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“This important book draws on the personal experiences of former Members of Parliament to illustrate the growing central control of party leadership—in all major parties—and how this has distorted the democratic process. Offering useful suggestions to address the resulting alienation of voters from the political process, Tragedy in the Commons is mandatory reading for all MPs and Canadians.”
—Michael Wilson, former Minister of Finance and Canadian Ambassador to the United States
“Canadians’ participation in and respect for democracy are fundamental to maintaining a society of which we can be proud. Through the reflections of Members of Parliament, who have devoted themselves to public life, Loat and MacMillan give us insight into how far we have to travel, and how urgent is the cause.”
— Amanda Lang, co-host of The Lang & O’Leary Exchange and author of The Power of Why
“In every tragedy there is hope. Members of Parliament go to Ottawa hoping and promising to make a difference; but as these riveting revelations show, high priorities get lost too easily in the widening chasm between constituents, party leaders and good conscience. Is it any wonder Canadians feel disengaged from their hard-won democracy? Loat and MacMillan hope that pulling back the curtain will re-engage Canadians enough to keep our House of Commons from becoming a ‘House of Cards.’”
—Isabel Bassett, former Member of Provincial Parliament
“Tragedy in the Commons is a thoughtful analysis of what is broken in our democracy and a must-read for anyone concerned about Canada’s politics. It’s also a cogent and urgent reminder that the struggle to make our Parliament and our politics work falls not only to politicians, but to us all.”
—Terry Fallis, author of The Best Laid Plans
Alison Loat is a regular commentator on Canadian politics, a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a former consultant with McKinsey & Company. For her work as a co-founder of Canada25, she was recognized as a young leader by Maclean’s and the Public Policy Forum. She was also selected as one of the top 100 women in Canada by the Women’s Executive Network, and has received both the Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals for her service to Canada. Loat is also an associate fellow and instructor at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @AlisonLoat.
Michael MacMillan is the CEO of the Canadian-based company Blue Ant Media. He was previously the executive chairman and CEO of Alliance Atlantis Communications. MacMillan co-founded the original Atlantis Films in 1978, which won an Oscar in 1984 for its short film Boys and Girls. A recipient of the Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals for service to Canada, he is also a co-owner of Closson Chase, a vineyard and winery in Prince Edward County, Ontario.
Alison Loat and Michael MacMillan co-founded the think tank Samara in 2009. Visit www.samaracanada.com to learn more. Follow Samara on Twitter @SamaraCDA.
The most interesting thing for me was how so many public servants have large holes in their elective service that were so negative. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Jordan R. Hill
This is a great report on a qualitative research project. Hence is is heads above other analyses concerning government in Canada. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Elaine
A fascinating look at what it takes to be an MP, and how the process works from the people who have just come out of the ordeal. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Steven Waslander
Great read. Good for those who are interested in the current state of Canadian politics and what MP's have to go through while in office.Published 6 months ago by Jay Skopyk
A good book with many important points about politics as perceived by politicians from all political parties. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Johnson Jones
Borrowed it from the local library and read it.Glad I didn't buy it as the book was certainly not what it was said to be. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Johnny Boy
Anyone interested in Canadian politics, and many who are not, should read this book. It tells us much about what is wrong with how we are governed, though not everything. Read morePublished 16 months ago by David Huntley
I echo the views of reviewer Steven. Thanks to this book, I finally understand, better than ever, what goes on at Parliament Hill, and how that compares to what is supposed to be... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Bruce Rhodes