Go "Beyond the Barbecue" Today

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Happening Now Wednesday, July 25, 2018 View Count = 1705

Go "Beyond the Barbecue" Today

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With summer in full swing, Members of Parliament are back in their ridings, busy attending events and meeting with constituents. But what does their work in the constituency really entail? And is it being done effectively?

Today, Samara is excited to release Beyond the Barbecue, the second of three reports that take you behind the curtain to reveal how MPs serve—and struggle to serve—as our federal representatives. This report, like the first in the series, is based on interviews with 54 Members of Parliament who left office after the 2015 election. They come from across the country and across the political spectrum, and have some important insights on how public leadership should be done.

Beyond the Barbecue

The picture they paint is a worrisome one:

  • They report that MPs have taken on increasing amounts of casework, such as helping people apply for passports—help that should be provided by the professional public service. This means that MPs have to redirect their staff from Ottawa to the constituency, and are left with less support in the parliamentary work of holding the Government to account.
  • They also report that they don't feel their efforts at consultation were successful, either online or in person.

Beyond the Barbecue is Samara's most action-oriented research report yet. In it, we suggest some meaningful changes that will allow your representative to transform their constituency office into a vibrant civic hub and an outpost of Parliament, focused on engaging constituents like you in federal issues.


Read Beyond the Barbecue at samaracanada.com/beyond-the-barbecue.
 (Aussi disponible en français.)

Looking for more?


Share Beyond the Barbecue on Twitter and Facebook. (Click on the platform you'd like to post it on.)

You can also share this blog post with anyone who cares about strengthening Canada's democracy.


Engage with Samara by showing us your "democracy storefront" (a.k.a. your MP's constituency office).

Simply snap a photo inside or outside your local constituency office, then email us the picture and/or post it on social media, tagging @SamaraCDA and including the hashtags #DemocracyStorefront and #BeyondTheBBQ.

For their multi-year support in the making the MP Exit Interviews project, we would like to thank the MacMillan Family Foundation, Bennett Jones, BMO Foundation, Rosamond Ivey, Bill Graham, and The John and Judy Bragg Family. We are also deeply indebted to the support of many individual donors, without whom Samara would be unable to produce this kind of innovative, action-oriented research. Thank you!

If you share their commitment to making Canada's democracy more accessible, responsive, and inclusive for all Canadians, please donate today by clicking here or calling Rosemary at 416-960-7926.

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On the Samara BlBlog logo representing the letter 'o'g