September 30, 2011

Parliament 2.0: to the Members of the Digital House

By Fiona O'Connor
Today we bring you part two of Mark Dance’s three-part blog series on his proposal for a fourth parliamentary institution, or “Digital Commons.” Dance, a former Parliamentary Intern who currently works at Lapham’s Quarterly in New York City, adapted the following excerpt from his research paper entitled “Radical Digital Democracy in a Canadian Context: The C... [More]

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September 28, 2011

Parliament 2.0: a case for digitizing democracy

By Fiona O'Connor
Mark Dance is a graduate of the University of King’s College and an alumnus of the Parliamentary Internship Programme. Samara is pleased to introduce the first of three excerpts adapted from his final research paper for the programme, “Radical Digital Democracy in a Canadian Context: The Case for a Fourth Institution of Parliament.” Mark currently lives in New York City, where he... [More]

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September 23, 2011

Design for democracy: a call for submissions from Dave Meslin

By Fiona O'Connor
Last year, Toronto-based artist and organizer Dave Meslin delivered a TEDxToronto talk in which he attempted to debunk some of the myths about public apathy. "Apathy, as we think we know it, doesn’t actually exist,” Meslin said. Rather, he suggests that while people do care about the issues and decisions shaping society, "we live in a world that actively discourage... [More]

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September 21, 2011

Hilary Weston book prize highlights great nonfiction reads

By Kendall Anderson
The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced yesterday the five finalists for this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada. One of the finalists, Richard Gwyn, was a finalist for our Best Canadian Books of the Last 25 Years contest for his book John A., about John A. MacDonald, Canada&rs... [More]

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September 21, 2011

"The Bigger Things": a former MP reacts to The Outsiders' Manifesto

By Fiona O'Connor
Earlier this week we brought you a roundup of some the news coverage we received over the last week on our latest MP exit interview report, The Outsiders’ Manifesto. Many media outlets responded in a thoughtful manner, focusing on the need for an official MP job description or better training and orientation opportunities for new MPs. The range of responses, critiques and suggestions offered... [More]

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September 19, 2011

Dispatches: The Outsiders' Manifesto in the media

By Fiona O'Connor
Parliament resumes today and with it, more than 100 newly elected MPs take their seats to begin their first full session in the House of Commons. Marked by the passing earlier this summer of NDP leader Jack Layton, the 41st session of parliament is Canada’s first majority government in over a decade. As we look ahead to a busy year, we at Samara couldn’t think of a better time to push... [More]

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September 14, 2011

Samara's report reveals former MPs' advice to incoming MPs

By Alison Loat
We are pleased and proud to share with you our final report of the MP Exit Interview project: The Outsiders’ Manifesto: Surviving and Thriving as a Member of Parliament. With Parliament set to resume next week, The Outsiders’ Manifesto reveals former MPs’ advice to our new Parliamentarians—from what needs to change in Question Period to how to more effectively engage citiz... [More]

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September 13, 2011

PSA: We'll be in Ottawa on Thursday talking citizen engagement. Please come!

By Alison Loat
This Thursday, September 15th, I'll be a panelist in a seminar exploring how to better connect citizens to the democratic process. It's free and open to the public, so please join us if you can. My bit is entitled "Citizens, Reconnected: What young people and politicians can teach us about reinvigorating citizen engagement in Canada's democracy." In addition to auditioning for the longest present... [More]

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September 12, 2011

"We the People"

By Wayne Chu
Last week, the White House launched a website called “We the People” giving people an online tool to file petitions directly with the government. Petitions that receive over 5,000 signatures within 30 days are guaranteed an official response from the Obama administration. Petitions are not new of course. As the Globe and Mail reports, the White House has always accepted petitions th... [More]

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September 8, 2011

Looking for Answers in all the Wrong Places

By Wayne Chu
Samara is pleased to host guest blogs from those researching or thinking about politics, journalism, democracy and civic engagement.  Our latest contributor, Zakary Paget, recently earned a graduate degree in communications from Carleton University, where he researched digital media issues and citizen engagement extensively. He currently resides in Toronto and works at Fleishman-Hillard, a ... [More]

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