February 28, 2011

Guess Who? volume 13

By Andreas Krebs
Volume 13 of our Guess Who? contest continues our series focusing on the pre-political lives of our MPs. This week's quote comes from an MP who was very involved in sports and recreation in his community and at the provincial level. Here the MP is discussing how his background led him to decide to run for elected office. Guess which of the 65 participating MPs spoke the words below before noon ES... [More]

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February 25, 2011

Some interesting political reading

By Andreas Krebs
We're political junkies here at Samara (if that wasn't already obvious...) and from time to time we like to update our readers with a note on what we've been reading from the national political press. Two articles recently caught our attention. First, Aaron Wherry published an article in Maclean's on the increasing irrelevance of the House of Commons. Wherry points to a number of vicious circles t... [More]

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February 22, 2011

Winner of Guess Who?, volume 12

By Andreas Krebs
Congratulations to the latest winner of the Guess Who? contest! New Brunswick's Cody Waite is our first two-time winner of the contest. He correctly guessed Montreal area MP and engineer Marcel Lussier as the quoted MP (click here to read his quote). Cody chose David Lewis' The Good Fight: Political Memoirs 1909-1958 from our list of Best Political Writing. ** Regular visitors know that our Gu... [More]

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February 14, 2011

Notre concours « Devine qui ? » est de retour!

By Andreas Krebs
Cette semaine, notre concours « Devine qui ? » jette un regard sur les carrières antérieures de nos députés. La co-fondatrice de Samara, Alison Loat, a récemment livré un discours au colloque Kumvana, organisé par Ingénieurs sans frontières. La première citation « Devine qui ? » de la nouvelle anné... [More]

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February 14, 2011

Our Guess Who? contest is back!

By Andreas Krebs
Volume 12 of our Guess Who contest kicks off a series focusing on MPs and their pre-political professions. Samara’s co-founder, Alison Loat, was recently invited to speak at the Kumvana conference, organized by Engineers Without Borders, and so our first Guess Who? of the new year comes from an engineer. The quote nicely highlights cross-party collegiality, one theme that will be t... [More]

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February 10, 2011

Naheed Nenshi on the importance of civic engagement

By Andreas Krebs
Last night Samara hosted a discussion with Naheed Nenshi, the recently elected mayor of Calgary. He spoke about how citizen engagement underlies the success of any political project. We recorded the talk, and it will soon be available as a podcast on our website. Mayor Nenshi also spoke at the Canadian Club yesterday. The link to that event is here. They will have a podcast available on that page... [More]

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February 9, 2011

The Best Laid Plans on Canada Reads

By Alison Loat
This year, one novel on the Canada Reads shortlist is pretty close to our hearts here at Samara. The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis follows the exploits of a political outsider who, seemingly despite himself, is elected to the House of Commons. The book is being defended by Ali Velshi, who discussed its premise today on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning. Apart from the hovercraft, the novel's plot is ... [More]

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February 8, 2011

Samara on Metro Morning

By Andreas Krebs
Alison was on CBC Toronto's Metro Morning radio program yesterday. She discussed findings from our second report, Welcome to Parliament: The Job With No Description, specifically that our Parliamentarians have no job description. The interview is concise and very informative; check it out here.

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February 7, 2011

Talking Parliament on Monday, in Toronto (new location)

By Andreas Krebs
Alison Loat, Samara’s co-founder and executive director, will be discussing Samara’s work twice this coming Monday, February 7th. If you’re an early bird, you can hear all about Samara’s work on CBC’s Metro Morning this Monday at 7:40am EST. You can find it on your dial at 99.1 FM in Toronto, or here. Alison will also be speaking at the Democracy Café on M... [More]

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February 7, 2011

What's prorogation good for, anyway?

By Andreas Krebs
Last week, Samara announced that the January 23rd Anti-Prorogation Protests had been voted the Best Moment in Canadian Democracy of 2010. Andrew Wherry at Macleans.ca posted an excerpt of our announcement, which sparked some debate in the comments section of his blog.Taken as a whole, the comments displayed a very deep understanding of prorogation, its role in our parliamentary democracy, and its ... [More]

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February 3, 2011

Top 5 reasons why policy doesn't happen why we think it should, and what to do about it

By Alison Loat
A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of participating in Canada's largest international development conference, Kumvana, hosted by Engineers Without Borders. Among the many fabulous things they do, EWB stresses the importance of public policy and politics in achieving social change - a belief I passionately share and spoke to at a session entitled "Ecosystem thinking: Public policy, politics ... [More]

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