Off Script: Atlantic Canada Politics Podcast

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The Challenge: 

Off Script began as a way to tell the story of Nova Scotia’s former MLAs. Myself, and Louise Cockram – a political scientist – conducted over 75 hours of exit interviews with MLAs from all parties who at one point served as local representatives, party leaders, and cabinet ministers in the Nova Scotia legislature. We were inspired by projects elsewhere in the country, where the results of similar exit interviews were published as reports and a book.

The Twist: 

We published the results of our interviews as an audio podcast. That became Season One of Off Script. We told the story chronologically, as experienced by the MLAs we spoke to. Listeners are taken on the career journey of an MLA episode-by-episode. The series knits together both the common and disparate experiences of Nova Scotia’s politicians-past. The stories, music, and sound design invite the listener to tag-along on a journey that only a handful of Nova Scotians will ever experience first-hand.

You can listen to all of Season One here, or wherever you get podcasts. Here’s the teaser for that season:

Season Two

In season two of the Off Script podcast, we’ve let go of the serialized, highly-produced format. Most episodes feature a single interview, where we dig deep into a single issue, story or perspective. Below are some of the recent episodes of Off Script.

#20: What’s happening at bookstores in Pictou County? Interview with Joan Baxter

Joan Baxter is the guest on this podcast. We talk about her new Book ‘The Mill’, the 50 years of community activism protesting the pulp industry’s practise in Pictou County, and the politics surrounding it all.

#25: Justin Trudeau’s Criticisms of Proportional Representation vs. Actual Research

Matt Risser is the guest on this podcast. He joins me to unpack how systems of proportional representation work in other countries, and how they might work in Canada. Matt and I discuss what Justin Trudeau has been saying about proportional representation and compare it to what the research says about the experience of countries that actually use proportional systems.

#28: How Halifax cyclists won a 1.5km protected downtown bike lane

When Halifax municipal councillors voted in favour of approving a long stretch of protected bike lanes on South Park Street in Halifax, we invited cycling activist Kelsey Lane onto the show to talk about it.  Kelsey Lane is the executive director of the Halifax Cycling Coalition, a group that has been leading the charge for more (and better) bike lanes in Halifax.