Ex-Politicians Call for New Ways of Engaging with Citizens



The Outsiders' Manifesto: Surviving and Thriving as a Member of Parliament
Samara Canada


The report highlights the findings of 'exit interviews' with more than 60 former Canadian politicians that sought their views on what is wrong with democracy in Canada and how these problems might be addressed.

It follows other research by Canadian democracy think-tank Samara which found that Canadians were increasingly turning away from democracy.

The report states: 'A worrying trend facing all western democracies, including Canada, is the declining interest in politics and a lack of faith in its ability to lead on the issues that are important to citizens. Opinion polls suggest Canadians view what happens in Ottawa as increasingly irrelevant, inconsequential and disconnected from their lives'.

The 'Outsiders' Manifesto' report found that the ex-politicians were acutely aware of the increasing disconnect between parties and citizens and suggested changes in the way parties interacted with citzens to build a stronger democracy in Canada.

Taking a range of insights and ideas from the ex-politicians, the report recommended improving the culture and practice of politics, in particular, starting a discussion with citizens about what they want and expect from politicians.

It also suggests creating and building better and more meaningful linkages between citizens and the policy and political system, so elected representatives know more accurately what the community wants.


Thumbnail image: ItzaFineDay/Flickr

Published Date
September 14, 2011