Humans of the House Learning Resources



Wanting to give a human face to your teaching of governance in Canada? “Humans of the House” explores questions like “What inspires a person to run for office? Is the House of Commons a ‘good’ and ‘effective’ workplace? Through exit interviews of former MPs and background information about the work and lives of those we elect to the House of Commons, Samara Center for Democracy’s 6-episode podcast series Humans of the House  and 2-part series in French, Les Personnages de la Chambre provide insight covering themes such as the decision to run for office, on-the-job learning, toxicity in the workplace, party loyalty, and barriers to working effectively while in office.  

The Samara Center partnered with the Social Studies Educators Network of Canada to develop learning resources to use in the classroom that feature pre-listening and enrichment activities

Check out the podcast Humans of the House to find out for yourself, and get the learning resources to engage your students!

Humans of the House

Engage students in Canada’s parliamentary processes and insider stories through Humans of the House!

Episode One

Would you ever run for political office? What is it that drives people to run for political office? Each MP has a unique journey that brought them to Ottawa to serve their communities. Some were chosen by their parties, and some put their own hats in the ring.

Episode Four

Who is an MP’s real boss? Their party leader? Canadians? Themselves? MPs have to strike a balance between serving their riding’s needs, their party’s interests, and their own goals that brought them to Ottawa in the first place. But what happens when these priorities clash? MPs tell their stories of learning unwritten rules, striking out on their own, compromise, and unlikely friendship.

Episode Two

So, you are officially a Member of Parliament. Now what? MPs take us inside their first days on Parliament Hill. What does an MP do in an average week? Where do they go? And as they settle into their new jobs, are they being set up to serve Canadians well?

Episode Five

We elect our representatives hoping they’ll make meaningful change while in office. We lose trust when we see their election promises broken. But we don’t often get to see the process of making change from their point of view. What does it take for MPs to make a difference? We hear from former MPs about the changes they pushed for, and what it cost them.

Episode Three

What is Parliament Hill like as a workplace? Is it respectful? Safe?

Former MPs tell us how they were treated on the job, both inside and beyond the House of Commons. And when you’re in such a huge job, where can you turn for support?

Episode Six

What is it like to leave office? Whether they resigned, decided not to run again, or lost an election, former MPs tell us their stories of leaving parliament. After hearing all the ups and downs of their lives as MPs, one question remains: was it worth it?