Samara Canada has indeed become a special place for those looking to be politically engaged. It recognizes the emerging leaders among us, helps us network with the powerful and facilitates smart political discussions among its many achievements.
Daniel Grill via Getty Images
We couldn't agree more that the federal election debates need a refresher. So last week HuffPost Canada and Twitter Canada, along with Samara Canada, submitted a proposal to the federal parties that invited them to a debate worthy of a connected and social age.
Now here comes my confession: I don't know how to vote. In any of these elections. It's embarrassing because I really love politics. I talk about it all the time. I mean, I work at Samara, an organization that works to strengthen political participation in Canada. I literally (and I mean literally in the actual literal sense) spend my whole day working on civic engagement. How could this happen to me?
I recently delivered a TEDxTalk in Toronto's Distillery District, inspired by the event theme "invented here." I wanted to talk about politics, but I knew if I did that, I'd likely lose the audience. So I explored the reasons behind the yawn reflex when someone mentions politics: I titled my talk "How to Hate Politics."
Two new infographics pair Members of Parliament with a notable book by a Canadian author and illustrate -- in terms everyone can understand -- how much MPs spoke in the 129 sitting days in the House of Commons in 2012.
A charitable organization that studies Canada's democracy wants to get tongues wagging on the Hill by talking about, well, talking. In honour of the summer reading season, Samara studied how much MPs...
Everyone seems to agree that democracy -- "a form of government in which all eligible citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives" -- is a good thing. But there's little agreement on which form of democracy is the best good thing.
The charitable parliamentary watchdog group Samara's latest report comes out this week and is almost as depressing. It analyzes close to six month's worth of parliamentary transcripts to find out if our 308 MPs have actually been discussing those matters like they're supposed to. Have they?
The Toronto-based charity, Samara, has a commitment to examining how our political system works. And to do that, it "seeds ideas for relevant and responsive politics that Canadians can believe in." This all sounds very polite. In actual fact, however, Samara is a major shit disturber
Election campaigns have always been fodder for journalists and media watchers to lament the state of political coverage in today's media. Recent research, however, suggests this horse-race preoccupation is misguided.
Flickr: Noema Parez
Whose job is it to help vulnerable Canadians solve their problems? The Canadian public service or your member of Parliament? The correct answer is our public service, however, many MPs commit a large amount of time and staff resources to getting constituents in the back door of bureaucracy.
Once upon a time, policy-making was about finding the best ideas to solve a problem. Today, policy process is no longer about finding the best ideas. It is mainly about managing different interest groups, many of whom are in a position to derail a process they don't like.