Understanding Legislative Speech in the Turkish Parliament: Reconsidering the Electoral Connection under Proportional Representation

Bulut A. T., İlter E.

PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS, vol.73, no.1, pp.147-165, 2020 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 73 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1093/pa/gsy041
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, International Bibliography of Social Sciences, American History and Life, Historical Abstracts, PAIS International, Political Science Complete, Public Affairs Index, Social services abstracts, Sociological abstracts, Worldwide Political Science Abstracts, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.147-165
  • Keywords: Electoral Vulnerability, Legislative Speech, Proportional Representation, SMD, Turkey, CONSTITUENCY FOCUS, PARTY STRATEGIES, PERSONAL VOTE, DISTRICTS, SYSTEM, FLOOR
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


We aim to address two weaknesses of the growing literature on legislative debate and legislative behaviour. First, most studies on legislative speech focus on the role of party unity and individual dissent on speech-making behaviour and largely ignore the role of legislators' own calculations regarding their electoral vulnerability. Secondly, research on legislative behaviour that studies mechanisms other than legislative speech usually explores the role of electoral incentives where there is Single Member District (SMD) or open list system, and largely neglects closed list proportional representation systems with multi-member districts. We suggest that, similar to SMD and single transferable vote systems, the electoral vulnerability of individual legislators provides incentives to nurture a personal reputation and signals their efforts to their constituents and party leadership. Using a novel dataset of parliamentary speeches in the Turkish Parliament (2007-2011), we demonstrate that legislators who are electorally more vulnerable participate more in legislative debate, and are more likely to deliver constituency-related speeches.