Category: Research

  • Photographs as agenda setters: the case of Alan Kurdi

    Earlier this week, a remarkable photograph changed the nature of the Canadian election campaign. The death of a two year old boy, Alan Kurdi, whose body was washed up on a beach became a symbol of Canada’s inability or reluctance to deal with the Syrian refugee problem. Up to this point in the election, the […]

  • How data can be both truthful and deceptive

    Data can be presented in a number of different ways and tables with their arrays of numbers often hide the real story.  The recent explosion of infographics suggests that perhaps people understand complex data when portrayed visually.  Edward R. Tufte, in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, and other works, shows how powerful data can be when […]

  • Recipient of Seymour Martin Lipset Award for Best Book on Canadian Politics

    I was thrilled to hear that a book I co-authored along with my colleagues, Patrick Fournier, Henk Vanderkolk, R. Kenneth Carty, and André Blais was the recipient of the Seymour Martin Lipset Award for the Best Book from the Canadian Politics section of the American Political Science Association. The book is called When Citizens Decide:  Lessons […]

  • Government advertising and accountability

    Recently, The Globe and Mail reported that Pierre Poilievre’s department paid civil servants overtime to produce feel-good ads about the Universal Child Care Benefit. The problem with this ad, like all the federal ads, is that they are beyond the scrutiny of parliament and therefore citizens. These youtube ads have rightly raised the ire of many […]

  • Visiting Professor at the Seaker Chan Center for Comparative Political Development

    I am pleased to be the Seaker Chan Visiting Professor at Fudan University in Shanghai for May 2015. While here I will be giving lectures on Canadian politics and deliberative democracy.  I will also be travelling to Chengdu to participate in a conference on local politics.

  • The Crick Centre & the Value of a Public Conversation

    I just contributed a piece on citizens’ assemblies to the Crick Centre at the University of Sheffield in the UK.  Its aim is to “study and promote the public understanding of politics” and to bridge the chasm between academics and non-academics.  It’s no surprise, then that the subtitle of the Centre is “Understanding Politics” I’ve always […]

  • Discussing Citizens’ Assemblies in Chicago

    I am looking forward to meeting with the Joyce Foundation in Chicago on January 21-22 to discuss the feasibility of citizens’ assemblies on issues such as  the election of governor, (s)election of judges and re-districting. Several American states, like Ohio, have commissions devoted to modernizing the state constitution.  Citizens’ assemblies, followed by a referendum, may be an […]