Congrats to Louise Cockram! Her thesis is entitled A Process, not just an Event: MP Orientation and Representational Styles and Focus in Canada and the UK.

“My dissertation research looks at the orientation of newly elected MPs in Canada and the UK. Similar to non-political careers, MPs go through an orientation process when they first start the job. After the election, the House of Commons administration and the political parties organize orientation sessions for new MPs. MPs also adapt to the role by drawing on their pre-election experience and through informal socialization.

Through interviewing 80 MPs and orientation facilitators in Canada and the UK I have found that new members are more likely to develop their role through the party and informal orientation. The orientation from the House of Commons administration provides MPs with the procedural and administrative knowledge to enact their representative role. However, it is not the role of the non-partisan House administration to provide MPs with substantive guidance on how to achieve appropriate and effective representation This means that new MPs often look to the political parties and their MP colleagues to develop their role, along with drawing on their own pre-election experience.

Carleton is the perfect place to conduct research on Parliament. The capital advantage means that the House of Commons and the Senate are only a bus ride away from campus. Plus, the Department of Political Science organizes fascinating lectures with researchers and practitioners across Canada! I will always look fondly upon my time at Carleton.”