July 30, 2010

Those darn kids again....

By Alison Loat
Earlier this month I participated in an interesting discussion, via The Mark Radio, on the public's engagement with politics - where it's at and how it can be better.  In response, Max Fawcett penned a thoughtful post, rightfully pointing out that engagement in traditional politics is only one way of engaging in public life. In theory and in practice, this is true. As a university instruc... [More]

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July 30, 2010

Guess Who? And win... (vol. 2)

By Alison Loat
Today is our second Samara's bi-weekly "Guess Who?" contest, where we'll reveal a quote from one of our MP exit interviews. Guess which of the 65 participating MPs spoke the words below before noon EST on Thursday August 5th. We'll choose one winner from among the correct guesses, and send him or her a book of their choosing from the list of the Best of Canadian Political Writing. This week, ou... [More]

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July 29, 2010

Democracy Boot Camp

By Alison Loat
Thank you very much to Taylor Gunn and the crew at Student Vote for including us in their Democracy Boot Camp, a three-day workshop for high school teachers that featured new ways to engage students in our democracy.  We had a great time sharing the results of The Accidental Citizen? (captured below for posterity), and of course had to remind/warn the teachers that nearly 25% of the MPs we in... [More]

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July 26, 2010

Philosophy lives! (the census edition)

By Alison Loat
As previous posts in this space have argued, philosophy is alive and well in Canadian public life, if you know where to look. And look you should, here, for the most thoughtful analysis of the reasons behind the federal Conservative government's recent decision to eliminate the mandatory long-form census,. Written by University of Ottawa political philosophy professor Paul Saurette, the piece se... [More]

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July 23, 2010

Winners of Guess Who?, volume 1

By Alison Loat
Congratulations to the two winners of this week's Guess Who? contest! Matthew Pearson from Ottawa correctly guessed David Anderson as the quoted MP, and Saskatoon's André Gignac correctly guessed that Jean Chétien was the minister Anderson brought with him to the West Coast Trail (click to read the story). Contest winners receive a book of their choice from the list of Canada's Bes... [More]

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July 22, 2010

"Building better citizens"

By Alison Loat
Recently The Mark hosted a discussion with three people, myself included, on the public's engagement with our politics - where it's at and how it can be better. You can listen to the full tape here (we each speak for about 10 minutes), and I've included the highlights below. The first up was with Peter Loewen, a prof at U of T, whose articles are must-reads for anyone wanting to better understand... [More]

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July 18, 2010

Guess Who? And win... (vol. I)

By Alison Loat
Today begins Samara's bi-weekly "Guess Who?" contest, where we'll reveal a quote from one of our MP exit interviews. Guess which of the 65 participating MPs spoke the words below before noon EST on Thursday July 22nd. We'll choose one winner from among the correct guesses, and send him or her a book of their choosing from the list of the Best of Canadian Political Writing. Below is a quote from o... [More]

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July 16, 2010

How to win one of Canada's best political books

By Alison Loat
A great many thanks to everyone who suggested books for the List of Canada's Best Political Writing.  We've compiled everyone's ideas here, and we'll continue to update it with any further suggestions, which you can add in the comments section here. On Monday, we're launching our "Guess Who?" contest, a bi-weekly opportunity for you to win one of the books from the Best Political Writing lis... [More]

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July 9, 2010

Updating our book list

By Grant Burns
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our Best of Canadian Political Writing list, so far. The suggestions for books to add continue to rush in. We received a raft of responses the day before Canada Day, which was impressive considering how much work Canadians must have been trying to squeeze in before the long weekend. Over 80 books have been suggested through emails, tweets, posts on our... [More]

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July 6, 2010

Money on the side

By Alison Loat
Canadian Press recently reported that 151 of Canada's 308 MPs earn income above their parliamentary salaries, or have investments in businesses of various sorts, including rental properties.  While it's not stated directly, it can be read from the journalist's lede and subsequent framing that she holds some contempt for this prospect. The figures come from the office of Parliament's ethics c... [More]

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