Maclean’s on the Hill: Let’s talk CANADIAN politics

On this week’s episode, we explore women in politics, and political debate — then and now


Each week, the Maclean’s Ottawa bureau sits down with Cormac Mac Sweeney to discuss the headlines of the week. This week, as we approach the 150th birthday of Canada, we take a look at the early debates from our first MPs. We’ll then look at current debate to find out which MPs talk the most. Off the top, we mark the 100th anniversary of the year women won the right to vote in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. We’ll talk to Equal Voice about Daughters of the Vote.

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The full episode


Part 1. Hugh Segal on an independent Senate

Tory Senator Hugh Segal.

Tory Senator Hugh Segal.

This week, has the Senate entered a new era? After a few years under the spotlight over an expense scandal, the Red Chamber is now operating with an unprecedented amount of independence. To talk about the future of the Senate, we speak with prominent former senator Hugh Segal.

Part 2. Women take over the House

The Maclean's panel on women and politics featured Katie Telford, Michele Austin, Anne McGrath and Maclean's senior writer Anne Kingston. (Blair Gable photo)

The Maclean’s panel on women and politics featured Katie Telford, Michele Austin, Anne McGrath and Maclean’s senior writer Anne Kingston. (Blair Gable photo)

Next year, 338 young women from across the country will take over the House of Commons for a project called Daughters of the Vote. It’s meant to encourage more women to enter politics. Nancy Peckford from Equal Voice joins the show to elaborate on the initiative.

Part 3. What were Parliament’s first words?

Library of Parliament. (Photograph by Jessica Darmanin)

Library of Parliament. (Photograph by Jessica Darmanin)

It took more than 50 years of work, but Canada’s earliest exchanges in the House of Commons are on the record. The Library of Parliament pieced together the debates for the first several years Canada was a country—and we find out what was said as our first MPs began building the nation.

Part 4. Who’s the most talkative MP?


We all know politicians like to talk. But some like to do it more than others. Trust me, we know. Maclean’s has been tracking every word spoken by each MP in an online tool we call Figures of Speech. We’ll tell you who the most talkative MPs are, where the party leaders fall, and how they fare on the bilingual metre.


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