Professionalization and Careerism in Canadian Provincial Assemblies: Comparison to U. S. State Legislatures

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The development of legislative professionalization is well documented in U.S. state legislatures, where it is closely associated with the advent of careerism. This association is partly responsible for the term limit movement. In this paper we show that Canadian provincial legislative assemblies have undergone a similar trend toward professionalization but that careerism has been less evident. Turnover rates are higher than under similar conditions in U.S. state legislatures because the electoral advantage of incumbency is substantially smaller in Canadian provincial elections. We identify five reasons why incumbents are less advantaged in the Canadian system.

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