December 30, 2009

New appointments made to the Order of Canada

By Alison Loat
Amidst preparing for New Year's Eve and opining on the prorogation of Parliament and the composition of the Olympic men's hockey team, please don't miss this announcement of 57 new appointments to the Order of Canada. This honour, established in Canada's centennial year (1967), recognizes those with a "lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation." ... [More]

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December 29, 2009

Nominate a young policy wonk, please

By Alison Loat
Every year Canada's public policy mukity-mucks get together in Toronto at the Public Policy Forum's (PPF's) annual awards dinner, which recognizes the contribution of a handful of people to Canada's public policy landscape. A relatively recent addition to the evening is the award that recognizes an "emerging leader who personifies leadership and commitment in the area of public policy and civic... [More]

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December 22, 2009

Wonk alert!

By Alison Loat
The Hill Times, inside Ottawa's weekly newspaper, has come out with its 13th Annual All Politics Poll. Dying to know who political insiders believe about the personalities and issues that shaped the past year? Well, here you go.

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December 22, 2009

Political memory lane, volume one

By Alison Loat
When we started our MP Exit Interview project, among the decisions we had to make was which group of MPs we'd seek to interview first. Some suggested only interviewing those who retired (versus those who lost in an election, as they might have hard feelings). Others argued we should start with the oldest living MPs, or with women MPs or with those serving in cabinet. In the end, we opted to start... [More]

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December 18, 2009

Pick of the lists, volume two

By Alison Loat
Thank you to those who provided feedback on yesterday's post on some of the more interesting policy and ideas-oriented lists we've stumbled upon of late. I'm glad I'm not alone in feeling overwhelmed. I'm also glad you're adding to that overwhelmed feeling by suggesting a few more lists. As promised, I'll share them here: 1. The Atlantic's most-read stories of 2009. It didn't include one o... [More]

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December 16, 2009

The pick of the lists

By Alison Loat
End-of-year lists are ubiquitous to the point of exhaustion at this time of year, but they are also a great way to get caught up on things you should probably know. A few have caught my eye these past days: First, Foreign Policy's list of the top 100 global thinkers is inspiring. U.S. Fed Reserve chair Ben Bernanke tops the pile for his work fighting global economic depression (a feat that al... [More]

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December 16, 2009

Samara's latest newsletter

By Alison Loat
Every handful of months we send a short newsletter to share updates on our work. You can find our latest newsletter here, featuring a quick update on our MP Exit Interviews and our journalism seminar series, plus a few other tidbits. If you'd like to join the list, you can sign up from this page (look right!). As always, comments welcomed!

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December 14, 2009

So who are our MPs?

By Alison Loat
As promised, here are a few more factoids about the group we're speaking with as part of our exit interviews. An experienced group: the average tenure is just over 10 years. 28% served as cabinet ministers, 35% as parliamentary secretaries; Not all left willingly: 52% retired from federal politics and 48% were defeated; Slightly more female, relatively: 74% are male and 26% are female... [More]

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December 9, 2009

Journalism from days gone past?

By Alison Loat
While navigating my rental car through the lower mainland of BC on my way to interview a retired MP, I caught this terrific interview with veteran British journalist Sir Harold Evans, who was in Toronto promoting his autobiography. Sir Harold spent nearly 60 years in the news business, including 14 years as the editor of the Sunday Times in London. He pioneered the use of investigative teams, a... [More]

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December 6, 2009

Getting to know you...

By Alison Loat
Before Samara started our MP exit interviews, we spent a good chunk of the summer researching the backgrounds of the 139 former MPs that left public life during the 38th and 39th Parliaments. The team read whatever it could on these folks, including CBC riding profiles, and biographical sketches from Library of Parliament, Wikipedia and, where available, from the MPs' own websites.Where possible,... [More]

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