Ten years after commencing the initial round of exit interviews with departing Members of Parliament, the Samara Centre for Democracy has recently published three new reports based on a second round of interviews. These publications, and the best-selling book Tragedy in the Commons, have received tremendous attention in the media and amongst parliamentary observers who have been interested in the candid observations of former parliamentarians. In this article, the authors outline the organization’s evolving interview process and overall methodological approach and discuss tentative plans to make the individual long form interviews available to future researchers.
Ten years ago, as a brand new nonpartisan charity, the Samara Centre for Democracy launched a pan-Canadian project founded on the belief that a chasm was opening between political leaders and citizens, but that leaders themselves might hold some clues for how to begin to close it. So began the Member of Parliament exit interviews project.