Markus Baumann
Constituency Demands and Limited Supplies: Comparing Personal Issue Emphases in Co-sponsorship of Bills and Legislative Speech

Scandinavian Political Studies, 2016: 39, Heft 4, S. 366-387
ISSN: 0080-6757 (print); 1467-9477 (online)

Parliamentary party groups typically comprise MPs with diverse preferences and different personal issue emphases. At the same time, speaking in plenary debates is a scarce resource controlled and allocated by parliamentary party group leaders. This has led recent research to investigate how speakers for plenary debates are selected. This contribution connects with this literature by asking whether MPs’ personal issue emphases deviate from their parliamentary party groups’ issue emphases. In order to answer this question, I measure the issue emphases which individual MPs devote to a set of issues in an open access parliamentary instrument and compare them to the emphases MPs devote to these issues in speeches. The results for the 2005–2009 legislative period of the Norwegian Storting indicate that MPs differ in how closely aligned their issue emphases are in these two instruments and that these differences vary in a way consistent with theories on candidate selection and individualized MP behavior.