Canadian members of Parliament (MPs) are often dismissed as “trained seals,” helpless to do anything other than take commands from party leaders. Representation in Action challenges this view of MPs and shows that the ways they represent their constituents are as diverse as Canada itself. Royce Koop, Heather Bastedo, and Kelly Blidook examine the activities MPs engage in to represent their ridings and determine what accounts for differences in style and agency. Drawing on original observational and interview research and featuring detailed in-depth case studies, this is the first book using intensive participant-observation methods to study Canadian MPs and representation.
About the authors
Royce Koop writes about political parties, representation, local politics, and online political communication. He is the author of Grassroots Liberals: Organizing for Local National Politics (UBC Press, 2015), which won the 2014 Seymour Martin Lipset Best Book Award from the American Political Science Association, and, with Peter J. Loewen, Jaime Settle, and James H. Fowler, “A Natural Experiment in Proposal Power and Electoral Success,” American Journal of Political Science 58, no. 1 (2014).
This is a highly readable book that provides ample evidence and argumentation that MPs are self-consciously engaged in representational styles and strategies that are coherent and responsive to the demands and expectations of their diverse constituencies. This is a good news story and I highly recommend it.
Canadian Journal of Political Science
[A] fascinating new book ... Representation in Action is destined to become a field guide for a generation of students and researchers who want to collect real-world data about parliamentarians.
The Hill Times