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And we’re back – highlights from the past 10 months

It’s been a very, very long time since I posted anything.

It began last summer as a temporary hiatus to help me focus on finishing my dissertation proposal and research ethics before my daughter was born. Then the hiatus was then extended to allow for some family time, and then again so that I could prepare for my first field work excursion to London and Edinburgh. Field work then turned out to be more demanding then expected, and since being back I’ve been quite busy trying to transcribe the UK interviews before I begin my Canadian research.

But enough excuses, here are the highlights:

  • June 2012 – Presented two papers at the Canadian Political Science Association Meeting in Edmonton, Alberta
  • July – Dissertation proposal accepted
  • August – Research ethics approved; beautiful daughter born
  • September – Published an op-ed with Peter Loewen and Michael MacKenzie on iPolitics regarding the need to balance population equality and the representation of communities when designing electoral boundaries
  • October to November – Field research at Westminster under the expert guidance of Robert Hazell from the Constitution Unit at UCL
  • November to December – Field research at the Scottish Parliament with wonderful support from Annis Mae Timpson and the Centre for Canadian Studies at the University of Edinburgh
  • January 2013 – Returned to Ottawa; found out I had received a Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplement which would enable a return trip to the UK for follow-up interviews

ImageHappily my wife and daughter were able to accompany me for the three months of field work in the UK. Even more happily, my daughter appears to be a natural traveler, and took well to the various plane, train, tube, bus, and boat trips that she was subjected to (the picture is her on the train from London to Edinburgh). The only lasting damage appears to be that I still have the tendency to refer to her diapers as nappies.

I also must thank the many family members, friends, and colleagues who helped us survive the past few months. Whether it was those who brought us food after our daughter was born, our friend in London who sheltered us for 6 weeks, or the politicians who took the time out of their schedules to meet with me, I have been overwhelmed at the generosity and kindness that my family and I have received. It would not have been possible to keep going with my research without your support.

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