Talking about Civic Engagement with Samara

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Last Friday, we have the privilege of visiting Samara.

Samara Canada is dedicated to reconnecting citizens to politics, and has quickly become Canada’s champion of increased civic engagement.

While most interns were familiar with Samara, we were interested in learning more about Samara’s research and educational programming, which largely promotes increased political participation. Their mantra is that increased political participation will inevitably create better politics.

 Samara was established in 2009, as a non-partisan charity. To date, they have produced various research reports (which include, and not limit): electoral reform, the impact of young voters in the previous federal election, and lowering the voting age. However, Samara is largely known for their “Everyday Political Citizen Awards” which highlights regular people, who are making their communities better. During a time when many Canadians are disengaging from politics, this project highlights those everyday citizens. In addition, Samara published Tragedy in the Commons (which, coincidentally, we have in our OLIP Library). The book is based on eighty exit interviews with former Members of Parliament, who detail their experience in Parliament.

 Very frequently, we discuss the challenges facing our political system, but we struggle to find feasible and substantive solutions. Nevertheless, Samara is committed to studying these challenges, and finding innovating ways to encourage everyone, “to take responsibility for our political system and change it for the better.”

 By publishing these reports, and remaining engaged in media, Samara creates a conversation about politics and democracy.

 Thank you for hosting us!

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