Mixed Member Electoral Systems, Holding Government to Account, and Representational Styles in the Scottish Parliament

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Montana State University


We tackle the question of the effectiveness of ministers’ questions and the role institutional structures play in how members chose to utilize them to hold government to account and craft a representational style. We qualitatively and quantitatively analyze written questions for the geographic region of concern (national or local), the topic of concern, and the tone in which the question or motions are stated. Written and oral questions represent a different level of commitment on the part of the MSP, as one requires that they be at the parliament in person while the other does not. Leveraging this difference, we can examine whether members pursue different governing and reputational goals with each question type. We also examine whether constituency and regional members pursue different representational strategies with written and oral questions. Finally, we evaluate who holds government to account and assess the effectiveness of their endeavors.




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