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Shing-Yuan Sheng, Associate Professor Department of Political Science, National Chengchi University.
Law-Making and Constituency Service: A Study on Representative Behavior of Taiwan's Legislators Elected in 1995 (in Chinese) Download
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This paper examines representative behavior of Taiwan's legislators and the reasons for their representative behavior. The representative behavior is divided into two categories: activities in the Legislative Yuan and activities in constituencies. Some researchers argue that these two categories of representative behavior are a trade-off, because legislators' resources are limited. Others argue that making efforts on one of these two categories of activities may reduce pressure from the other one. However, this paper indicates that these two arguments are not true for Taiwan's legislators. Based on a survey on legislators' assistants and a content analysis up-on Legislative gazettes, this paper shows that the relationship of these two categories of behavior is not necessarily negative. That is to say, the legislators who make efforts in the Legislative Yuan may not necessarily ignore the constituencies. On the contrary, the legislators who make efforts in the constituencies may not necessarily ignore the activities in the Legislative Yuan.Secondly, the research findings indicate that individual legislators must have some expectations on their representative roles, and hence these expectations affect their choices on legislative career, either pays more attention to law-making or to constituency services. Meanwhile, these expectations are affected by the factors related to legislators' party, constituency, and their own political purposes and resources. Furthermore, comparing these influential factors, I find that the factors related to the constituency are the most important. The legislators whose votes are concentrated on a certain part of the electoral district tend to make more efforts in constituencies. On the other hand, the legislators whose votes are scattered across the electoral district tend to make more efforts in the Legislative Yuan. Meanwhile, the research findings show that the following factors affect legislators' representative behavior: party affiliation, the degree of intra-party competition, political purposes, seniority, whether holding a party position, and the activities in committees.