The Globe and Mail's article series wraps up, Samara's revvs up

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Friday, February 08, 2013 View Count = 1035

The Globe and Mail's article series wraps up, Samara's revvs up

Last fall we canvassed for ideas for “redesigning parliament.”

We asked: What would you change to make Parliament relevant to you?

This week, The Globe and Mail picked up on the idea and ran a series of articles on the same theme. From helping MPs break ranks, to technological transformations of democracy, these articles set the wheels turning in many brilliant minds.

So we thought, why stop now? For the entire month of February Samara is harnessing those brilliant minds with a blog-post-a-day on the question of what needs to change in Parliament to make it relevant and interesting for Canadians. We’ll have input from current, former and aspiring Parliamentarians, academics, think-tank leaders and Samara volunteers.

Sign up for our blog if you want to be the first to know when we post a new article.

Or, follow the hashtag #fixparl for all of our blog posts and the G&M’s pieces.

In case you missed it, here’s a roundup of the The Globe and Mail's “Reinventing Parliament” series:

Conservative MPs break ranks more often than opposition
A look back at 600 votes in the House of Commons shows that Conservative MPs are most likely to vote against the party line. But even the most “dissenting” MP has only strayed 8 times – are our MPs voting to represent our interests, or the party’s?

Do MPs talk about your priorities in Parliament? Turns out they do.
The Globe covers Samara’s new report “Lost in Translation, or Just Lost?” Turns out discussions in Parliament align with Canadian priorities more strongly than we might expect, but it’s definitely not perfect (just ask the commenters).

Ignatieff: Too much executive power is harming democracy
“Holding power as Leader of the Opposition or as Prime Minister, you have an ongoing imperative to control your caucus. But that imperative contradicts the representative function of your MPs. This is a conflict at the heart of parliamentary democracy."
Wildrose or PQ Senators? Welcome to an elected red chamber
What would the senate look like if provinces nominated Senators? Would it be more or less dysfunctional than the Senate we’ve got today? Exploring the consequences of Bill C-7.

How MPs can fix Parliament
Lauren Liu, NDP MP for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles and youngest woman to ever serve in Parliament, tells us how she would redesign parliament to make it more relevant to Canadians.

We don’t need politicians in charge.With technology it’s time to put citizens first
Is politics going the way of Napster? Political reform is a waste of a conversation if the “Digital Commonwealth” is on track to transform government as we know it.

‘Behave and Obey’: How party discipline hurts politics
Bruce Hyer, an independent MP who left the NDP caucus talks about pressures to toe the party line and consequences when you don’t.

How many groups does it take to craft a tweet in this government body? Eight.
Are tightly managed communications’ departments getting in the way of a social-media-inspired  political revolution?

Q&A with Bob Rae. How has social media changed politics?
Bob Rae talks social media, on social media.

Is Canada’s party discipline the strictest in the world? Experts say yes.
Gloria Galloway says it’s just not just baseless whining; we could actually have cause for concern.

Redesigning Parliament? How about redesigning parliamentarians?
Preston Manning talks education for MPs and Parliamentary guinea pigs. Also, Mr. Manning answers readers' questions here

And...Canadian comedians join the conversation (in video form): 

Restaurants should not act like parliament
Edmonton's RapidFire Theatre says it's a good thing ordinary people don't act like Parliamentarians.

Meet the Peace-Tower, he’s making politics un-boring
Aaron Hagey-MacKay, as the Peace Tower mascot, says learning about Parliament is fun!

Help me I can’t stop voting!
Rob Baker, Dale Boyer and Adam Cawley say we need to vote. Like, a lot.

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