August 31, 2010

Lifers they are not

By Alison Loat
Our poor politicians. They just can't win.  One day, we're complaining that our MPs are a bunch of know-nothings, political amateurs unschooled in the way of Parliament and our government, and the next, we're upset that they're a bunch of lifers who have little experience beyond that of the partisan mud pit of our politics. According to Jeffrey Simpson's recent national affairs column in th... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
August 29, 2010

Guess who said this, and win... (vol. 4)

By Alison Loat
Today is the fourth edition of Samara's bi-weekly "Guess Who?" contest, where we 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 September 2nd. We'll randomly 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 ... [More]

LABELS: , ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
August 20, 2010

Politico linkages

By Alison Loat
As is always the case, so many interesting things to read.  To follow-up on the brain candy, journalism-style, post of two weeks ago, here's one on politics for y'all.  Happy Friday. 1. The FT reviews Donald Savoie's new book, Power: Where is it?, and made me want to read it (it's yet to have been nominated for our list of Best Canadian Political Writing - any takers?). A wide survey on... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
August 19, 2010

A picture of the 40th Parliament: MPs' pre-Parliamentary jobs

By Grant Burns
Some of the discussion about The Accidental Citizen?, including that which occurred over at Maclean's, raised a bunch of questions on the backgrounds, demographics and tenures of our Members of Parliament - what they are, how they've changed, and what implications that may have on our politics.  So we promised to do a little digging and get back to you. Our first post was on the general ... [More]

LABELS: , , ,

Comments (2) Permanent link to this post
August 19, 2010

Winner of Guess Who?, volume 3

By Alison Loat
Congratulations to the winners of the latest Guess Who contest! Alice Funke (known to many politicos for her invaluable Pundits' Guide) from Ottawa, ON was chosen from among those who correctly guessed The Honourable Bill Graham, a Liberal MP who represented Toronto Centre, in Ontario, from 1993-2007 as the quoted MP (click here to read his quote).  For those inquiring minds, the "tiny pe... [More]

LABELS: , , , , ,

Comments (2) Permanent link to this post
August 17, 2010

Census, media and the public debate: a response

By Grant Burns
The response to the essay I posted yesterday has been fascinating. From the comments on the Samara blog to those on Aaron Wherry's Beyond the Commons post and all places in between (well, just Twitter, really), I've read the reactions of supporters, detractors and those who've used my argument as a point of departure. I thank anyone who's jumped in for their contributions. This is an importan... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments (2) Permanent link to this post
August 17, 2010

On low voter turnout

By Alison Loat
On his blog yesterday, Aaron Wherry reports on an amusing interview between Scott Payne and David Frum, which included an exchange on declining voter turnout in Canada. In his remarks, Frum attributes this to changes in society of a Robert Putnam-esque sort (i.e., we're not joining stuff anymore and corresponding social ties fray). Wherry then illustrates that Canada's pathetic voter turnout plac... [More]

LABELS: , , , ,

Comments (5) Permanent link to this post
August 16, 2010

"The risk is a debate that erodes public confidence in the importance of our census"

By Grant Burns
As coverage of the debate over the long form census continues into its second month, media dialogue appears to have reduced the matter to the old tried-and-true narratives, in lieu of a more substantive public discussion on why the census is important and what it says about our country and the citizens who live here. Below is a three-part essay that summarizes the media discussion to date, highli... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , ,

Comments (8) Permanent link to this post
August 14, 2010

Guess who said this, and win... (vol. 3)

By Alison Loat
Today is the third edition of Samara's bi-weekly "Guess Who?" contest, where we 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 19th. We'll randomly 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 Polit... [More]

LABELS: , ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
August 12, 2010

A picture of the 40th Parliament (introductory post)

By Alison Loat
Even before all the census shenanigans, Samara readers showed themselves to love their statistics. Some of the discussion about The Accidental Citizen?, including that which occurred over at Maclean's, raised a bunch of questions on the backgrounds, demographics and tenures of our Members of Parliament - what they are, how they've changed, and what implications that may have on our politics. Tha... [More]

LABELS: , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
August 9, 2010

Brain candy, journalism style

By Alison Loat
An accumulation of some interesting things from the world of journalism: 1. Wikileaks: Unless you've been trapped under something heavy, you've no doubt heard about this anonymous leak-publishing site and its publication of multiple gigs of classified information on the Afghan mission. Tons of fascinating questions for transparency, war in the information age, journalism in general and the Afghan... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , , , , ,

Comments (2) Permanent link to this post
August 9, 2010

Winners of Guess Who?, volume 2

By Alison Loat
Congratulations to the winners of last week's Guess Who contest! Ilana Ludwin from Hamilton, ON, was chosen from among those who correctly guessed The Honourable Monte Solberg, a Reform MP who represented Medicine Hat, Alberta from 1993-2008 as the quoted MP (click here to read his quote). Contest winners receive a book of their choice from the list of Canada's Best Political Writing.  Ila... [More]

LABELS: , , ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
August 4, 2010

Those darn kids again (revisited)....

By Alison Loat
In the wake of last week's discussion between Max Fawcett and me on the nature of political and quasi-political participation among Gen Yers, an interesting piece on volunteerism that sheds some light onto the important connection between volunteerism and political engagement. The article centres on a study on 500 American high schoolers who were engaged in community service, either of their own ... [More]

LABELS: , , , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post