Debates in a Party-dominated System with Clientelistic Underpinnings
This chapter examines the politics of legislative debate in Greece.¹ According to Proksch and Slapin (2015, 1), and as summarized in their chapter and the chapter by Laver in this volume, MPs use floor speeches primarily to communicate policy positions to other members within their party, to members of other parties, and, most importantly, to their voters. Their investigation shows that the electoral system, especially the ballot structure, explains how parties monitor and control MPs’ speeches. In a parliamentary system with PR, party unity is prized, and MPs’ freedom to access the floor will be minimized. On the contrary, in a presidential system with a majoritarian electoral system, the opposite is true. In this chapter, we will place the Hellenic Parliament² (Βουλή των Ελλήνων—Vouli ton Elinon) within this broad framework, and make use of an original dataset on parliamentary speechmaking to understand its patterns in the Vouli.