Programs

Below is an overview of our projects, with links to where you can learn more or contribute to their success.  Each of our major projects is conducted in partnership with at least one other organization, and we'd encourage you to visit the websites of our collaborators to learn more about their work.

Research

Samara's research is original, thought-provoking and academically rigorous.

Samara Democracy Reports

Samara's Democracy Reports are designed to increase Canadians’ understanding of politics, investigate commonly held assumptions, provoke questions and elevate the discussion on the health of Canadian political and democratic participation in Canada.

MP Exit Interviews

Along with the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians, Samara conducted Canada's first-ever systematic series of exit interviews with former Members of Parliament in Canada. Over 2010 and 2011, we released a series of four reports that used these collective narratives to shine light on how Parliament works and to share MP’s advice on how our politics can be improved.

These four reports covered: the MPs' backgrounds and paths to politics; their transition to public life and the ways they view their roles; how they describe their time in Parliament and their relationship with their political parties; and their advice, recommendations and best practices.

Educational Programming

Samara brings its research to life through exciting educational programming initiatives.   

Democracy Talks

Democracy Talks is a national public outreach program that works with Canadians to improve their everyday experience with politics. The first large-scale initiative of its kind, it provides a platform for people to have their voices heard, and learn how to effectively engage in revitalizing Canadian democracy. Find out how you or your organization can get involved in Democracy Talks starting in Summer 2012. 

Samara in the Classroom

Samara’s research is available for use in the classroom—at no cost. Many university professors use the MP Exit Interviews reports as a way to personalize their lessons about Members of Parliament. All the MP Exit Interviews reports are available for download. 

Samara is also reaching out to civics teachers in both high schools and elementary schools. We are developing programming—in association with fellow organizations—that will bring to classrooms across the country all that we’ve learned about engagement, democratic reform and leadership. 

Best Political Books

In partnership with the Writer’s Trust, Samara collected nominations from people across the country—and the political spectrum—on their picks for the Best Canadian Political Books of the Last 25 Years. The shortlist and longlists have something for every reader. 

Journalism Seminars

Together with the Massey College Canadian Journalism Fellowship at the University of Toronto we host lectures and discussions with some of the most experienced journalists from around the world. Our seminar series seeks to provide inspiring examples of innovations in public affairs journalism, and to create a gathering space for journalists and others interested in public affairs reporting to exchange ideas and learn from one another.

  • October 24, 2014

    Friday Fill(ibuster): "a great place, our best place"

    Yesterday saw an unprecedented attack on Canada’s capital; the murder of one man at the National War Memorial and a shocking storming of Parliament’s Centre Block which police and journalists are still trying to piece together. But let’s take a cue from Wherry and the Globe editorial board—let’s not throw our routines out the window too much in the wake of the attack. Lots besides went on this week in democracy news and much of it deserves another look. So let’s get back to business.
  • October 23, 2014

    Making the grade: EPCitizens hand out marks to mayoral candidates

    With a week left to submit a nomination for EPCitizen and a few days left before the Toronto municipal election, we thought we'd share a neat piece of work from a current nominee for 2014 EPCitizen, Toronto's Devon Ostrom. The "Mayoral Report Card", produced by Manifesto, Grassroots Youth Collaborative and BeautifulCity.ca, seeks to evaluate the Toronto mayoral candidates on issues related to youth, hopefully empowering Toronto's young people to get out, vote and make informed choices while they are at it.
  • October 23, 2014

    How Canadians negotiate security, protests, privilege and public access on Parliament Hill

    In light of yesterday's violence in Ottawa, the coming days will bring passionate conversation about the way Parliament Hill is kept secure and the extent to which it remains a public space. Guest blogger Anne Dance frames this discussion with insight about the way Canadians ought to negotiate security, protests, privilege and public access on Parliament Hill.