Encouraging Engagement in Canadian Politics

A good chunk of Canadians have been feeling disillusioned by our current government’s actions that go against what the majority of Canadian actually want. This is unfortunate because the less engaged the populous becomes the easier it is to pass bad policy.

A new organization in Toronto is looking to change this by encouraging leaders to get engaged in politics. It also has a strong emphasis on supporting MPs and helping them stay engaged and get them to encourage other people.

“Our ultimate goal is not to influence policy change on xyz policy issues,” says Loat. “We are much more about igniting the public imagination and conversation.”

One of the first tasks of the fledgling organization, now housed in a Victorian mansion on Prince Arthur Ave, was to figure out not only its actual mission but it premiere project. One idea involved supporting an MP’s difficult transition to public life via a training program, mentoring or even, executive education. Instead, it was suggested that that they simply ask the MPs what they needed.

It was a small suggestion that became a “light bulb” moment. Why not conduct the kind of formal exit interviews common to corporate life?

“We learned that it had never been done before,” says Loat. “And we thought that this is so obvious.”

The two co-founders travelled across the country to do more than half of the 65 interviews personally in what Loat proudly considers to be one of the largest pieces of research on leadership in Canadian history. The results of the MP Exit Interview project, designed specifically for future use by academics, will continue to be published just like The Accidental Citizen; future reports will cover what the work of an MP, their role as the “nexus” between government and citizens and finally, their reflections and recommendations

Read more at Yonge Street Media.

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