Virtual Parliaments: Perspectives from Canada and the UK

As the pandemic continues, governments around the world are being forced to adapt. In Canada, Members of Parliament will be holding two virtual “accountability sessions” per week, while the Procedure and House Affairs Committee studies the feasibility of holding broader virtual sittings. In the United Kingdom, MPs are set to approve historic plans to conduct some parliamentary business virtually.

Join the Samara Centre for Democracy’s Dr. Paul EJ Thomas and the University of Leeds' Dr. Cristina Leston-Bandeira as they discuss the potential benefits and challenges of virtual parliaments. This free, interactive webinar will begin at 12:30 pm EST, and end with questions from the audience. We hope to see you online and look forward to answering your questions!

To join the webinar, simply click on the event link below and follow the instructions.

Date: Thursday, April 23rd
Time: 12:30 pm EST
Event Link:

New to Zoom? Find out how to join the meeting here.


About our Speakers:

PAUL E.J. THOMAS has spent more than a decade working in and researching Canadian politics, starting as an intern in the Parliamentary Internship Programme and then as a researcher for Senator Yoine Goldstein. He completed a PhD in political science at the University of Toronto and was an SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Carleton University prior to joining the Samara Centre for Democracy as Senior Research Associate.

He has published numerous articles and book chapters on legislative politics in Canada and the United Kingdom, and is co-author of the book Religion and Canadian Party Politics. Paul has taught classes in Political Science and Political Management at Carleton University, and is an Adjunct Research Professor with Carleton’s Clayton H. Riddell Graduate Programme in Political Management.

CRISTINA LESTON-BANDEIRA has worked on parliaments for 30 years, specializing on parliament and public engagement. She is professor of politics at the University of Leeds, Co-Director of the Centre for Democratic Engagement and Chair of the UK Study of Parliament Group. She is also co-editor of the journal Parliamentary Affairs and a Constitution Unit Fellow.

Her research focuses on the relationship between parliament and citizens, particularly public and digital engagement. She analyses the methods parliaments have developed to engage with the public, having focused particularly on e-petitions recently. Her work includes comparative analysis between different parliaments, as well as single case studies such as the UK Parliament. She was one of the Commissioners of the House of Commons Digital Democracy Commission.

April 23, 2020 at 12:30pm - 1:30pm
Yvonne Su ·

Will you come?