October 26, 2010

On the road (III) - The Ottawa version

By Alison Loat
I'll be in Ottawa this Wednesday, October 27 speaking some of the "Recruitment of Policy Leaders" folks who work for the Government of Canada. I believe it is open to others though, so if you're interested in attending, please let me know and I'll see what I can do. I'm going to pick up on some of the themes from the talk I gave two weeks ago in Victoria on Canada's public leadership deficit.&n... [More]

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October 24, 2010

Guess Who? And win... (vol. 8)

By Alison Loat
This is the eighth 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 October 28th. 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]

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October 21, 2010

Government, not politics: A new model for political journalism?

By Grant Burns
NB. This is the first part of a two-part post. Bloomberg News has announced its intent to move into the Washington media market by launching Bloomberg Government, a subscription-based news site which will take a unique approach to producing political news stories by employing both journalists and public policy experts. This is a significant development for both political journalism and the futur... [More]

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October 20, 2010

Inside the black box

By Alison Loat
One of the surprises in our MP exit interviews was now negatively many of former MPs described the nominations process.  This surprise was not so much that it was so often described as confusing and opaque, appearing to involve more en masse sales of party memberships then genuine discussion on public ideas, but more that these negative observations came from the MPs themselves.  I.e., t... [More]

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October 15, 2010

Winner of Guess Who?, volume 7

By Alison Loat
Congratulations to the latest winner of the latest Guess Who contest! Gina Cosentino of Ottawa, ON correctly guessed Saskatchewan MP Gary Merasty as the quoted MP (click here to read his quote). Gina selected the book "Women, Power, Politics: The Hidden Story of Canada's Unfinished Democracy" by Sylvia Bashevkin. Normal 0 false false false EN-CA X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInterne... [More]

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October 15, 2010

On the road (II)

By Alison Loat
This fall we'll be on the road a fair bit, visiting several cities and towns across Canada to talk about a variety of topics stemming out of Samara's exit interviews.  Next up: Victoria, B.C. and Ottawa, ON. I'll be in Victoria, B.C. this weekend, speaking to the heads and chairs of the Canadian independent schools.  Their theme is "conflict and resolution" and my talk is titled "Canada... [More]

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October 12, 2010

The 40th Parliament: A picture, completed

By Grant Burns
Since August 12th, we have published a series of posts about the composition of the 40th Parliament, taking a closer look at the MPs we have elected. Our aim for this short project was to ask questions about the assumptions held about our MPs. How do our Parliamentarians compare to the average Canadian? The first couple of posts in the series found that, in fact, our MPs do not accurately r... [More]

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October 10, 2010

Guess Who? And win... (vol. 7)

By Alison Loat
This week marks the 7th 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 October 14th. 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 Can... [More]

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October 9, 2010

Samara on The Agenda

By Alison Loat
I was on The Agenda recently - what a privilege it is to be interviewed by Steve Paikin. The author of two excellent books on the highs and lows of politics, Paikin's knowledge of our public life is second to none. While the subject of our interview was ostensibly the first installment of our MP Exit Interview reports, The Accidental Citizen?, after we covered its highlights we focused more on ... [More]

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October 5, 2010

Peter C. Newman: "If you talk to enough people, eventually you get the truth."

By Grant Burns
Image: Aaron Vincent Elkaim for The Toronto Star On October 4th, the Literary Review of Canada hosted Peter C. Newman at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto, where he spoke to a crowd of about 150 people in anticipation of his contribution to this month's edition of the magazine. Newman, the author of such classic works of Canadian journalism as Renegade in Power: The Diefenbaker Years and The Cana... [More]

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October 5, 2010

"Expect political instability and turbulence"

By Alison Loat
  Yesterday Canada2020 convened a panel of pollsters to talk politics.  Although it was in Ottawa, I was able to follow from afar thanks to the Public Policy Forum's Caitlin Kealey and this blog from The Star's Susan Delacourt, where she quotes extensively from Nik Nanos' remarks.  His message was worrisome and spoke to some of the reasons why we started Samara in the first place... [More]

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October 4, 2010

Samara's top 10 blogs this year (so far)

By Alison Loat
A round up today, this time of our top 10 most-read blogs of 2010 (we've removed those our Guess Who contest and journalism seminars... giving stuff away tends to be really popular!): 1. Grant Burns' take on the census debate was by far the most read post.  2. A post pondering whether Canada's amateur political class is a problem. 3. Money on the side, on MPs' extra-parliamentary income. ... [More]

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October 3, 2010

Winner of Guess Who?, volume 6

By Alison Loat
Congratulations to the latest winner of the latest Guess Who contest! James Johnson of Vancouver, BC correctly guessed Manitoba MP (and now provincial MLA) Bill Blaikie as the quoted MP (click here to read his quote). James selected the book "Letting the People Decide," an account of the 1988 federal election, by Richard Johnston, Henry E. Brady, André Blais and Jean Crête. Norm... [More]

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October 1, 2010

Now hear this! Samara has podcasts

By Grant Burns
We know many of our readers are also avid podcast listeners. At Samara, we listen to podcasts, too. They're a great way to catch up on what we missed on CBC or TVO while we were doing other things, like working on the next report about our MP exit interviews. Since podcasts are such a great way of getting informative and interesting information, we made our own. Now you can listen to our work f... [More]

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