Accountability is widely acknowledged as an important component of good governance and mature democracy. Institutional arrangements often incorporate several mechanisms to increase the likelihood that public officials' actions may be evaluated by citizens or other political actors, and that improper behaviour may be met with corrective action. The most common tool for promoting accountability in democratic societies is the electoral process: citizens assess the performance of officials, retaining those who perform well and rejecting those who do not. A substantial literature has focused on the primary role of elections as mechanisms to promote accountability.
Tables and Figures:
Table 1. Deputy requests in Ukraine's 4th Rada convocation.
Table 2a. Diference of means, requests issued before and after the Orange Revolution.
Table 2b. Difference f means, pre-Orange Revolution.
Table 2c. Difference of means, post-Orange Revolution.
Table 3. Induvidual-level analysis of deputy request activity, robust regresion results.
Table 4. Responsiveness to legislative questions, negative binominal regression.
In an established democratic society, many of the findings would not be surprising. Indeed, the opposition would be expected to use accountability tools more frequently than the ruling party or coalition as these tools represent an avenue to express dissent and challenge the decisions of opponents in power. Moreover, it is not unexpected that the governing party would respond more rapidly to questions from co-partisans than rivals. Discovering these patterns in a society with an inchoate party system, at the time of rapid and unexpected political transition, is notable. The ability of opposition parties to play a watchdog role within a semi-authoritarian context suggests that they may be capable of providing a meaningful check on the regime. As parties form more stable organizations and relationships with their allies and opponents, they may be more inclined to use institutional tools – even minor ones – as weapons in their partisan arsenal. The findings suggest that legislative accountability tools could be a leading indicator of party system institutionalization and a governing approach that may approximate the responsible party model.