Discover The Real House Lives Today

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Happening Now Thursday, November 01, 2018 View Count = 801

Discover The Real House Lives Today

The Real House Lives

From shouts in the House of Commons to cold shoulders at public functions, partisanship has become a dominant force in political party life. But what is partisan politics doing to Canada's democracy?

Yesterday, the Samara Centre for Democracy released the third and final report in our latest series of MP Exit Interviews, examining the role of the MP within his or her political party. Using the stories of former MPs, The Real House Lives provides an inside look at how partisanship is both helping and hindering the work of parliamentarians.

This report, like the first and second in the series, is based on interviews with 54 MPs who left office after the 2015 election. Situated across the country and across the political spectrum, these MPs expressed concern that Canada had entered an age of extreme partisanship.

The report uncovers the dark side of party politics:

  • Many former MPs describe their parties as obstacles to meaningful work, yet they struggled to turn their sense of diminishment, embarrassment, and even betrayal into a constructive force to improve their parties.
  • They suggest that the last Parliament in particular saw partisanship at toxic levels, and regret the extent to which they themselves participated in it.
  • However, former MPs found ways around the problem by taking small steps to improve cross-partisan relations and strengthen the caucus over the leader.

The Real House Lives paints a vivid picture of what life is really like within the confines of the party. In it, we suggest some changes that can be made to increase moments of non-partisanship and allow MPs to work together for the good of the country, and not just the party line.

In the words of one former MP: "Empty, nihilistic, repetitive partisanship tires everyone out. It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. It’s humiliating... And it's alienating for citizens. But—we need strong parties."


Read The Real House Lives at (Aussi disponible en français.)


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Tune in and discuss

Join us on Facebook at 12:30 pm EST on November 6th for an interactive Facebook Live discussion about The Real House Lives as well as the past, present, and future of the MP Exit Interviews project. RSVP to receive a reminder:

We look forward to fielding your questions and hearing your thoughts on this new research!

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