What we’re doing

Info on what your representatives are doing in Ottawa can be hard to find and use. We’re trying to make it easy.

Find your MP by entering your postal code above. See what your representatives are saying, and what laws they’re proposing. Poke around.

What they’re talking about

Recent votes

  • #224 Passed C-6 That the Bill be now read a third time and do pass.
  • #223 Passed C-2 That the Bill be now read a second time and referred to the Standing Committee on Public Safety and National Security.
  • #222 Passed That the debate be now adjourned.
  • #221 Passed That the debate be now adjourned.
  • #220 Passed C-32 That, in relation to Bill C-32, An Act to enact the Canadian Victims Bill of Rights and to amend certain Acts, not more than one further sitting day shall be allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the Bill; and that, 15 minutes before the expiry of the time provided for Government Orders on the day allotted to the consideration at second reading stage of the said Bill, any proceedings before the House shall be interrupted, if required for the purpose of this Order, and, in turn, every question necessary for the disposal of the said stage of the Bill shall be put forthwith and successively, without further debate or amendment.
  • #219 Passed That the House do now proceed to the Orders of the Day.

What’s new around here

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The Cloud Era April 30th

As of today, you'll see colourful word clouds in prominent positions all through this site: on this page, and on the pages for debates, meetings, committees, and politicians.

As a data visualisation, word clouds are much maligned, not to mention so five years ago. So why Open Parliament's sudden embrace of cloud computing?

Well, because I think they're genuinely useful, and because they're effective across the very different types of documents (and quantities of words) that this site deals with. Our clouds were built according to a few principles:

  • Visually simple. I think they came out real purty, but I kept visual touches to a minimum: no text going off in various directions, for example. The sole purely visual elements are the colours, which are randomly assigned. I originally tried colour-coding words according to which party used the word the most, but it didn't really work: sometimes there was a fun insight, but mostly it just made the different words blur together visually.

  • More than a word count. Our clouds include not just words but two- and three-word phrases. And rather than just show which words were said the most, we try to show which words were spoken unusually often. (Techie digression: at the moment, our algorithm is to take the probability of a given word or phrase in a document, and subtract the probability of that word in other, similar documents.)

  • A jumping-off point, not a glib summary. Crucially, every word or phrase is a link. Click it, and you can read context and see what your representatives are actually saying.

I hope you like! Comments and suggestions are, as always, welcome: michael@michaelmulley.com. And if you have some knowledge of data visualisation and text analysis, you are heartily encouraged to suggest — or, better, implement — alternate or additional visualisations.

Developers, come get your data April 29th

This site now has a comprehensive HTTP JSON API.

If, to you, that was an gibberish sequence of letters, what it means is that I've made it far easier for other computer programmers to build sites and tools that tell you about Parliament.

If you recognized all those acronyms, if you know your REST from your RPC, then by all means poke around, and let me know if you build anything with it!

(This is technically old news — this new API has been around for several months — but I hadn't previously written a post about it.)