Do catholic leaders try to influence catholic MPs’ conscience votes? A case study on therapeutic cloning

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Journal Article
Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 2017, 30 (1), pp. 73 - 91
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© Equinox Publishing Ltd. A conscience vote allows an MP to consider the merits of a parliamentary bill free from the constraints of his or her political party’s typical voting requirements. A conscience vote therefore allows MPs greater deliberative choice. The article reviews a case study—on therapeutic cloning—in which two Catholic leaders sought to influence state Catholic MPs’ conscience votes. The Catholic leaders did so by implying that Catholic politicians might be denied the Sacraments if the MPs did not oppose legislative reforms on therapeutic cloning. The article review/s the methods chosen by the Catholic leaders to influence MPs’ conscience votes and considers the responses of MPs to the Catholic leaders’ overtures.
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