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 31, 2014

    Friday Fill(ibuster): Municipal monsters and government gremlins

    Some might say that this democracy news roundup is normally just a mishmash of content. This week we hope it feels like more of a Frankenstein monster of political insight. Happy Halloween to all! And don't be scared, there's still one day left to nominate for an Everyday Political Citizen!
  • October 29, 2014

    Riding Changes in the Digital Age: who is online, and who isn’t?

    Election buzz is in the air, but did you know if Parliament was dissolved today there are 338 seats up for grabs? Samara located and analyzed over a thousand riding association websites across the five major federal political parties to find out how well their online transition was matching this “on the ground” restructuring.
  • October 28, 2014

    Attack on Hill is reminder of human dimension of Parliament

    Today’s blog comes from Samara’s acting director, Jane Hilderman. Jane was on Parliament Hill the day before last week’s shooting at the National War Memorial and armed attack on our national legislature. She recounts her experience and explains what should be remembered about politics as a profession as we move forward.