From time to time magazines, like people,
have to stop and think about where they are going and whether they are living
up to objectives set by themselves and expected by others. The goal of the Canadian
Parliamentary, Review is to foster the study of and respect for
parliamentary institutions in Canada. The readership is mainly elected
officials. Articles are sought on the basis of their likelihood to inform or
entertain members of a very unique profession. By seeking original material in
both English and French by knowledgeable members, staffers and outside experts
the Review serves the additional function of making available material on
Parliament that otherwise would probably not circulate beyond one language group.
Finally the Review is intended to serve members not only in their capacity as
federal, provincial or territorial legislators but also as members of a
particular fraternity of parliamentarians, the Commonwealth Parliamentary
The editors have received much
correspondence from members indicating satisfaction with the magazine.
Nevertheless we decided to seek a more scientific survey of readers' opinion.
Last year a questionnaire was sent to all Canadian parliamentarians who belong
to the CPA. More than one hundred replies were received, the vast majority of
which indicated general satisfaction with all sections of the Review; feature
articles, legislative reports, book reviews, CPA activities and information
about people. A number of ideas for future articles were suggested. Some
criticisms were also received which should help to improve both the format and
content of future issues.
The last two questions in the survey
concerned distribution of the magazine. The editors were encouraged to learn that
about eighty per cent of the respondents wanted to see the Review have a wider
circulation. However, this raised the question of whether there should be a
subscription price for non-parliamentary readers, the number of whom is growing
with each issue. On this matter the respondents were more divided but a
majority still favoured a subscription price over the present system of free on
request distribution. The editorial board has subsequently authorized
introduction of a subscription price subject to approval by the Canadian
Regional Council of CPA.
The editors are grateful to all
parliamentarians who took the time to respond to our questionnaire. A complete
summary of the readership survey has been prepared and is available upon
In view of the favourable response the time
has come to stop thinking about where we are going and to go! The wishes of the
readers are clear, it is now up to the editors, the editorial board and
ultimately the Canadian Regional Council to insure that the Review continues to
satisfy the membership of CPA and be of interest to the wider community as