About the project
During the past year, our research team has sat down with over 40 former members of the legislative assembly in Nova Scotia to conduct extensive exit interviews on their time in public life. These exit interviews were modelled after Samara’s Exit Interview project. Their research uncovered insights and learnings from former Members of Parliament, and lead to the publication of the best-selling book, Tragedy in the Commons: Former Members of Parliament Speak out About Canada’s Failing Democracy.
What we’re learning
We’ve learned a tonne since we started this project. I (Mark) have worked in and around Nova Scotia politics for eight years, and entered the project thinking I knew a fair bit about how politics works in Nova Scotia. Louise is an alumni of the Dalhousie political science department and is currently working on her PhD at Carleton. We’ve both read Samara’s work with former MPs, have studied up on legislatures and Nova Scotia politics, and while we were eager to conduct this project, neither of us expected we’d learn as much as we have about the inner-workings of political decision making and political culture in Nova Scotia.
We were surprised by many of the things we heard from former MLAs. We heard – as expected – many things that were consistent with the findings from Samara’s work and other writings on the experience of former lawmakers. We also heard multiple accounts of things that hadn’t previously been studied in depth in research on politics in Nova Scotia, including sexism and racism in the House of Assembly, the inner-workings of the provincial cabinet, and the wildly differing experiences of government backbenchers and members of cabinet.
What we’ll do with our findings
We’re going to publish our findings in two ways:
- A documentary podcast
- A series of written reports
We also expect to use this research in other mediums, including educational presentations for community groups and in the educational programming we create. Even though most of the interviews are complete, we’re still a long way from being ready to share the findings of this project.
Where volunteers come in
We’ve got over 75 hours of interview content that needs to be transcribed into text before we can properly analyze it in order to write and produce the podcast and written reports.
Requirements for volunteers
We’re looking volunteers who are interested in this project who can dedicate time to transcribing between now and the end of February.
We’ll provide training and orientation to the project, and transcribing software.
Volunteers will be asked to commit to confidentiality of the material they are transcribing.
Benefits for volunteers:
- Opportunity to listen-in on never-before-heard dialogues with former MLAs on their experience in the legislature
- Opportunity to contribute to a unique research project, and
- Be named as a project-contributor in the podcast and research reports
- Your choice of one of these stlyin’ democra-tee-shirts.
Ok I’m in!
If you are interested in being a volunteer for this project, please fill out the information form below and we’ll be in touch.
I’m a former MLA, why wasn’t I interviewed?
Chances are we’ve been trying to reach you, but couldn’t get ahold of you. Contact Louise (email@example.com) and we’ll our best to set something up.
Will you volunteer?
Like this to encourage your friends to volunteer.