January 31, 2011

Per-vote subsidies: should they stay or should they go?

By Andreas Krebs
Since 2004, individual donations to political parties have been capped at $1,100 per year, and corporations and trade unions have been prohibited from donating altogether. Parties now receive an annual sum equaling $2 per vote cast for them in the last election. In a recent interview, Prime Minister Stephen Harper expressed his commitment (once again) to abolish the per-vote subsidy for Canadian ... [More]

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

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
January 28, 2011

The best moment in our democracy, according to you

By Alison Loat
We kick-offed the new year with a contest, where we asked you to identify the best moment in our democracy last year.  We whiddled down your ideas to a five that we put to a vote.  As you'll see below, the results are in.  Love or hate the result, together the moments do indicate that growing political apathy has not totally defeated citizens' engagement in this country, partic... [More]

LABELS: , , , , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
January 26, 2011

Ontario MPPs recommend guide for orientation

By Aviva Levy
Yesterday, we brought you the first part of a post by Aviva Levy discussing the lack of orientation for Members of the Provincial Parliament of Ontario elected in by-elections. Today, we bring you some of the recommendations that the MPPs made.********I asked the MPPs for their suggestions on how to improve the training for future Members elected in by-elections. Many voiced noteworthy ideas, incl... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
January 25, 2011

Ontario MPPs elected in by-elections lack orientation

By Aviva Levy
Today we bring you the first of a two part post by Aviva Levy, a student at the University of Toronto's School of Public Policy and Governance. Her paper, “At a Disadvantage? An Analysis of the Orientation for Newly Elected MPPs in Ontario’s By-Elections” was presented at last year’s Canadian Political Science Association annual conference. Today’s post discusses the ... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
January 24, 2011

Results next week for the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy 2010!

By Andreas Krebs
We had a great turnout for the vote on the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy of 2010. We're tabulating results right now, and will be posting them here early next week. We'll also be publishing a column at ipolitics.ca with more detailed analysis of the results and what we think they mean for Canadian Democracy. As we noted previously, many of the nominations seemed to indicate that Canadian demo... [More]

LABELS: , ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
January 20, 2011

Don't forget to vote for the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy, 2010!

By Andreas Krebs
Voting for the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy of 2010 closes tomorrow at midnight. We have had a great response so far--we won't sully the democratic process by giving away who is in the lead, but check back here next week for results. iPolitics.ca, a great resource for staying in touch with Canadian political news, will also be publishing analysis of the voting next week.

LABELS:

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
January 19, 2011

Media coverage of Birgitta Jónsdóttir's visit to Toronto

By Andreas Krebs
As part of the Samara/Massey journalism seminars, we brought Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an Icelandic MP and early Wikileaks volunteer, to Toronto last week. Her visit week spurred a great deal of media interest, which we've compiled below. For video of her public lecture, visit CPAC's website, or click here for a direct link to the video in .asf format. Globalnews.ca’s managing ed... [More]

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

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
January 18, 2011

The World According to Birgitta Jónsdóttir

By Alex Derry
Last week Birgitta Jónsdóttir kicked off the second series of the Samara/Massey journalism seminars.  Many thanks to Samara volunteer Alex Derry, who summarized her remarks below.  CPAC recorded the event, which can be watched in full here. *** Like many of Canada’s MPs, Birgitta Jónsdóttir never aspired to be a politician. As a single mother, a writer... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
January 14, 2011

CPAC to broadcast Birgitta Jónsdóttir's Samara/Massey journalism seminar tonight and tomorrow

By Andreas Krebs
Tonight (January 14th) and tomorrow (January 15th), CPAC will be broadcasting a talk given by Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an early WikiLeaks volunteer and now a member of Iceland’s Parliament. Tonight's broadcast will air at 9:30pm Eastern Time, while tomorrow's will air at 5pm Eastern Time. Birgitta Jónsdóttir gave a riveting talk on January 11th as part of the Samara/M... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
January 13, 2011

What’s a Canadian MP’s job? Comments from our op-ed in the Globe and Mail

By Andreas Krebs
Last month, The Globe and Mail published an opinion piece by Samara's co-founder Alison Loat. It focused on a principal finding from our second report, Welcome to Parliament: A Job With No Description, which discussed how our MPs can't agree on what their job entails. The comments on the Globe's website were divided into three main themes. First, there were many comments expressing shock and ... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , ,

Comments (1) Permanent link to this post
January 12, 2011

Tonight: Icelandic MP and former WikiLeaks volunteer Birgitta Jónsdóttir in Toronto

By Alison Loat
Tonight is the first of the Samara/Massey journalism seminars of 2011, featuring Birgitta Jónsdóttir, an early WikiLeaks volunteer and now a a member of Iceland’s Parliament. She has led a movement in her country to take the most far-reaching steps towards advancing free speech, freedom of the press and transparency in government of any country in the world.  This ini... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , ,

Comments (2) Permanent link to this post
January 8, 2011

Birgitta Jónsdóttir to speak at the first Samara/Massey journalism seminar of 2011

By Alison Loat
Tuesday January 11 is the first of the Samara/Massey journalism seminars of 2011. Building on the success of last year's series, this program seek to provide examples of innovations in public affairs journalism, and to create a gathering space for journalists and others interested in public affairs storytelling to exchange ideas and learn from one another. Below are the details on our first eve... [More]

LABELS: , , , , ,

Comments (2) Permanent link to this post
January 8, 2011

On The Agenda: How MPs' lack of job description and training may harm our politics

By Alison Loat
We visited The Agenda's studios again this week to talk with Steve Paikin about the findings from our second MP exit interview report (click here to see our interview on report #1).  We talked about the findings of "Welcome to Parliament" and their implications on the ability of our MPs to do their jobs well and on the culture of our politics. Most everyone I've met who's been on The Agenda ... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
January 7, 2011

Vote for the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy 2010!

By Andreas Krebs
Our readers submitted their nominations for the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy in 2010 and now it's time to vote for your favourite.  Below are the five most frequently mentioned submissions.  Scroll down to vote for your top moment before January 21st, 2011.  The winning moment will be announced by January 31st. On January 23rd, 2010, protests against the federal government... [More]

LABELS: ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
January 5, 2011

Attention smart young people

By Alison Loat
There are two great opportunities available this month for young people interested in the politics of this country. First, if you're under 35 with at least one university degree, you can apply for the Parliamentary Internship Program, where you'll spend ten months working for various MPs, both in government and opposition.  It's a great way to see politics up close.  I often run into al... [More]

LABELS: , , ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
January 5, 2011

Nominees for the best moment in Canadian democracy (so far)

By Alison Loat
We’ve had some great entries for our “Best Moment in Canadian Democracy in 2010” contest. It closes tomorrow, and we want to hear more from you! So far, the anti-prorogation rallies in January topped the list of submissions. Not far behind are the petitions against Jean Charest in Quebec and the HST in British Columbia, as well as the debate on the long form census and protests ... [More]

LABELS:

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post
January 3, 2011

Most-read blogs of 2010

By Alison Loat
Here are our top-read blog posts of last year (excluding those annoucing the release of our MP exit interview reports, our Democracy and Guess Who contests): 1. "The risk is a debate that erodes public confidence in the importance of our census," on the media's coverage of the decision to change the census. 2. "Money on the side," a gentle reminder that MPs have lives outside of politics, and th... [More]

LABELS: , , , , , , , ,

Comments (0) Permanent link to this post