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The Role of the Member of Parliament Since
1868From Gentlemen to Players$
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Michael Rush

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780198275770

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198275770.001.0001

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Parliamentary Participation: Continuity and Change 1

Parliamentary Participation: Continuity and Change 1

(p.139) 6 Parliamentary Participation: Continuity and Change 1
The Role of the Member of Parliament Since 1868

Michael Rush

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that although parties are engines of Parliament, driving government and opposition, it is largely these roles of government and opposition which determine levels of participation, with third parties having to exert themselves much more to make their presence felt. Thus, while there is some evidence that parties to the left of centre are more active than those to the right, this too operates within the government-opposition dichotomy, with a number of Conservative governments, and therefore their backbench supporters, being less active than Liberal or Labour governments and their backbench supporters. Even this difference seems to have disappeared in more recent Parliaments.

Keywords:   Parliament, parliamentary government, parliamentary participation, MP, government-opposition diachotomy

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