Introducing Democracy Talks

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Monday, March 25, 2013 View Count = 1313

Introducing Democracy Talks

Since July, Samara has been on the road, teaming up with community groups from Edmonton to St. John to talk about Canadian democracy. We call these discussions “Democracy Talks”, and over the next six weeks we’ll be introducing you to some of the people we've met and the ideas they've shared about ways to increase citizen engagement in politics.

Why go across Canada just to talk? Samara’s Citizen Survey revealed that over 60% of Canadians did not discuss societal issues in person or over the phone even once in the past year. We also know that research suggests that the more we are exposed to talking about politics, the broader our understanding becomes, and the more we understand about politics, the more likely we are to participate.

So, we’ve been reaching out to people who might not self-identify as “political junkies” to have conversations about politics. Not always an easy feat, but we've found that a simple invitation is a powerful thing. Since last July, Samara and our community partners have held 23 Democracy Talks with close to two hundred Canadians.

Through this blog, we’ll introduce you to some of the brilliant folks we have met through our discussions, and bring forward their thoughts on why they’ve chosen to get involved with politics -- or why they've chosen to disengage.

In this Democracy Talks blog series, we’re focusing on youth and new Canadians – the demographic groups with the lowest political participation--and also the biggest drivers of Canada’s population growth. We'll highlight some of the barriers that are standing in the way of their political participation as well as their suggestions to make things better.

If you already love talking about politics, we'd love for you to join in Democracy Talks too! Download some of our discussion guides to use at your next dinner party, book club, or office meeting and help us with our ongoing research into political culture in Canada.

If you or your community group would like to partner with Samara for a workshop, please check out our resources for community groups, and be in touch!

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