April 29, 2011

Profiles in voting (IV): Alexandra Ogden

By Alison Loat
Below is the last in a series of profiles of first-time federal voters by Samara volunteer Jse-Che Lam. Next up, Alexandra Ogden from New Westminster, British Columbia. ***   1. Tell us about yourself.   My name is Alexandra Ogden, originally from New Westminster, British Columbia. I study International Studies and Modern Languages at the University Ottawa and am in F... [More]

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April 28, 2011

Problems with perpetual election polls

By Andreas Krebs
Prior to the election, Allan Gregg of Harris Decima and Frank Graves of Ekos made some interesting statements about their own business of political polls: don’t trust them. Election polling is, according to Ira Basen, the “Grey Cup” of market research. It’s where pollsters face off against each other, demonstrating their respective prowess at turning a random sample of a t... [More]

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April 28, 2011

Profiles in voting (III): Michelle McCullough

By Alison Loat
Below is the third in a series of profiles of first-time federal voters by Samara volunteer Jse-Che Lam. Next up, Michelle McCullough, a recent university grad and supply teacher in York Region. *** 1. Tell us about yourself.   My name is Michelle McCullough. I am a recent graduate from the University of Toronto, and am currently working in the York Region as a supply teacher. ... [More]

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April 27, 2011

Social media is transforming how Canadians get their news

By Alfred Hermida
Today, the Canadian Media Research Consortium (CMRC) releases its latest report, showing how the rise and popularity of social media are affecting how Canadians get their news—and from whom. The third in the CMRC's series of reports on Canadian news habits, Social Networks Transforming How Canadians Get the News shows that many people now expect the news to come to them, filtered by family, ... [More]

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April 27, 2011

Profiles in voting (II): Kathryn Liberta

By Alison Loat
Below is the second in a series of profiles of first-time federal voters by Samara volunteer Jse-Che Lam. Next up, Kathryn Liberta from Montreal, who explains why, despite voting in local elections in the past, she might sit this one out. *** 1. Tell us about yourself.   My name is Kathryn Liberta, I am a 22 year-old student at the University of Ottawa in Art History. I was born ... [More]

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April 26, 2011

Closing the sale

By Heather Bastedo
Once again, we are thrilled to have a dynamite team of academic advisors working with us on the Democracy Index project, and even more happy to share with you a series of election blogs from another member of our team. André Turcotte is Assistant Professor in Communication at Carleton University’s School of Journalism and Communication. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Behaviour from th... [More]

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April 26, 2011

Profiles in voting (I): Nicholas Maharaj

By Alison Loat
Below is the first in a series of profiles of first-time voters by Samara volunteer Jse-Che Lam. First up, 19 year old Nicolas Maharaj. ***   1.  Tell us about yourself. My name is Nicholas Maharaj. I am a 19-yr-old student in the city of Toronto. I also a community volunteer who encourages students to report anonymous violence through the Toronto Police Crime Stopp... [More]

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April 26, 2011

On voting: Liveblogs, opinions, profiles and more!

By Alison Loat
With the our federal election less than a week away, like many Canadians, the mind's turns to voting.  A few updates from our corner, in that regard: 1. Liveblogs and voting: Tuesday night, starting at 6pm, we'll be part of a GlobalNews.ca liveblog on youth and voting. Heather Bastedo, the director of our democracy index project, did her PhD in youth political participation, and we're lookin... [More]

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April 20, 2011

Live chat on MPs, Parliament and political parties, today at 1pm EST

By Alison Loat
The wonderful team at IPolitics.ca invited us to participate in a livechat today - Wed April 20th - at 1pm EST. The topic will be our recently released MP exit interview report,"It's My Party: Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered," which higlights the frustrations that former MPs feel about the way politics is practiced in Parliament. In it, the MPs raise important questions about the the opene... [More]

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April 19, 2011

We're on the radio today and tomorrow

By Alison Loat
Samara's co-founder Alison Loat will be discussing Samara's newest MP exit interview report, "It's My Party": Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered, today and tomorrow on local radio stations across the country. Today's schedule: If you're in Saskatoon, listen to John Gormley's show on 650 AM starting at 11:30am. If you're in Kitchener, tune into the Gary Doyle Show on 570 News at noon. If yo... [More]

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April 18, 2011

New MP exit interview report out today: Former MPs cite their own parties as a source of frustration

By Alison Loat
Today we released the third installment of our MP exit interview reports. Entitled “It’s My Party: Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered,” it highlights the frustrations that former MPs feel about the way politics is practiced in Parliament. The report outlines how the MPs expressed embarrassment at the public displays of politics in the House of Commons, saying that little con... [More]

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April 18, 2011

Revitalizing Canadian political parties

By Andreas Krebs
In our latest MP exit interview report, "It's My Party": Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered, the MPs told us that their own political parties played a role in the dysfunction facing Canadian politics. They said that there were serious problems with they way their own political parties managed themselves, their members, and their work. Political parties play an essential role in our democ... [More]

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April 18, 2011

Constructive politics behind closed doors

By Andreas Krebs
In our latest MP exit interview report, "It's My Party": Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered, the MPs told us that their most important work was largely done away from the spotlight, in the less publicized and totally private areas of Parliament, such as committee meetings and caucus chambers. What does this mean for Canadian democracy? If the important work is being done behind closed do... [More]

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April 18, 2011

Bringing elevated debate into the open

By Andreas Krebs
In our latest MP exit interview report, "It's My Party": Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered, the MPs said that they were embarrassed by the public displays of politics on the floor of the House of Commons. Question Period was roundly criticized as being unrepresentative of their work, overly partisan, and an embarrassement. If they were embarrassed by their own behaviour, why couldn't th... [More]

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April 16, 2011

We'll be on CBC Radio's The Current, Monday morning

By Andreas Krebs
Alison Loat will be a guest on CBC's The Current on Monday morning. She'll be discussing Samara's latest report in the MP exit interview series, titled "It's My Party": Parliamentary Dysfunction Reconsidered. The report discusses the MPs' often uneasy relationship with their parties, and will be available for reading, downloading, and discussing on our website on Monday April 18th. Tune into The... [More]

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April 15, 2011

Welcome Kevin Lynch to Samara's advisory board

By Alison Loat
We are pleased to welcome Kevin Lynch, Vice-Chair of the BMO Financial Group, to our advisory board. Prior to joining BMO, Mr. Lynch had a distinguished career in the Government of Canada, where he served as Clerk of the Privy Council, Secretary to the Cabinet, and Head of the Public Service of Canada and its 260,000 public servants. He was also an executive at the International Monetary Fund, ... [More]

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April 15, 2011

All politics is local

By Heather Bastedo
We are thrilled to have a dynamite team of academic advisors working with us on the Democracy Index project, and even more happy to share with you a series of election blogs from our team. Alex Marland is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Memorial University. He specializes in political marketing, media and politics, and Newfoundland politics. His book, Political Marketing in Cana... [More]

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April 14, 2011

Democracy Bootcamp, tonight at 8pm (Toronto)

By Alison Loat
One of my all-time-favourite civics organizations is Student Vote, a fabulous organization that runs parallel elections in schools to help kids learn about democracy and practice the habit of voting. For the coming federal election, there are nearly 4,200 schools signed up across Canada. Tonight at 8pm, I have the privilege of moderating a town hall with candidates Bob Rae (Lib), Peggy Nash (NDP)... [More]

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April 12, 2011

Estimating voter turnout: on track for the lowest turnout on record

By Heather Bastedo
We are thrilled to have a dynamite team of academic advisors working with us on the Democracy Index project, and even more happy to share with you the first of a series of election blogs from our team. Lawrence LeDuc is one of the country’s leading scholars on political behaviour and voter turnout, and he will kick off this series with a piece that outlines the effects on lower levels of y... [More]

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April 11, 2011

Debate questions we should be asking

By Alison Loat
The leaders’ debates are upon us, and we can expect them the usual bevy of questions about the economy, healthcare and fighter jets. After all, these policy issues are important, and should be debated. However, while campaigns are about promises, the way Canadians view our politics is shaped as much - if not more - by what they actually see getting done.  In fact, polling suggests one ... [More]

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