Our current work captures Parliamentarians who left the House of Commons between October 2015 and September 2021. A selection of these interviews are featured in the podcasts Humans of the House and the forthcoming Les Personnages de la Chambre. Learning resources based on the podcasts have been created for secondary and post-secondary students and will be available in fall 2023. Preliminary analysis can be found here.
This iteration of the study is funded by the Government of Canada and developed in partnership with the Media Girlfriends, the Social Studies Educators Network of Canada, and the Canadian Association of Former Parliamentarians.
If you are a former MP who left the House of Commons between October 2015 and September 2021 and would like to participate in this study, please contact us at email@example.com.
If you are a researcher and would like to access our interviews, please fill out the Samara Centre’s data sharing agreement or please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Samara Centre has been studying the experience of federal Parliamentarians for over a decade.
Before our MP Exit Interview project began, Members of Parliament had limited opportunities to share reflections on their role and provide insight about the practice of politics in Canada. The purpose of this project is to capture and analyze this valuable data and use it to monitor the health of our democracy. Since 2008, we’ve conducted exit interviews with over 160 former Members of Parliament (MPs) across six Parliaments (38th to the 43rd).
Our questions cover a lot of ground — from the interviewee’s path to politics to how they navigated power dynamics within their political parties. These conversations aim to demystify life in the House of Commons and identify how political leadership can evolve to face the current challenges to our democratic culture.
A consistent theme in this study is the candour of the interviewees and their desire to seed the ground for a better political future — even if it’s one that does not involve them directly.
Analysis from the MP Exit Interview project can be found in numerous reports and the books Tragedy in the Commons and Real House Lives. This material has been referenced in parliamentary debates, helped inform the creation of the Reform Act and has received extensive media coverage. This work is frequently cited by academics and serves as a key resource for aspiring and new MPs.
We are currently conducting the third wave of the MP Exit Interview project. A selection of these interviews was drawn on for the podcasts Humans of the House and forthcoming Les Personnage de la Chambre.
We are also currently carrying out longitudinal analysis of all of our interviews to date. Initial findings are available below.
From 2008 to 2022, we have interviewed 165 former Members of Parliament. Comprehensive analysis of these interviews is currently underway. Below we present some initial analysis that compares our data across the 38th to 43rd Parliaments.
Over the years, former MPs detailed the fulfillment they experienced in committee and in constituency work. They also shared concerns that increasing partisanship is encroaching on what would otherwise be productive work in Parliament. A new challenge that emerged for recently exited former MPs is the overwhelming impact of social media and the effect of online toxicity on the job.
MP Exit Interviews by Party: 2008 to 2021
MP Exit Interviews by Gender: 2008 to 2021
Note: In 2021, the Samara Centre began collecting gender data to align with inclusive data collection methods. Previously we used gender data provided by the Library of Parliament.