Competing Principals and Non-Vote Decisions in the European Parliament

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Abstract

This article analyses the effects of competing principals on legislators' decisions not to vote in the European Parliament. We argue that Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are likely to decide not to vote to avoid defecting from either the national party or the European political group when both political principals disagree. Moreover, the article demonstrates that competing demands between principals interact with the expected closeness of a vote. MEPs are more likely to opt for not voting when they have few chances to influence the vote outcome and are torn between the two main principals. Based on a novel data set on individual votes in the 2009-2014 term, this article demonstrates that competing demands moderate the effect of the expected vote closeness on non-vote decisions and highlights the need to incorporate this type of legislative non-response in future research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-185
Number of pages20
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Volume73
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2018

Keywords

  • Competing Principals
  • European Parliament
  • Legislative Behaviour
  • Not-Voting
  • Representation
  • INSTITUTIONS
  • LEGISLATOR
  • COHESION
  • BEHAVIOR
  • BIAS
  • PARTY UNITY
  • CANDIDATE SELECTION METHODS

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