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Not All Experience is Created Equal: MP Career Typologies and Ministerial Appointments in the Canadian House of Commons, 1968–2015

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 November 2019

Matthew Kerby
Affiliation:
School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Feodor Snagovsky
Affiliation:
School of Politics and International Relations, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia
Corresponding
E-mail address:

Abstract

While there is widespread agreement in the ministerial promotion and resignation literature that experience matters, experience has typically been defined as the length of time a legislator has worked in politics or served in a legislature. This approach fails to account for the different kinds of experience legislators accumulate as they progress through their political careers prior to appointment to cabinet. We demonstrate how researchers can use sequence and cluster analysis to obtain a more complete understanding of ministerial appointment. We identify four data-driven archetypes of political careers in Canada for the period 1968–2015. We find that MPs with diverse political careers are more likely to be appointed to cabinet, while MPs with opposition experience are more successful than MPs with government experience. We also find that parliamentary secretary is not necessarily a stepping stone to a full cabinet position, calling into question traditional conceptions of parliamentary politics as a ‘ladder’.

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Articles
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Copyright © The Authors 2019. Published by Government and Opposition Limited and Cambridge University Press 

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