcity of MPs in the Canadian House of Commons with occupational experience in politics itself, giving rise to the relative dominance of political amateurs.1 To provide as comprehensive an account of political career development as possible, both quantitative and qualitative data are utilized. Individual-level data on MPs serving between 1993 and 2015 are contextualized by material from detailed exit interviews, conducted with former MPs who left Parliament between 2006 and 2011. The mixed methods approach is designed to situate statistical inferences about political career development within the actual reflections of MPs on their own careers and experiences.  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  1 It should be stressed from the outset that the word ‘amateur’ is not used pejoratively, but simply describes an MP without professional political experience prior to election to the House of Commons. This definition, therefore, provides a direct contrast with a ‘professional’ politician whom Criddle (2010: 328) defines as someone with occupational experience primarily in politics itself prior to entering Parliament. Further discussion of the definition can be found in Chapters 2 and 3.  	  	   	   3 The overall finding is consistent with existing literature in that professional politicians by no means dominate the Canadian House of Commons, although the fact that a sizeable minority of MPs serving since 1993 have at least some prior political experience, even if it does not amount to their primary career, challenges the extent of amateurism that is traditionally assumed. The relative scarcity of those with only professional experience in politics can be plausibly explained by the challenges facing all MPs in establishing, maintaining, and disengaging from their federal political career.   	  	   	   4 2. Political Experience and Political Career Development  The occupational composition of a legislature is important for any conception of democratic representation, albeit with varying rationales. Advocates of descriptive representation seek a legislature akin to a microcosm of society, and so it should closely mirror the composition of the electorate as a whole (Pitkin, 1967; Norris and Lovenduski, 1995). From this perspective, occupational background is merely one dimension among others, from gender to ethnicity, according to which the aggregate members of a legislature should approximate societal diversity. On the other hand, those who subscribe to a more elitist view of democracy may be concerned with the occupational background of MPs because they want representatives to have appropriate experience in order to perform effectively as politicians. From this perspective it is MPs’ understanding of, and proven ability in, politics itself that ensures responsiveness to their constituents, not their demographic characteristics or social background per se (Kittilson and Tate, 2005). These two perspectives on representation, thus, diverge on the acceptability of politicians whose professional background lies in politics itself. For most Canadians, the descriptive mode of representation appears to carry the greatest appeal. According to the most recent Canadian Election Study (CES) (Fournier et al. 2011), nearly sixty percent of respondents agree that the best way to protect women’s rights is to have more female representation in Parliament. Meanwhile, there is widespread skepticism toward parliamentarians’ ability to retain a sense of their constituents’ interests after their election: two-thirds of respondents believe that those elected to Parliament soon lose touch with the electorate, suggesting a preference for 	  	   	   5 politicians to maintain high fidelity toward constituents’ wishes.2 Based on these two crude statistics, which prove fairly stable across election cycles, it appears that a majority of Canadians are at least somewhat uncomfortable with an elitist mode of representation. It is more difficult to infer, however, precisely how content Canadians are with the relative quality of representatives in the House of Commons. Unfortunately, for example, the CES questionnaire does not investigate respondents’ views on their desired levels of electoral candidates’ prior experience, on the occupational diversity of Parliament, or on their general perceptions of whether or not political amateurism is a problematic trait among MPs, either collectively or individually. Among political scientists, amateurism can be more compellingly identified as problematic in Canada. Atkinson and Docherty (1992: 295) contend that scholars of political careers in Canada “are persuaded that amateurism is both a significant and an unfortunate feature of parliamentary life in Canada.” Their principal focus, however, is on parliamentary careers. Consequently, these authors equate political amateurism with MPs’ limited tenure within Parliament, where “the preponderance of short, interstitial careers” is the norm (Atkinson and Docherty, 1992: 296). Such a limited definition of amateurism does have merit. It can be justified on the basis of its particular relevance to the modern Canadian context and its facilitation “of solid comparison, both within and across parliaments” (Docherty, 1997: 46). Such a definition, however, is necessarily narrow. Docherty (1997) himself recognizes that besides ‘amateurism as tenure’, there is one other valid definition of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  2 This could, of course, imply that descriptive representation is not particularly important if representatives are perceived to soon lose touch with their constituents anyway. But read in conjunction with the previous statistic, it is plausible that representation could be perceived as even less effective if representatives do not reflect society in some way to begin with. Future survey research should, nonetheless, focus more precisely on the type of representation sought by Canadian voters. 	  	   	   6 political amateurism in modern Canadian context: ‘amateurism of experience’.3 It is uncontroversial to assert that “political amateurs are those who are not political careerists” (Docherty, 1997: 46). A political career, of course, does not necessarily begin with an MP’s election to Parliament: many MPs enter the institution without a  pre-parliamentary political career, and so jump “feet first into the national political arena” (Docherty, 1997: 40). Compared to other determinants of becoming an elected representative, Black (2000: 156) regards “past experience as simply mattering less for office-seeking in the specific Canadian context.” Similarly, Franks (1987: 73) notes that “data on pre-parliamentary experience suggest the conclusion that Canadian MPs are political amateurs.” He later adds: “Data on length of their stay in parliament confirm it” (Franks, 1987: 73). Therefore, while it is understandable to see MPs’ limited tenure as one form of amateurism in the House of Commons, it is also compelling to examine MPs’ political careers in a broader sense. Amateurism within Parliament is one legitimate area of study. Less attention, however, has been given to the largely non-political experience of legislators before their parliamentary careers even begin. A lack of anteceding political experience among legislators may well be celebrated elsewhere. In the British case, it was observed in the early 1980s that, “increasingly … politicians without a great deal of first-hand experience of the world outside politics are running the country” (King, 1981: 278). Far from a cause of celebration, Jones (2008: 253) detects a populist sentiment that regards “the ‘professional 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  3 Docherty (1997) outlines two other possible definitions of political amateurism, but they are dismissed as less relevant to the modern Canadian case. The first is in terms of part-time versus full-time politicians, contrasting those for whom legislating is simply a vocation against those for whom it is a full-time job and main source of income (see Weber, 1958). This distinction, however, “has not been necessary in Canada” since the 1950s (Docherty, 1997: 37). The other is ‘amateurism of style’ whereby individuals take advantage of popular disdain toward politicians by promoting themselves as non-politicians. This may be applicable to certain short-lived moments, such the unconventional qualities emphasized by many Reform Party candidates in 1993, but it is not recognized as a constant feature of Canadian politics. 	  	   	   7 politician’ (as) the worst of all politicians.” In recent political science literature, the focus of concern is overwhelmingly with the excessive, not limited, professionalization of politics. Apart from Finland, Canada is relatively unique in its concern with the latter phenomenon (Erickson, 1997; Helander, 1997). What is it about the Canadian case that could explain its relatively anomalous position? More specifically, what is it about career development in Canadian politics that explains the low prevalence of political professionals and the corresponding dominance of political amateurs at the federal level? A career path in any occupational field may be highly planned or completely random; most likely, it involves both an element of coordinated planning and the seizure of spontaneous opportunities that are presented along the way. Mitchell et al. (1999) put forward a theory of ‘planned happenstance’, whereby careers develop out of both prior planning and unexpected events. A career in politics may be no exception, but key features of the Canadian system make the planning aspect of political career development particularly difficult. To explore why, it is instructive to conceptualize a professional career in terms of three stages, adapted from Super (1957): establishment, maintenance, and disengagement. Super’s taxonomy represents a seminal piece in the career development literature (Arthur, 2008), and so its present adoption as a framework of analysis offers an appropriate distillation of the explanations presented in the political science literature on the relative dominance of political amateurs among Canadian MPs.4 These distilled explanations generate three hypotheses which are summarized in Table 1.  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  4 Super’s (1957) general taxonomy of career stages is selected as a framework of analysis due to its broad applicability to political career paths, as well as its prominence in career development literature over time (see Arthur, 2008). Similar taxonomies can be found, for example, in Gould and Hawkins (1978), Morrow and McElroy (1987), Aryee et al. (1994), and Hess and Jepsen (2009). To the best of the author’s knowledge, this taxonomy has not previously been directly applied to the analysis of political careers. 	  	   	   8 Table 1: An adaptation of Super’s (1957) typology of career stages, with corresponding hypotheses Stage Establishment è  Maintenance è  Disengagement Features Advancement; establishing oneself firmly on the career ladder.  Stability; holding on to what one has already achieved professionally.  Withdrawal; planning for one’s retirement at a fulfilling juncture. Political Application An identifiable career ladder, with clear prospects for promotion to higher levels of political service.  A reasonable degree of job security after reaching a particular political office.  With declined energy or interest, the politician decides to step aside from public life. Hypotheses If professional experience in politics …  H1: … provides no advantage to MPs in establishing their career, then they should be no more likely to be selected or promoted …  H2: … provides no advantage to MPs in maintaining their career, then they should be no less likely to exit involuntarily …  H3: … does not affect the timing of disengagement, then they should be no more likely to serve in Parliament for longer …  … than those without such experience.    In the first instance, the lack of an obvious career ladder undermines the prospect of an ambitious individual from getting established in the profession of politics. Ambition, of course, operates in tandem with the entire concept of a political career: “Politics thrive on the hope of preferment and the drive for office” (Schlesinger, 1966: 1). In the Canadian case, however, political ambition may be difficult to realize both in a candidate’s entry to Parliament (at the selection stage), and within Parliament itself (in Cabinet promotions).  At the selection stage, the nature of party organization in the context of Canadian federalism impedes the possibility of an integrated political career ladder from emerging. 	  	   	   9 The organizational separation between federal and provincial party structures, and the virtual absence of party politics at the municipal level, “inhibit the development of partisan career ladders” that are possible in other systems, even federal ones (Carty and Cross, 2010: 198). In the United States, Schlesinger (1966) observes a hierarchical path from local through to federal politics. Candidates encounter minimal risk in moving from one level of political office to competing for another. Their incumbency advantage is crucial for fundraising, and there are often no restrictions on running for a higher level of office while occupying another. Even within the American case, Rohde (1979) finds that lower career risk in standing for a higher office is a powerful predictor of progressive ambition.  In Canada, however, progressive ambition incurs greater risk. Spending limits on local campaigns decrease the benefits of incumbency (Atkinson and Docherty, 1992). Meanwhile, provincial rules that prohibit an individual from seeking federal office during their provincial term significantly increase the risk attached to a would-be federal candidate resigning from their provincial post (Docherty, 2011). As a consequence, rather than providing a stepping-stone to federal political office, a political career in provincial politics is almost always seen as an alternative (Barrie and Gibbins, 1989). A political career in Ottawa is simply not the only ‘game in town’ in the same way that could be said of a career in a legislature in a unitary political system (Matthews, 1984).  The statutory constraints posed by federalism could be ameliorated, however, if political parties were more integrated across different levels of government. Instead, the levels of decentralization seen in Canadian party organization are comparatively high (Rahat, 2007). This further impedes upward mobility. It is telling, for example, that even 	  	   	   10 where MPs have prior electoral experience at another level, their federal nomination is often regarded as ‘accidental’ rather than a strategically anticipated career decision (Samara Canada, 2010). Katz (2001) describes a selection process in Canada that does not necessarily rely on party political networks, but simply general personal networks. Successful candidates “will enroll large numbers of personal supporters immediately before the candidate selection process for the sole purpose of having themselves chosen as candidates” (Katz, 2001: 291). This leaves both local party activists and the central party apparatus with little control over the selection of candidates based on their prior political experience, thus undermining the emergence of a clearly identifiable career ladder that could connect different levels of political office. A professional politician, however, does not need to rise from municipal office to federal office in order to be considered such. Alternatively, the most ambitious and intentional of political professionals may rationally seek accelerated advancement from, for example, working as a political researcher for a parliamentarian to standing for federal office themselves, thus circumventing the need to enter electoral politics at the lowest level. This would require a degree of geographical mobility that, while necessary and desirable in many prestigious career paths, is less straightforward in the political field.5 In Canadian politics there is a normative lack of tolerance towards ‘parachuting’ politically experienced candidates into certain seats (Ferejohn and Gaines, 1991; Carty and Eagles, 2005). In contrast to Britain, Docherty (2011: 186) argues that, “it is far less acceptable for ambitious candidates to seek out winnable districts.” This leaves federal parties with relatively little control in helping to recruit candidates with extensive 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  5 Most employed Canadians are comfortable with the idea of labor mobility. In a recent study, fifty-four percent of respondents declared a willingness to relocate to another province and sixty-two percent were willing to relocate to another city within their home province (Ipsos Reid/CERC, 2014: 7, 5). 	  	   	   11 knowledge of the political game (Docherty, 2011). Instead, as we have seen, candidate selection is “largely controlled locally by the members of party constituency associations” (Erickson, 1997: 33). Since these associations tend to place few formal requirements on prospective candidates, and since being locally well connected can be much more valuable than the possession of political experience, outside recruitment is unlikely. It is only in ridings where a party is historically weak that it is forced to widen recruitment (Carty and Eagles, 2005). If a party is locally weak, however, its nomination is unlikely to appeal to political professionals seeking to establish their career federally. Recent work, however, challenges some of these assumptions. Koop’s (2011) analysis of the Liberal Party suggests greater integration between different levels of party organization than previously expected, while its so-called ‘open’ nominations for the 2015 federal election reveal the potential for the center to overturn local decisions (Kennedy, 2014; LeBlanc, 2014). Nonetheless, the very fact that it has proven so controversial for the party to overturn candidates selected locally confirms the strength of the normative undesirability of candidates being parachuted into unfamiliar ridings. Within Parliament, the lack of meritocracy in promotions to senior roles is well documented. There is, indeed, a wide range of literature that focuses heavily on ministerial appointments (Heard, 1991; Savoie, 1999; Kerby, 2009). White (2005) claims that Cabinet promotions are a function of the ‘representative imperative’, viz an MP’s socio-geographical characteristics are much more important determinants of promotion than his or her actual political experience or qualifications for a given portfolio. Prime ministerial appointments conventionally give strong consideration to regional and linguistic representation (Docherty, 1997). Even though ‘regional ministers’ were thought 	  	   	   12 to have declined in their relative importance, Bakvis (1989) argues that they had been revived in the last Cabinet of Pierre Trudeau. Kam (2006: 574) disputes the importance of these regional conventions in Cabinet promotions but, crucially, still finds merit to be “disregarded at promotion time.” The limited scope for advancement based on an individual’s prior preparation, thus, facilitates the promotion of political amateurs and provokes frustration among those with direct political experience (Franks, 1987). Compounding the lack of predictability in establishing one’s political career, high levels of involuntary turnover undermine an MP’s ability to maintain it. This phenomenon is the consequence of routinely competitive electoral cycles that allow for few safe seats, in contrast to the British system, for example (Franks, 1987; Docherty, 2011). In an empirical study of elections from 1867 to 1968, Casstevens and Denham (1970) found that the number of ‘survivors’ in the Canadian House of Commons decreased exponentially. Thus, the indiscriminate nature of electoral volatility ensures a high level of involuntary turnover among incumbent MPs relative to other systems with a single-member plurality system. Moreover, the very nature of electoral volatility in levels of party support can incentivize incumbent MPs to voluntarily step aside from Parliament ahead of an election (Kerby and Blidook, 2008).  Finally, those who are fortunate enough to choose when to disengage from their political careers tend to do so prematurely. High involuntary turnover is exacerbated by the tendency of MPs to see their involvement in federal politics as a “short-term interlude in a career outside of politics” (Franks, 1987: 72). This interstitial conception of political service contributes to high levels of voluntary turnover (Atkinson and Docherty, 1992; Kerby and Blidook, 2011). Such high turnover levels are relatively unique to Canada, and 	  	   	   13 cannot simply be attributed to electoral volatility (Matland and Studlar, 2004). It is an anomalous pattern that leads Kerby and Blidook (2008: 3) to quip, “students of Canadian politics are concerned with how to keep the rascals in, not how to kick them out!” Once they make it to Ottawa, MPs may not understand, or even like, the job (Loat, 2011; Franks, 1987). Docherty (1997) builds on this conjecture to provide a rational choice explanation of voluntary turnover. New MPs enter Parliament with a set of expectations. These may change over time, shaped by institutional dynamics. After certain windows of opportunity for promotion, overlooked members calculate that their utility is not best maximized in Parliament itself. Kerby and Blidook (2011) find that those who enter Parliament expecting to make an individual policy impact are twice as likely to leave because they soon become dissatisfied. MPs with an established career prior to entering federal politics have a sense of occupational security that is largely absent from public life, and so often return to this career (Kerby and Blidook, 2008). Professional politicians may be less likely to disengage from Parliament prematurely as they enter their federal career with direct political experience, and so perhaps have more realistic expectations as to what can be achieved. They still face two challenges, however: they still face a high risk of involuntary exit, and those who are able to choose the timing of their exit may come to share the dominant view that their service in Parliament is interstitial to their broader career, even if their primary career is in politics itself. In sum, the challenge of becoming established on a clear political career path, the challenge of maintaining a federal career, and the tendency to disengage prematurely from a federal political career, cumulatively lead us to expect that there are few career 	  	   	   14 development incentives that facilitate the emergence of professional politicians. As such, this section has generated three hypotheses: H1: If professional experience in politics provides no advantage to MPs in establishing their career, then they should be no more likely to be selected or promoted than those without such experience. H2: If professional experience in politics provides no advantage to MPs in maintaining their career, then they should be no less likely to exit involuntarily than those without such experience. H3: If professional experience in politics does not affect the timing of disengagement, then they should be no more likely to serve in Parliament for longer than those without such experience.   	  	   	   15 3. Data and Method  This study channels data from two primary sources. In order to conduct the most direct tests possible of the three hypotheses, quantitative data on individual MPs were obtained through the Library of Parliament (2015a).6 This generated a total of 838 individual observations, representing all but two of the MPs who have served in the Canadian Parliament between its 35th and 41st iterations.7 Of these, 534 are former members and 304 are incumbent members, correct as of July 2015. The key dependent variable of interest is a binary measure of whether or not an MP can be considered a professional politician. It is necessary, however, to appreciate the nuance of different types of professional experience in politics. Thus, three different categories of professional politician are operationalized. The first is the purest and most obvious, entailing any MP whose primary occupation prior to entering Parliament was in politics itself. This group includes staffers, researchers and assistants to politicians. The second group is the most difficult to code, entailing MPs whose primary occupation before their election was in a field other than politics, but who at some stage worked in politics in a secondary capacity. These include, for example, teachers and entrepreneurs who worked primarily in education and business respectively, but who also provided professional political assistance to a party or parliamentarian for a shorter period. The final group includes all MPs who were previously held elected office at the municipal, 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  6 Depending on the quality of biographical information provided for each member, it was sometimes necessary to obtain supplementary information from members’ official websites. 7 Insufficient data were, unfortunately, obtained from two MPs (Joyce Bateman, Conservative, and Djaouida Sellah, New Democrat) as neither chose to publish their date of birth. Since age at entry to Parliament was a variable used in several regressions, it was thus decided to exclude them both from the dataset. 	  	   	   16 provincial, or federal level. The vast majority of these MPs with electoral experience still had a primary career outside of politics; any who did not were included in the first category. Thus, the first category contains the purest variant of professional politicians, while the latter two categories include those with broader occupational experience, and so contain MPs who are partly political professional, partly political amateur. It should be noted at this stage that an initial inspection of the data provides prima facie justification for defining political professionalism in terms of pre-parliamentary experience rather than simply in terms of parliamentary tenure. In a pilot ‘professionalism as tenure’ dummy variable, MPs who remained in Parliament for more than one term were coded ‘1’, while others were coded ‘0’.8 Of the 838 observations, sixty-six percent served longer than four years, leaving just thirty-four percent who served four years or less. Meanwhile, forty-four percent of MPs have some kind of prior political experience, compared with fifty-six percent with none. This will be addressed further at the beginning of the next chapter. In the meantime, however, we can see that only a minority of MPs serving since 1993 can be considered amateurs in terms of their limited tenure, whereas a majority can be considered amateurs in terms of their lack of professional experience in politics before getting elected. Therefore, it is highly valuable to study the relative lack of professional politicians at the Canadian federal level from the specific perspective of their pre-parliamentary experience. The three hypotheses outlining the challenges facing professional politicians in the Canadian Parliament are each tested with either logistic or linear regressions, as appropriate. Professional politicians seeking to establish their career in federal politics 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  8 Term lengths varied between the 35th and 41st Parliaments, ranging from two to four years. For the purposes of consistency, a full term is taken here to be the maximum duration: four years. 	  	   	   17 may be expected to do so at the earliest stage and by the path of least resistance. Thus, an MP’s age at entry (in years) is measured, as is the relative safety of his or her seat, operationalized as their margin of victory over their opponent.9 It may also be the case that professional politicians are more likely to be ‘parachuted’ into a particular riding compared to other candidates if their prior political experience is seen as an asset by some local party associations. This possibility is captured by two dummy variables that are coded ‘1’ if an MP is originally from his or her riding or province respectively, and ‘0’ otherwise. It is possible to establish with much greater confidence whether or not an MP was born in his or her province than his or her riding.10  Within Parliament, an MP’s promotion to Cabinet is recorded as a binary variable, with Cabinet experience controlled by tenure (in years) and whether or not an MP was promoted for geographical considerations. This latter control variable is operationalized as the proportion of all MPs represented by the province in which the MP’s riding is located; MPs from provinces with sizeable representation may have a lower chance of promotion compared to those from provinces that have lower parliamentary representation.11 Some of these variables are used again when examining the maintenance and disengagement stages of a professional career in politics. One additional control variable employed in these instances is a dummy variable capturing whether or not an MP served 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  9 The margin of victory is that in their first successful election in order to remove any potential for incumbency effects. Data are obtained from Library of Parliament (2015b). 10 If an MP is elected to a riding that is within his or her city of origin, or an adjacent riding, he or she is coded ‘1’. This reflects the fact that it is not always determinable whether or not an MP grew up in an urban riding. For example, Mark Adler, originally from Toronto, represents the city’s York Centre riding, but it is not possible with existing data to establish whether or not he is necessarily from that riding originally. 11 The percentage of seats for each province or territory is held constant at the most recent distribution, effective in the 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2011 federal elections. 	  	   	   18 in a governing party. A full list of independent variables can be found in Appendix A, along with their descriptive statistics.  To assist with the contextualization of quantitative analyses, this study also utilizes qualitative interview data from former MPs. These 75 interviews, conducted by Samara Canada (2015), are intended to provide an understanding of MPs’ motivations and experiences as they reflect on their parliamentary careers. Interviewees consist of MPs who exited public life, both voluntarily and involuntarily, between 2004 and 2011. The sample is not necessarily representative and yields significant potential for selection bias.12 The purpose of the interview data, however, is not to substitute the quantitative tests of the three hypotheses but to more richly situate them. Furthermore, while the goal of the interviews is far broader than addressing the specific issue of political careers, each of them explicitly addresses this issue in some way.13   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  12 63.9 percent of interviewees retired voluntarily, leaving only 34.7 percent who were deselected or defeated, whereas the proportion is evenly spread in the quantitative sample. The data do still offer, however, a range of pre-parliamentary and parliamentary perspectives. A full list of interviewees can be found in Appendix C. As per the terms of using the data, quotations from subjects cannot be attributed. The data are provided courtesy of Samara Canada, an independent charitable organization that works to improve political & civic engagement. Access to transcripts is available from Samara Canada on request. 13 The interview schedule used by Samara interviewers can be found in Appendix D. 	  	   	   19 4. Results  This section proceeds in four parts. It initially presents a descriptive overview of the proportion of MPs with a professional background in politics itself, confirming their relative infrequency, before considering each of the three hypotheses sequentially.  4.1 Professional Politicians as a Parliamentary Minority In the period under investigation, Figure 1 shows that less than one in ten MPs had a primary occupational background in politics itself prior to their election. There is some variation over time, but it is minimal across different political parties.14 From a base of six percent in the 35th Parliament, the proportion of those with a primary career in politics peaked at twelve percent in the 40th, before receding to ten percent in the 41st Parliament. Thus, the vast majority of MPs in different parties and in different parliaments had a prior occupational background in a field other than politics itself. Many interviewees who arrived in Parliament as political amateurs described a steep learning curve, but none fundamentally questioned their qualifications. The acceptability of political amateurism was routinely detected: It’s called the House of Commons for a reason. It’s for Canadians of all walks of life and having a say and their views represented. The picture of extensive political amateurism becomes slightly more complicated by broadening our consideration to those with different kinds of prior political experience.  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  14 For an overview of occupational backgrounds by Parliament, see Appendix B. 	  	   	   20       A similar proportion possesses secondary professional experience in politics prior to election, while a total of thirty percent of MPs have previously held office at some level, most commonly at the municipal level.15 This still leaves seventy percent of MPs entering the House of Commons at their first successful election. Cumulatively, it means that forty-four percent of MPs have some kind of professional political experience prior to entering the House of Commons. At first sight this may challenge the apparent dominance of amateurism among Canadian MPs. To retain perspective, however, a majority can still be described as absolute political amateurs; it is only a small minority that can be described as absolute political professionals with no wider occupational experience. It would be appropriate to consider those only with secondary or electoral experience in politics as partly political professional, partly political amateur. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  15 Twenty-five MPs, or three percent, had prior experience of office in more than one level of government. 0.0% 10.0% 20.0% 30.0% 40.0% 50.0% 60.0% 70.0% 80.0% 90.0% 100.0% No Experience Some Experience First Election Municipal Experience Provincial Experience Federal Experience Secondary Experience Other Profession Primary Experience Figure 1: The percentage of MPs with different types of prior political experience;  N = 838 	  	   	   21 4.2 The Challenge of Establishing a Political Career Table 2 presents a basic profile of professional politicians as they establish themselves in their federal career. Age is a statistically significant predictor of two types of professional politician. Those with primary professional experience are likely to be younger than other MPs, while those with prior experience in elected office tend to be older. These results are intuitive: if an individual has a career that is primarily in the field of politics, he or she is more likely to enter Parliament at a younger age because he or she presumably is not concerned with establishing any other career before entering politics. Politics is their career. On the other hand, among those who were elected to other levels of government beforehand, often with other occupational experience, it is unsurprising that this additional service leads to their establishment at the federal level at a later stage in life.  Regardless of the age at which a professional politician enters the House of Commons, we see little evidence from Table 2 that he or she is able to establish themselves in ‘safer’ seats compared to MPs with other backgrounds. It should still be noted that among those with primary political experience, the odds of securing an extra percentage point over their nearest opponent are increased by one percent, compared to those without such experience. However, this hardly represents a decisive advantage, suggesting instead that professional experience in politics, of any kind, provides little electoral assistance in establishing a federal political career. It is revealing that an MP’s place of origin, either by riding or province, has no statistically significant relationship with prior primary or secondary political experience. However, being local to a riding actually increases the odds of an MP having prior electoral experience by forty percent. Among these particular types of professional 	  	  	      1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8  Primary Experience Secondary Experience Electoral Experience Some Experience Age (at Entry) .94*** (.012) .94*** (.012) 1.00 (.012) 1.00 (.012) 1.05*** (.009) 1.05*** (.009) 1.02*** (.007) 1.02*** (.007) Local (Riding) .74 (.194) - .75 (.186) - 1.40** (.220) - 1.04 (.147) - Local (Provincial) - .65 (.177) - .83 (.213) - 1.15 (.196) - .91 (.139) Margin 1.01* (.009) 1.01* (.009) 1.00 (.009) 1.00 (.009) 1.00 (.005) 1.00 (.005) 1.00 (.005) 1.00 (.005) Constant 1.04  (.629) 1.19 (.730) .13 (.079) .12*** (.077) .03*** (.014) .04*** (.017) .30*** (.109) .33*** (.005) N 838 838 838 838 838 838 838 838 Log Likelihood -219.51 -218.96 -251.81 -252.20 -490.60 -492.57 -570.95 -570.79 Pseudo R2 .05 .05 .00 .00 .04 .04 .01 .01 χ2 (d.f.)  23.10 (3) 24.20 (3) 1.48 (3) .71 (3) 41.92 (3) 37.98 (3) 8.32 (3) 8.64 (3) Entries are odds ratios from logistic regressions; standard errors are reported in parentheses. In Models 1 and 2 the binary dependent variable is coded ‘1’ if an MP’s primary occupational background is in politics, and ‘0’ otherwise. In Models 3 and 4, the dependent variable is coded ‘1’ where an MP has secondary professional experience in politics, and ‘0’ otherwise. In Models 5 and 6, the dependent variable is coded ‘1’ where an MP has held prior elected office and ‘0’ otherwise. In Models 7 and 8, the dependent variable is coded ‘1’ where an MP has some prior professional experience in politics and ‘0’ otherwise. *p < .10; **p < .05; ***p < .01 Table 2: Predictors of different types of professional politician in the Canadian House of Commons 	  	   	   23 politician, therefore, remaining in one’s locality is the preferred route to establishing one’s political career at the federal level. The lack of a relationship between membership of this group and margin of victory suggests that despite their higher odds of representing their local riding, they do not enjoy a more comfortable win. It thus seems that the norm against parachuting candidates into winnable seats remains pervasive. Among the interviewees, one political assistant sought her party’s nomination in her local riding. She revealed that the party initially asked her to seek election in a different riding where she would be more likely to win her nominating convention. Instead of complying, she stood her ground in her local riding. Similarly, another MP with prior municipal experience was initially asked to seek the federal nomination of a different riding. He also stood his ground, declaring, “(this) is my riding and that’s it.” The fact that these candidates themselves considered it preferable to stand in their local riding, even if the conditions in another riding were potentially more favorable, confirms a strong degree of discomfort with electoral parachuting. If the pool of competition is normatively restricted by one’s place of origin, another logical option for a would-be professional politician would be to start off as a municipal councillor and then to seek advancement through the levels of government until reaching federal office. MPs who took such a route, however, rarely perceived the existence of a neat career ladder. Indeed, one admitted being put off by the different forms of party organization at different levels of government: I liked the idea that we had non-partisan municipal policies in the city so I just didn’t have an interest in getting involved (federally) frankly.  	  	   	   24 The disconnect of party organizations across different levels of government discourages politicians at a lower level of government from consciously planning a longer-term political career. Instead of parties grooming candidates to progress to different levels of office, it was more typical for municipal and provincial representatives to be approached, as they saw it, in a largely random fashion:  I think what got me to run federally was really just– to be honest with you – somebody saying, here is a challenge, are you up for it?  Because that had never been any part of my thinking or consideration at all. Even for those who are more intentional in their pursuit of higher office, progressing up an invisible political career ladder by the acquisition of prior political experience counts for little in establishing oneself as a federal candidate. As interviewees overwhelmingly attest, it is not political experience that matters but, rather, an ability to recruit supporters. Networks developed in an earlier stage of a political career may, of course, facilitate this effort. Crucially, however, the supporters mobilized by a successful federal candidate do not necessarily have to be politically motivated, let alone committed to a political party: I saw one where a guy was a useless candidate, and he got it solely because the congregation of his church showed up. … You wrap one hundred and fifty around your finger and you’re in, but you’re useless. Individuals with prior political career, therefore, have no particularly smooth task in establishing their career at the federal level. Norms against parachuting inhibit them from seeking out nominations in the most winnable seats, while the nominations process in local ridings typically reflects a political career ladder that is neither integrated nor predictable.	  	   	   25  1 2 3 4  Cabinet Experience Primary Experience 1.42 (.732) - - - Secondary Experience - .89 (.362) - - Electoral Experience - - 1.33 (.349) - Some Experience - - - 1.29 (.326) Age (at Entry) 1.00 (.016) .99 (.015) .99 (.015) .99 (.015) Province Size .99 (.010) .99 (.010) .99 (.010) .99 (.010) Tenure 1.09*** (.025) 1.09*** (.025) 1.09*** (.025) 1.09*** (.025) Margin 1.02** (.009) 1.02** (.009) 1.02** (.009) 1.02** (.009) Constant .23* (.202) .27 (.224) .27 (.225) .24* (.206) N 308 308 308 308 Log Likelihood -188.08 -188.27 -187.69 -187.78 Pseudo R2 .06 .06 .07 .06 χ2 (d.f.)  25.31 (5) 24.95 (5) 26.10 (5) 25.93 (5) Entries are odds ratios from logistic regressions; standard errors are reported in parentheses. The dependent variable in each model is Cabinet experience, coded ‘1’ if an MP has served in Cabinet and ‘0’ otherwise. The data are restricted only to former MPs who have served when their party has been in government. Incumbent MPs and those only with experience in opposition are excluded. *p < .10; **p < .05; ***p < .01    As an additional stage of analysis of the challenges in establishing a career in federal politics, we can also consider career progression within the House of Commons. Among MPs who have served when their party was in government, no kind of pre-parliamentary Table 3: Predictors of Cabinet experience 	  	   	   26 political experience is significantly associated with higher odds of promotion to Cabinet, controlling for other likely predictors. Similarly, MPs entering Parliament at a younger age and MPs representing a riding in a demographically smaller province are not statistically advantaged.16  On the other hand, the four models in Table 3 suggest that for each additional year in Parliament the odds of being promoted to Cabinet are raised by nine percent, and by two percent for every additional percentage point in an MP’s winning margin. These two variables are, of course, determined by the judgment of an MP’s constituents. The factors that are more firmly within his or her control, conversely, are those that bear no predictive capacity of Cabinet promotion.17 For an ambitious MP ultimately seeking a role in Cabinet, there is little incentive to first acquire prior professional experience in politics.  Promotion to Cabinet, of course, is not the only possible avenue of promotion. Assisting Cabinet ministers are their less visible parliamentary secretaries. When the regression in Table 3 is repeated whereby the dependent variable includes parliamentary secretaries, the possession of primary political experience becomes a significant predictor of promotion; other secondary and electoral experiences were insignificant.18 This signals a parliamentary career in which the purest type of professional politician is recognized for his or her experience by promotion to junior Cabinet ranks, but not to the most senior 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  16 It may be surprising that provincial size is not significant, but caution should be exercised before making too much of this result. It is likely a reflection of a more complex dynamic: that it is not simply the number of seats in a province that can predict the odds of Cabinet promotion, but also the governing party’s relative strength in a particular province or region (as indicated by interview data). 17 A candidate cannot control his or her age or the population of their province, of course, but he or she can choose the age at which they stand for election, and where they stand. 18 Results of this regression are not reported, but are available on request. A further regression was conducted on predictors of opposition MPs’ promotion to critic roles. All types of political experience were found to be insignificant, reflecting a similar pattern to Cabinet promotions among government MPs. 	  	   	   27 positions. Interview evidence suggests widespread frustration at the seemingly cosmetic considerations behind the parliamentary appointments that yield the greatest influence: I like to think that in most organizations people are looking for talent, that people who are going to get into positions are based on merit and talent.  That doesn’t work in politics.  … There are only so many Cabinet positions, and they have so many from Quebec. A certain degree of bitterness could be detected from an MP with a prior political career due to her perception that she was overlooked by her (governing) party, “because they (needed) a Jewish woman from Toronto.” However, even among those who were successful in promotion, the perception of meritless promotions remained powerful: If you’re from Toronto, you have a leg up on anybody else that’s not from Toronto, because of Toronto regional representation. And you know, … whether it was with the Liberals or the Conservatives or any other governments, ... there’s a lot more talent sitting on the (back) benches than sitting in the front row. In such circumstances, MPs seeking promotion are likely to be routinely disappointed. One bemoaned such frustration, calling for more realistic expectations among his peers: ‘If you’re not in Cabinet, you’re nothing’ …Well, there are 107 of us from Ontario so we’re not all going in Cabinet and it’s not for lack of skill or ambition. They are going to look at what they need and who is already there. People need to understand that process better. However, his relaxed attitude to Cabinet promotions was exceptional. Indeed, examining interviewees’ sentiments together with the findings in Table 3 suggests that there is indeed large degree of understanding of the nature of the Cabinet appointments process.  	  	   	   28   It is a process that provides little incentive to establishing advancement in one’s federal career by acquiring previous professional experience in politics.  1 2 3 4  Involuntary Exit Primary Experience 1.33 (.500) - - - Secondary Experience - 1.10 (.366) - - Electoral Experience - - .86 (.171) - Some Experience - - - .97 (.179) Age (at Entry) .98** (.010) .98** (.009) .98** (.010) .98** (.010) Margin .97*** (.007) .97*** (.007) .97*** (.007) .97*** (.007) Cabinet .44*** (.111) .44*** (.111) .44*** (.111) .44*** (.111) Government 1.11 (.226) 1.10 (.224) 1.12 (.230) 1.11 (.227) Constant 5.58*** (2.901) 6.09*** (3.097) 5.90*** (3.007) 6.10*** (3.100) N 534 534 534 534 Log Likelihood -349.63 -349.88 -349.65 -349.92 Pseudo R2 .05 .05 .05 .05 χ2 (d.f.)  39.75 (5) 39.26 (5) 39.71 (5) 39.18 (5) Entries are odds ratios from logistic regressions; standard errors are reported in parentheses. The dependent variable in each model is involuntary exit, coded ‘1’ if a former MP exited Parliament through electoral defeat or deselection, and ‘0’ if the MP retired, resigned, or died in office. Incumbent MPs are excluded. *p < .10; **p < .05; ***p < .01 Table 4: Predictors of involuntary exit from Parliament 	  	   	   29 4.3 The Challenge of Maintaining a Political Career The stability of an MP’s position in Parliament is no better if he or she possesses any kind of professional political experience. Indeed, on the face of it Table 4 would suggest that having primary or secondary experience in politics increases the odds of involuntary exit, but neither odds ratio reaches statistical significance. Instead, lower odds of electoral defeat are significantly associated with being elected at a younger age and having a larger initial winning margin. More dramatically, serving in a Cabinet role is associated with much lower odds of involuntary exit, even though serving in a governing party has no significant effect of its own. All else equal, the odds of a MP from a governing party exiting Parliament involuntarily are, thus, indistinguishable from those of an opposition MP doing so. Federal politics in Canada is a team sport that can be both cruel and kind, especially for those without the apparent extra degree of protection offered by ministerial experience: In a sweep you get swept in and in a sweep you get swept out.  It’s got nothing to do with merit or any other damned thing. The sheer uncertainty of public life cannot be overcome by pre-parliamentary political experience, and interview evidence suggests that the perception of electoral politics as inherently unstable actually encourages the politically interested to pursue a more predictable career path (outside of politics) to begin with, and also influences the career advice offered by those around them: When I first got married, my wife was a teacher and she wanted me to have a steady job, so I ended up teaching.  	  	   	   30 A desire to spend time working in a relatively secure profession was shared by many interviewees, who typically spoke of their desire to establish some sort of safety net before entering the much more risky venture of federal electoral politics: I expected to run. I wanted to run earlier, but I could never get a leave of absence from General Motors because I was a senior executive. So I had to be careful not to leave General Motors too early and forego all my pensions.  Another MP with a business background took a different approach by entering municipal politics at an early stage of his entrepreneurial career. While he was still able to run his business part-time, his extensive political involvement resulted in personal financial sacrifice, which he estimates to have been worth up to $8 million. Moreover, his prior political experience at the municipal level did not protect him from electoral defeat at a relatively early stage in his federal career, nor did he receive any significant compensation for the fact that he exited his federal career involuntarily: So no one’s going to hold a raffle for you, of course, but after four and a half years you end up with no pension after thirty years of public service.19 Just over half of the former MPs who served between the 35th and 41st Parliaments were electorally defeated or deselected by their party.20 Based on these observations, therefore, there is a slightly higher probability of leaving Parliament involuntarily than at a time of one’s choosing. Given these unfavorable odds against maintaining a federal political career, together with the lack of any statistically significant advantage associated with 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  19 MPs are only eligible for a full pension if they have contributed to their parliamentary pension plan for a minimum of six years, and if they are at least 55 years of age. The age of eligibility will increase to 65 after the 2015 federal election (Library of Parliament, 2015c). MPs who leave Parliament and fall outside these conditions may be eligible for a much-reduced allowance. 20 49.4 percent were defeated electorally, a further 3.0 percent were deselected, and 46.1 percent retired or resigned voluntarily. The remaining 1.6 percent of former MPs died in office. 	  	   	   31 prior professional experience in politics, it is unsurprising that many MPs seek to first establish themselves in a more stable career prior to their entry to Parliament.   4.4 The Challenge of Premature Withdrawal from Federal Politics The final hypothesis is that professional politicians are likely to be discouraged from emerging in the Canadian system by the normative tendency of MPs to see their federal career as interstitial, and thus to disengage prematurely from federal office. Thus, we are not just interested in the extent of voluntary turnover per se, but rather the timing of exit among those who have the fortune of choosing their time of withdrawal. We already know that just under half of parliamentary departures are voluntary; of these the mean tenure is 11.3 years, four years longer than the mean tenure of MPs who departed involuntarily.21 That a difference exists is unsurprising. What is more surprising is that  any professional background in politics is not significantly associated with serving a longer period in office, compared to those with other occupational backgrounds. Instead, what is significant is an MP’s age at which they enter Parliament and whether or not he or she was a member of a governing party. There are at least three probable explanations as to why professional politicians are statistically indistinguishable from others in the length of time they choose to spend in Parliament. The first is that there are only a small number of those with primary professional experience who were able to choose when to withdraw from their federal career: only fourteen in total left voluntarily, amounting to one third fewer than those who were defeated. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  21 The mean tenure of former MPs overall is 9.1 years, and 8.1 years when incumbents are included. 	  	   	   32    The second is that of those with prior primary political experience, the mean age of entry of those who exited involuntarily was six years younger than those who exited  1 2 3 4  Tenure Primary Experience .45 (1.454) - - - Secondary Experience - -.35  (1.239)  - Electoral Experience -  -.33 (.721) - Some Experience - - - -.38 (.691) Age (at Entry) -.30*** (.035) -.30*** (.035) -.30*** (.036) -.30*** (.036) Margin .00 (.022) .00 (.022) .00 (.022) .00 (.022) Cabinet .70 (.884) .72 (.883) .70 (.883) .72 (.883) Government 3.39*** (.800) 3.39*** (.803) 3.40*** (.801) 3.42*** (.804) Constant 23.42*** (1.864) -23.49*** (1.846) 23.40*** (1.858) 23.45*** (1.847) N 246 246 246 246 Entries are ordinary least squares (OLS) regression coefficients; standard errors are reported in parentheses. The dependent variable in each model is an MP’s length of time in office, in years. Data are restricted to former MPs who exited Parliament voluntarily (through resignation or retirement). Incumbent MPs and those who withdrew from Parliament involuntarily are, thus, excluded. *p < .10; **p < .05; ***p < .01 Table 5: Predictors of length of time in office among retired MPs 	  	   	   33 voluntarily.22 Thus, because these professional politicians entered Parliament at an older age, on average, their incentive for eventually exiting was likely to be determined by age. The third is that professional politicians who were able to choose when they retired from their federal career may not have conceptualized a federal political career much differently from those from other professional backgrounds. In particular for those who had already calculated future advancement to be unlikely, those still interested in working may have been more attracted to the pursuit of a political career outside of Parliament, conducted on their own terms. In this sense, they would fit within the general conception among Canadian MPs who do not necessarily see federal parliamentary service as the final stage of their overall career. A lawyer, who spent eight years in Parliament before retiring, expresses this common sentiment:  Fortunately I spent most of my life outside of government, so I knew there was a life outside of this place.  So I wanted out.  I wanted to get back to real life. Even for an individual with a longstanding political interest, political office can indeed be seen as just one form of potential political involvement, not the zenith. They clearly enjoy working in politics, but this is not to say that they enjoy the particular demands of retaining federal office: I had a career, I had a good job.  For me activism was a passion, it was a hobby, but not a profession. Again all the negative associations with being a professional politician came to mind, whether it is how people label politicians or the grueling tasks of fundraising, campaigning.  I am not sure I am cut out for that. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  22 Of those with prior primary political experience, the mean entry age of the fourteen who exited Parliament voluntarily was 45.1 years, while that of the twenty-two individuals who exited involuntarily was 38.8 years. 	  	   	   34 Interview data routinely confirmed the contention of Franks (1987) that serving as an MP is largely perceived as a temporary interlude in a broader career. For this political professional with municipal experience and a primary career in education, federal office was understood not to be the peak of his career ambitions, but rather a ‘career break’ from his primary occupation (emphasis added): I thought if I’m going to leave local politics and take that next step and make a more serious commitment, and take a leave of absence from my teaching job, my interest (is) more in the national scene. Professional politicians in the House of Commons appear to be influenced by the widespread acceptability of disengaging from Parliament in order to take their career in a different direction. Table 5 demonstrates that being in a governing party is related to a later voluntary exit. Being an MP in opposition, however, may make opportunities outside Parliament more attractive than remaining inside it. One professional politician, for example, explained his decision to exit due to the frustrations of opposition: I had a couple of offers arise. And this one was to have a more on the ground, immediate impact in the communities. He, therefore, not only felt that he was able to continue his political career outside of federal politics, but he felt that he accomplish more in a post-parliamentary role. Another MP with primary political experience exited voluntarily aged fifty-six because he found the role of an MP to be too intense, despite enjoying working in politics itself: I didn’t stop because it wasn’t a great job. I just needed for my own sake to stop. I was exhausted and I needed to have that change. 	  	   	   35 He felt able to redirect his political career beyond the federal level, underlining the perception among MPs from different professional backgrounds that it is normal to disengage from a federal political career and move on to something else. For other types of MP this may be something completely different to politics. For professional politicians, they feel able to disengage prematurely from federal politics because they understand that there are other avenues to continuing their work in the political field.23   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  23 It should be noted that former interviewees rarely cited pension eligibility. When the subject of pensions did surface, they were usually seen as insubstantial. One MP who retired on full pension described it as a “nice pension, but not great for what I did.” Another in his late fifties who retired before reaching full eligibility revealed his annual allowance to be $33,000, which he perceived to be “not outrageous.” 	  	   	   36 5. Discussion  For those concerned about legislatures dominated by professional politicians with little or no occupational experience of the world beyond politics, the Canadian House of Commons should offer some reassurance. Adding to Docherty’s (1997) argument on MPs’ limited tenure, this study finds that MPs with a professional background primarily in the field of politics itself amount only to a distinct minority, at least among those serving since 1993. At the same time, however, for those concerned about a Canadian Parliament dominated by political amateurs, there may be some surprise at their lower level of dominance than may have been expected. By acknowledging the existence of different types of pre-parliamentary political experience, and thus different types of professional politician, the consideration of those whose primary profession was in a field other than politics, but who possess some prior political experience in a secondary or electoral capacity, presents a more nuanced picture. Among the MPs studied, those without any prior political experience whatsoever still constitute a majority, but not an overwhelming one. Therefore, the extent of Parliament’s dominance by absolute political amateurs is dampened by a sizeable minority of MPs who can be described as partly political amateur, partly political professional.  Still, professional experience in politics (of whatever kind) provides no major assistance to the development of a federal political career. In other words, professional politicians are not associated with membership of the Canadian House of Commons simply by virtue of their occupational background. They are presented with the same fundamental challenges facing prospective MPs from non-political occupational 	  	   	   37 backgrounds. A preliminary report on Samara’s exit interviews with former MPs was entitled The Accidental Citizen? (Samara Canada, 2010). By examining these exit interviews within Super’s (1957) career stage framework, and by corroborating the interview data against more systematic quantitative analysis, the seemingly ‘accidental’ nature of MPs’ entry to Parliament is more plausible than not. Professional politicians may carefully plan their careers as much as possible. This study has found, however, that such planning is especially challenging in the case of Canadian federal politics across three key stages of an MP’s career. Establishing a career in federal politics, from getting nominated to getting promoted, depends not on pre-parliamentary political experience but on less controllable factors. Candidates may exert most control over their initial nomination, but this typically involves the ability to sign up more party members than their nearest challenger. To the extent that they are influential, riding associations do not tend to give much specific weight to prior political experience. The small proportion of MPs with previous experience at the provincial level is consistent with the notion that no integrated career ladder exists for politicians to make a smooth transition from the provincial to the federal level (Carty and Cross, 2010). This calls for greater analysis of occupational experience among legislators at the provincial level. If the low level of professional politicians at the federal level is partly due to this disconnect with the provincial level, then we may reasonably expect the proportion of professional politicians at the provincial level to be higher. If a ladder exists, but yet is not integrated, those seeking to build a political career may simply enter at a lower level but not have the opportunity, or not be prepared to take the risk, to progress to the highest level. Alternatively, they may not regard the federal 	  	   	   38 level as the highest level, especially in the case of representatives from Quebec (Barrie and Gibbons, 1989). Studlar et al. (2000) provide a comparative analysis of social characteristics of legislators at the provincial and federal levels, but they do not measure variation in occupational experience in politics. Such analysis would help yield a better understanding of the nature of political careers across the Canadian political system. Future research should also monitor the potential for greater integration in party organization, particularly in the candidate selection process. Koop (2011) suggested that the Liberal Party is much more integrated than Katz (2001), for example, would have given credit. We have seen the party’s ‘open’ nominations undermined by the acclamation of candidates by the central party structure in the prelude to the 2015 federal election. It will be instructive to monitor whether or not these acclaimed candidates suffer any electoral fallout in the 2015 contest, as well as whether or not such acclamations are repeated or extended in future nominations cycles, both in the Liberal Party and in the other major parties. If Canadian political parties do establish greater integration across different levels of organization, it is plausible that professional politicians may find greater facilitation in the establishment of their political careers. Within Parliament, professional politicians do not appear to have an edge over their peers in reaching the Cabinet. This is consistent with the idiosyncratic factors that conventionally determine Cabinet appointments (Franks, 1987; Docherty, 1997; White, 2005). It is interesting, however, to note that promotion to the level of parliamentary secretary is associated with an MP previously having professional experience primarily in politics itself. These are less visible members of the government, and so the Prime Minister may feel able to reward political experience at least partially. If there is any 	  	   	   39 dilution in the ‘representative imperative’ confronting prime ministers in their ministerial appointments, a potential consequence may be a greater willingness to extend the association between political experience and promotion to encompass the most senior positions, not just junior positions. Maintaining a career as an MP is essentially a touch-and-go endeavor. Among the MPs studied, there was a slightly higher proportion that left involuntarily than voluntarily. The challenge of ‘keeping the rascals in’ is, therefore, a real one (Kerby and Blidook, 2008). The lack of any apparent incumbency advantage no doubt challenges the ability of a professional politician to develop a stable political career, since the possession of pre-parliamentary political experience does not offset the odds of electoral defeat or deselection. In the forthcoming 2015 federal election, Elections Canada has given effect to an additional thirty electoral districts, equating to a ten percent rise in the number of MPs. The results of elections in these redrawn ridings will reveal whether or not electoral volatility continues to a similar extent; if a decline in volatility is recorded, the perceived challenge of maintaining a career as an MP will require reconsideration.  Disengaging from the House of Commons, meanwhile, does not necessarily indicate the fulfillment of one’s career in Canadian politics. In terms of voluntary turnover, the odds of staying in Parliament for longer are not raised by possessing prior experience in politics. Among the three probable explanations suggested for the lack of discernible difference in the timing of voluntary exit between professional politicians and other types of MP, one strong possibility is that professional politicians themselves are influenced by the general tendency of Canadian MPs to regard their time in Parliament as interstitial (Franks, 1987). To test this hypothesis further, it would be advantageous to 	  	   	   40 investigate not only MPs’ pre-parliamentary occupational experience, but also their post-parliamentary employment patterns. Such data would be harder to obtain, and the issue was not consistently addressed in Samara Canada’s exit interviews. There is already scholarly precedent, however, in other jurisdictions, as evidenced by studies of the ‘revolving door’ effect in American politics (see, for example, Blanes i Vidal et al. 2012). The conclusions drawn from this paper, therefore, will not represent the last word on the subject of professional politicians in the Canadian House of Commons. Career patterns in any field are not constant, but are influenced by changing conditions and relative incentives. Indeed, developing a career in many fields has arguably become more competitive and less secure over time which, in turn, influences the types of careers people pursue in the first place (Biemann et al. 2011). If careers are to be understood as dynamic, not simply static, then changes in the development of political careers in Canada should also be seen in this context. As long as representative democracy exists, the demand for politicians will remain roughly constant over time, barring any significant changes to the size of national legislatures. Changes to the nature of political careers, therefore, should be expected to largely reflect changes in supply. Since the present study has attempted to focus on the empirical aspect of the career development of professional politicians in the Canadian case, it has essentially remained silent on the normative debate that the topic provokes. Is it necessary or desirable for politicians to possess prior experience working in politics, or is political amateurism a representational virtue? Atkinson and Docherty (1992) present a mixed picture of the consequences of amateurism in the Canadian House of Commons, largely from the perspective of MPs’ limited parliamentary tenure. Over two decades 	  	   	   41 later, it would be wise to reconsider these consequences, not just in the context of the Canadian federal system, but also from the perspective of MPs’ pre-parliamentary experience in a comparative sense across a different range of legislatures. If King (1981) perceives the rise of professional politicians as such a threat to British democracy, while Docherty (1997) perceives their relative absence as a threat to Canadian democracy, the normative question as to who is best placed in their concern has implications not just for measuring the relative quality of democracy in different national cases, but also for the type of politician who should be encouraged to seek public office. A final thought from the Canadian case is that if professional politicians are not to be found in political life because they are presented with a smoother ride in the development of their political careers, then it may be the case that their role as an MP is not based simply on a personal career goal, but rather on a broader goal of genuine public service. Serving as an MP is a difficult job with plenty of disincentives. In many respects, this is no bad thing. Disraeli recognized long ago that politicians are inevitable in any functioning democracy. The type of politicians who serve, however, is not.          	  	   	   42 Bibliography  Arthur, M. (2008) ‘Examining Contemporary Careers: A Call for Interdisciplinary Inquiry’, Human Relations 61 (2): 163-186.  Aryee, S., Wah Chay, Y., and Chew, J. (1994) ‘An Investigation of the Predictors and Outcomes of Career Commitment in Three Career Stages’, Journal of Vocational Behavior 44 (1): 1-16.  Atkinson, M. and Docherty, D. (1992) ‘Moving Right Along: The Roots of Amateurism in the Canadian House of Commons’, Canadian Journal of Political Science 25 (2): 295-318.  Bakvis, H. (1989) ‘Regional Ministers, National Policies and the Administrative State in Canada: The Regional Dimension in Cabinet Decision-Making, 1980–1984’, Canadian Journal of Political Science 21 (3): 539-567.  Barrie, D. and Gibbins, R. (1989) ‘Parliamentary Careers in the Canadian Federal State’, Canadian Journal of Political Science 22 (1): 137-145.  Biemann, T., Fasang, A. E., and Grunow, D. (2011) ‘Do Economic Globalization and Industry Growth Destabilize Careers? An Analysis of Career Complexity and Career Patterns Over Time’, Organization Studies 32 (12): 1639-1663.  Black, J. (2000) ‘Entering the Political Elite in Canada: The Case of Minority Women as Parliamentary Candidates and MPs’, Canadian Review of Sociology 37 (2): 143-166.  Blanes i Vidal, J., Draca, M, and Fons-Rosen, C. (2012) ‘Revolving Door Lobbyists’, American Economic Review 102 (7): 3731-3748.  Cairney, P. (2007) ‘The Professionalisation of MPs: Refining the ‘Politics-Facilitating’ Explanation’, Parliamentary Affairs 60 (2): 212-233.  Carty, R. K. and Cross, W. (2010) ‘Political Parties and the Practice of Brokerage Politics’. In: D. E. Smith and J. Courtney (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Canadian Politics. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 191-207.  Carty, R. K. and Eagles, M. (2005) Politics is Local: National Politics at the Grassroots. Toronto: Oxford University Press.   Casstevens, T. and Denham, III, W. (1970) ‘Turnover and Tenure in the Canadian House of Commons, 1867-1968’, Canadian Journal of Political Science 3 (4): 655-661.  	  	   	   43 Cowley, P. (2012) ‘Arise, Novice Leader! The Continuing Rise of the Career Politician in Britain’, Politics 31 (1): 31-38.  Criddle, B. (2010) ‘More Diverse, Yet More Uniform: MPs and Candidates’. In: D. Kavanagh & P. Cowley (eds.) The British General Election of 2010. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan: 306-329.  Disraeli, B. (1975) Lothair. London: Oxford University Press.  Docherty, D. (1997) Mr. Smith Goes to Ottawa: Life in the House of Commons. Vancouver: UBC Press.  Docherty, D. (2011) ‘The Canadian Political Career Structure: From Stability to Free Agency’, Regional and Federal Studies 21 (2): 185-203.  Erickson, L. (1997) ‘Canada’. In: P. Norris (ed.) Passages to Power: Legislative Recruitment in Advanced Democracies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 33-55.  Ferejohn, J. and Gaines, B. (1991) ‘The Personal Vote in Canada’. In: H. Bakvis (ed.), Representation, Integration and Political Parties in Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press.  Fournier, P, Cutler, F., Soroka, S. and Stolle, D. (2011) The 2011 Canadian Election Study [dataset].  Franks, C. E. S. (1987) The Parliament of Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.  Gould, S. and Hawkins, B. (1978) ‘Organizational Career Stage as a Moderator of the Satisfaction-Performance Relationship’, Academy of Management Journal 21 (3): 434-450.  Heard, A. (1991) Canadian Constitutional Conventions: The Marriage of Law and Politics. Toronto: Oxford University Press.  Helander, V. (1997) ‘Finland’. In: P. Norris (ed.) Passages to Power: Legislative Recruitment in Advanced Democracies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press: 56-75.  Hess, N. and Jepsen, D. (2009) ‘Career Stage and Generational Differences in Psychological Contracts’, Career Development International 14 (3): 261-283.  Ipsos Reid/CERC (2014) The Canadian Employment Mobility Landscape [pdf]. Available at: CERC_IPSOS_Mobility_Study_Fa.pdf [Accessed on 29/04/2015].	   	  	   	   44 Jones, K. (2008) ‘Professional Politicians as the Subjects of Moral Panic’, Australian Journal of Political Science 43 (2): 243-258.  Kam, C. (2006) ‘Demotion and Dissent in the Canadian Liberal Party’, British Journal of Political Science 36 (3): 561-574.  Katz, R. (2001) ‘The Problem of Candidate Selection and Models of Party Democracy’, Party Politics 7 (3): 277-296.  Kennedy, M. (2014) ‘Leslie Acclaimed Liberal Candidate in Orléans in Chaotic Meeting’, Ottawa Citizen [online]. Available at: news/politics/leslie-acclaimed-liberal-candidate-in-ottawa-orleans-in-chaotic-meeting [Accessed on 28/04/2015].  Kerby, M. (2009) ‘Worth the Wait: Determinants of Ministerial Appointment in Canada, 1935–2008’, Canadian Journal of Political Science 42 (3): 593-611.  Kerby, M. and Blidook, K. (2008) ‘... if I stay it will be double ... Determinants of Voluntary Legislative Turnover in Canada: 1945-2006’. Presented at The European Consortium for Political Research Joint Session. Rennes, France, 11-16 April 2008.  Kerby, M. and Blidook, K. (2011) ‘It’s Not You, It’s Me: Determinants of Voluntary Legislative Turnover in Canada’, Legislative Studies Quarterly 36 (4): 621-643.  King, A. (1981) ‘The Rise of the Career Politician in Britain – And Its Consequences’, British Journal of Political Science 11 (3): 249-285.  Kittilson, M. & Tate, K. (2005) ‘Political Parties, Minorities and Elected Office: Comparing Opportunities for Inclusion in the U.S. and Britain’. In: C. Wolbrecht & R. Hero (eds.) The Politics of Democratic Inclusion. Philadelphia: Temple University Press: 163-185.  Koop, R. (2011) Grassroots Liberals: Organizing for Local and National Politics. Vancouver: UBC Press.  LeBlanc, D. (2014) ‘Liberals’ Open Nominations, Free Votes are Tricky’, The Globe and Mail [online]. Available at: [Accessed on 28/04/2015].  Library of Parliament (2015a) ‘Members of Parliament’ [online]. Available at: [Accessed on 09/02/2015].  Library of Parliament (2015b) ‘Electoral Results’ [online]. Available at: [Accessed on 09/02/2015].  	  	   	   45 Library of Parliament (2015c) ‘Remuneration, Pensions and Entitlements’ [online]. Available at: =1001&Sec=Ch04&Seq=13&Language=E [Accessed on 17/07/2015].  Loat, A. (2011) ‘Member of Parliament: A Job With No Job Description’, Canadian Parliamentary Review 34 (1): 23-29.  Matland, R. and Studlar, D. (2004) ‘Determinants of Legislative Turnover: A Cross-National Analysis’, British Journal of Political Science 34 (1): 87-108.  Matthews, D. (1984) ‘Legislative Recruitment and Legislative Careers’, Legislative Studies Quarterly 9 (4): 547-585.  Mitchell, K., Levin, A., and Krumboltz, J. (1999) ‘Planned Happenstance: Constructing Unexpected Career Opportunities’, Journal of Counseling & Development 77 (2): 115-124.  Morrow, P. and McElroy, J. (1987) ‘Organizational Career Stage as a Moderator of the Satisfaction-Performance Relationship’, Journal of Vocational Behavior 30 (3): 330-346.  Norris, P. & Lovenduski, J. (1995) Political Recruitment: Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  Pitkin, H. (1967) The Concept of Representation. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.  Rahat, G. (2007) ‘Candidate Selection: The Choice Before the Choice’, Journal of Politics 18 (1): 157-170.  Rohde, D. (1979) ‘Risk-Bearing and Progressive Ambition: The Case of Members of the United States House of Representatives’, American Journal of Political Science 23 (1): 1-26.  Samara Canada (2010) The Accidental Citizen? [pdf]. Toronto: Samara Canada. Available at: [Accessed on 29/04/2015].  Samara Canada (2015) MP Exit Interviews [dataset].  Savoie, D. (1999) Governing from the Centre: The Concentration of Power in Canadian Politics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.   Schlesinger, J. (1966) Ambition and Politics: Political Careers in the United States. Chicago: Rand McNally.  	  	   	   46 Studlar, D., Alexander, D., Cohen, J., Ashley, M. J., Ferrence, R., and Pollard, J. (2000) ‘A Social and Political Profile of Canadian Legislators’, The Journal of Legislative Studies 6 (2): 93-103.  Super, D. (1957) The Psychology of Careers. New York: John Wiley.  Weber, M. (1958) ‘Politics as a Vocation’. In: H. Gerth and C. W. Mills (eds.) From Max Weber. New York: Oxford University Press: 77-128.  White, G. (2005) Cabinets and First Ministers in Canada. Vancouver: UBC Press.   	  	   	   47 Appendices Appendix A: List of Variables Variable Operationalization Professional Politician Four dummy variables (not mutually exclusive): (i) Primary experience is coded ‘1’ when an MP’s primary occupation before entering Parliament was in politics itself, e.g. as a researcher or political assistant, and ‘0’ otherwise. Some fields of work are more difficult to code, and required case-by-case judgment. For example, a public servant was coded ‘1’ only when his or her job was overtly political. (ii) Secondary experience is coded ‘1’ when an MP’s primary occupation before entering Parliament was in a field other than politics, but who worked in a secondary capacity in politics at some point before entering Parliament, and ‘0’ otherwise. (iii) Electoral experience is coded ‘1’ when an MP has previously held office at the municipal, provincial, or federal level, and ‘0’ otherwise. (iv) Some experience is coded ‘1’ when any of the previous three variables are coded ‘1’ and ‘0’ otherwise. Age Age is measured in years from an MP’s time of entry to Parliament. Riding A dummy variable coded ‘1’ where an MP was born in his or her riding, or in an immediately adjacent riding, and ‘0’ otherwise. This is a relatively crude variable since an MP’s location of birth may not mirror the location where he or she grew up or has lived for most of his or her life. More nuanced data, however, was unavailable. Province As with the previous variable, except it is geographically broader: it is coded ‘1’ where an MP was born in the province in which his or her riding is located, and ‘0’ otherwise. Margin of Victory The percentage difference between the winning vote share and that received by the MP’s closest rival in his or her first successful election. Calculated from Library of Parliament (2015b). Province Size The percentage of legislative seats occupied by the province in which an MP’s riding is located, held constant at 2004-2014 distributions. Tenure The length of time, in years, served in the House of Commons. For those serving in multiple, but not consecutive, Parliaments, tenure from the most recent consecutive service is recorded. Measurement is to the nearest year; those serving less than a year are recorded as serving one year. Cabinet Experience A dummy variable coded ‘1’ where an MP has served in a Cabinet position, and ‘0’ otherwise. For unreported regressions, the variable was adjusted to include those who also served as a parliamentary secretary and those who served in an oppositional critic role respectively. Government Experience A dummy variable coded ‘1’ where an MP has served in a party that was in government at some point during his or her tenure, and ‘0’ otherwise. Table A1: List of variables and details of their operationalization 	  	   	   48 Appendix B: Descriptive Statistics  Parliament 35th 36th 37th 38th 39th 40th 41st All Period 1993-1997 1997-2000 2000-2004 2004-2006 2006-2008 2008-2011 2011-2015 1993-2015 Business 29.9 35.0 35.1 35.6 36.3 33.3 25.5 31.5 Education 22.4 18.0 16.0 13.9 11.4 10.8 11.2 14.9 Law 15.5 12.2 13.7 13.6 13.6 14.0 14.6 13.3 Politics 5.6 7.4 7.7 10.7 11.0 12.4 10.0 7.9 Farmer 6.6 4.8 4.2 5.2 4.1 4.4 4.0 4.1 Journalism 2.0 2.6 3.2 3.2 3.2 2.5 5.3 3.8 Civil Servant 3.3 4.2 3.5 3.2 2.5 3.2 3.4 3.9 Community 1.0 2.3 2.6 3.2 3.8 3.8 5.9 3.5 Police-Army 2.3 1.3 0.6 1.0 1.9 2.5 5.0 2.9 Medicine 2.6 2.6 3.5 2.6 3.2 3.2 3.1 2.7 Other 8.9 9.6 9.9 7.8 9.1 9.8 11.8 11.6 Total 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 100.0 N 304 311 313 309 317 315 321 838 Ns do not equal the number of seats in a given Parliament; they are inflated due to a number of MPs being elected in by-elections.         Mean SD Minimum Maximum Age (at entry, in years) 46.9 9.9 20.0 72.0 Tenure (years) 8.7 5.6 1.0 40.0 Margin of Victory (%) 16.2 14.2 0.0 88.2 Province Size (% of seats) 20.6 12.0 .3 34.4 A summary of dummy variables: 66 MPs had primary political experience, 75 had secondary political experience, 251 had electoral experience, 370 had some political experience, 411 were born in his or her riding, 591 were born in the province in which his or her riding is located, 168 served in Cabinet, an additional 152 served as a parliamentary secretary, 542 served in an oppositional critic role, and 493  served when their party was in government.    Table A2: Occupational backgrounds of MPs serving between the 35th and 41st Parliaments, in percentages Table A3: Descriptive summary of selected variables 	  	   	   49 Appendix C: List of Interviewees  Name Party Year of Exit Adams, Peter (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Alghabra, Omar Liberal 2008 Anderson, David (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Augustine, Jean (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Bakopanos, Eleni (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Barnes, Susan (Hon.) Liberal 2008 Beaumier, Colleen Liberal 2008 Bell, Catherine NDP 2008 Bergeron, Stéphane Bloc Québécois 2005 Boire, Alain Bloc Québécois 2006 Boschoff, Ken Liberal 2008 Boudria, Don (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Bradshaw, Claudette (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Broadbent, Edward (Hon.) NDP 2006 Brown, Bonnie Liberal 2008 Bulte, Sarmite (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Casson, Rick Conservative 2011 Catterall, Marlene Liberal 2006 Clavet, Roger Bloc Québécois 2006 Comuzzi, Joseph (Hon.) Conservative 2008 Côté, Guy Bloc Québécois 2006 Cullen, Roy (Hon.) Liberal 2008 Cummins, John Martin Conservative 2011 Desrochers, Odina Bloc Québécois 2006 DeVillers, Paul (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Drouin, Claude (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Efford, Ruben John (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Epp, Ken Conservative 2008 Fitzpatrick, Brian Conservative 2008 Forseth, Paul Eugene Conservative 2006 Gagnon, Sébastien Bloc Québécois 2006 Gallaway, Roger John (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Godfrey, John Ferguson (Hon.) Liberal 2008 	  	   	   50 Gouk, James William Conservative 2006 Graham, Bill (Hon.) Conservative 2007 Gravel, Raymond Bloc Québécois 2008 Hanger, Art Conservative 2008 Harrison, Jeremy Conservative 2006 Harvey, Luc Conservative 2008 Hearn, Loyola (Hon.) Conservative 2008 Hill, Jay D. Conservative 2010 Hubbard, Charles (Hon.) Liberal 2008 Johnston, F. Dale Conservative 2006 Lastewka, Walt (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Lee, Derek Vincent Liberal 2011 Lussier, Marcel Bloc Québécois 2008 Macklin, Paul (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Mark, Inky Conservative 2010 Martin, Keith P. Liberal 2011 Matthews, Bill Liberal 2008 McDonough, Alexa NDP 2008 McLellan, A. Anne (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Ménard, Serge Bloc Québécois 2011 Merasty, Gary Liberal 2007 Milliken, Peter Liberal 2011 Mitchell, Andrew (Hon.) Liberal 2006 O'Brien, Pat Liberal 2006 Ouellet, Christian Bloc Québécois 2011 Owen, Stephen Liberal 2007 Paradis, Denis (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Pettigrew, Pierre (Hon.) Liberal 2006 Powers, Russ Liberal 2006 Priddy, Penny NDP 2008 Roy, Jean-Yves Bloc Québécois 2010 Schmidt, Werner Conservative 2006 Scott, Andy (Hon.) Liberal 2008 Siksay, Bill NDP 2011 Skelton, Carol (Hon.) Conservative 2008 Solberg, Monte (Hon.) Conservative 2008 Strahl, Charles (Hon.) Conservative 2011 Telegdi, Andrew (Hon.) Liberal 2008 (Continued) 	  	   	   51 Thompson, Myron Conservative 2008 Torsney, Paddy (Hon.) Liberal 2006 White, Randy A. Conservative 2006 Wilson, Blair Green 2008   Table A4: List of former MPs who participated in Samara exit interviews; N = 75 (Continued) 	  	   	   52 Appendix D: Interview Schedule  [This interview schedule was provided by Samara Canada (2015). Interviewees were also provided with a background to Samara Canada, not transcribed here.]  Part 1: Your Story For the next few moments I would like to hear about your journey in politics – what brought you there, how you became involved, what the process was like, and what happened while you were there.  1. Can you tell me what motivated you to become involved in politics (probe: personal issue, unhappy about the state of affairs, friend invited you)?  2. Why are politics important to you? Was it always important or did something happen that triggered your interest? 3. Where did your story begin – tell me about your involvement in your party before becoming a candidate? How did it start? 4. What made you decide to do it?  Did anyone ask you to run? 5. Also, several MPs said that they ended up in politics “by accident” and they were uncomfortable with the ambition that is often associated with politics – was that the same for you?  6. What was the best part of being in politics? Is that still the best part of being an MP? Have your feelings changed? What specifically has changed? 7. Now thinking back about the things that were important to you when you ran - do you feel that your initial goals changed?  If yes, how did they change and why? 	  	   	   53 8.  Looking back, what was the most significant moment in your career?  Can you describe how you felt at the time? Why was this moment so important to you?  Part 2: The Role of the Politician, the Party, Policymaking and the Riding Now I would like to turn more specific feedback with how you see yourself as an MP.  In ‘Welcome to Parliament: A Job with No Description’ we noted that there was a range of opinions on the role of an MP.  Some MPs felt a strong allegiance to their party, some their own conscience, or relied on their own judgement, and others felt their job as an MP was to represent their constituents.  1. How would you describe your role or the job description of an MP? 2. Did you ever find that your constituency, party, or your role as MP were at odds? If so, how did you balance this?    The Party and Ottawa A number of MPs said they were ashamed and/or embarrassed by their own conduct in Parliament and that the real work happened away from the camera. Did you ever feel pressure to perform in a manner that made you uncomfortable? If so, what made you decide to act this way (probe: party, media, increasing your profile, your career advancement)? If not, how were you able to avoid it?   Policy-Making 1. During your time in office, how often were you able to influence an outcome? Can you give an example? What challenges did you confront? 	  	   	   54 2. What do you see as your personal strengths in this area, and were you able to put them (all) to use? What, if anything, prevented you from using your skills? Or how did you go about getting input or generating discussion about policy or issues that you cared about (both on the Hill as well as among the wider public)?  Committee Work 1. You were involved in _____ committees. What did you do (probe: Construct policy initiatives, forward an agenda that was important to you, or scrutinize or review law)? 2. How effective were these committees when it came to crafting good legislation or holding the government to account? Are there any things you would change about how committees function? 3. How  would you rank the importance of committee work in relation to work in your constituency, or work in caucus? What would be most important? Second most? Why did you rank them this way?  4.  Besides Committees, there are a large number of all-party caucuses and associations that operate at Parliament, such as the Canada-United States Interparliamentary Group and the All-Party Outdoors Caucus. Were you involved in any of these types of associations? How did you find your participation in these groups complement your other roles as an MP?  Several MPs also noted that the issues that mattered to them and the day-to-day practice of politics were often at odds since their party’s goals were not always consistent with their own.  	  	   	   55 1. Did you experience this - how would you characterize your interaction with your party leadership in the House (whip)? 2. Many felt that the party staff got in the way. How would you characterize your relationship with the political staff in the party leader’s office? Or the PMO? 3. What about your interaction with your constituency association membership and executive?  The Riding Now moving away from the Hill, can we talk about your work in your riding for a few moments; 1. Think about your constituency for a moment. How do you see your constituency?  2. Did your constituents or your constituency have an influence on how you carried out your job in Ottawa? How did you learn about your constituents’ issues and opinions? 3. Can you describe a time when you were able to bring your constituents’ views forward in Ottawa? What criteria did you use to determine which issues to bring to Ottawa? We learned a lot about Members of Parliament’s relationship with their constituents, but less about their relationship with their riding association;   1. What about your riding association? How do you see your association? How were your interactions with the riding association? Were they supportive of you during your tenure?  2. How did you work with them between elections?  	  	   	   56 Part 3: Wrap-up Reflections It is now time to wrap up our discussion; 1. When you said earlier that you became involved in politics because of (see number 1) – did you accomplish that? 2. If you did – can you explain how you accomplished that, and why you were successful? If not – can you tell me about the roadblocks? What prevented you from achieving your goals?  3. How could we encourage greater interest in and understanding of the parliamentary system and politics in this country? 4. That’s all; do you miss it? 


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items