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The problems with Canada’s Parliament are well-known. It under-represents the voices of women, Indigenous and racialized minorities. The House of Commons is still a predominately white, male environment characterized by adversarial and combative communication. Partisanship is a spreading plague. Transparency is never a given. And parliamentary procedures seem built to frustrate average MPs and keep them from pursuing initiatives.

What needs to be done – now? Who can and should do it? In this series, we’ll explore concrete steps to reshape a Parliament worthy of all Canadians.

It starts with choosing to “do” politics in ways that don’t reinforce the masculine blueprint. It means saying yes to a workable way for unlucky MPs not in cabinet to move great ideas forward. It is parliamentarians taking the overdue step of collecting information on the ethnicity and racialized status of MPs and senators. It means understanding how hybrid models of parliamentary business will help level the field for under-represented MPs including those who live in rural Canada and the Far North. It’s a push for transparency that goes right down to the level of “householders,” those brief little newsletters your MP mails out.

From grand gestures to small steps, this series explores how Canada’s Parliament can serve citizens better.

The Honourable Dick and Ruth Bell Chair in Canadian Parliamentary Democracy at Carleton University provided financial support for this series.

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