"Better Politics and Watchdogging Parliament" TRANSCRIPT (Kevin Page)

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"I didn't want the job. Nobody wanted that job. I swear to you: nobody. And I’ll be honest with you, I’ve said this before. I think I was the only person in the interview and in the interview I said I didn't want the job.

Like … It was a strange interview, like if half the interview I’m saying I don’t want the job, and the other half of the interview he's answering the questions."

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Episode #3: How do you learn to be an MLA? (TRANSCRIPT)

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(Off Script Theme Music Begins)

Mark Coffin: You’re listening to On the Record, Off Script. The podcast.

My name is Mark Coffin, and I’m one of the hosts .

For the past two years, me and the Off Script team have been tracking down former members of the Nova Scotia legislature.

Whenever we found one, we invited them to take part in an ‘exit interview.

Exit interviews are conversations that employers have with their employees once they’ve left or decided to leave a job - to get answers to the questions that would be uncomfortable or unwelcome if the employee had to keep showing up to work in the weeks and months ahead.

We sat down with dozens of former MLAs, and had them reflect on their time in public life.

We asked them to tell us about the good, the bad and the ugly of how Nova Scotia politics works from the inside.

All of our interviews were on the record…

But what we heard... didn’t sound much like the usual scripts.

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Special Ep #3: How I got kicked out of Province House TRANSCRIPT (Nelson MacDonald)

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(Off Script Theme Music Begins)

 “He wasn't even saying anything, it wasn't about anything that was happening outside. It became very clear to me, that nothing that was happening in this very very nice room - with good acoustics - had anything to do with what was really happening outside. There was no discussion happening here, there was no problem solving being done here, there was no fixing things being done here…

Like I said, the guy that just got thrown out I was kinda like ‘that was kinda dumb.’ and then all of a sudden I’m up. And I say, I didn’t say Mr. Speaker, so that was a mistake... “

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Episode #2: Casting Call (TRANSCRIPT)

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(Off Script theme music begins)

Mark Coffin: You’re listening to On the Record, Off Script. The podcast.

My name is Mark Coffin, and I’m one of the hosts.

For the past two years, me and the Off Script team have been tracking down former members of the Nova Scotia legislature.

Whenever we found one, we invited them to take part in an ‘exit interview.’

Exit interviews are conversations that employers have with their employees once they’ve left or decided to leave a job - to get answers to the questions that would be uncomfortable or unwelcome if the employee had to keep showing up to work in the weeks and months ahead.

We sat down with dozens of former MLAs, and had them reflect on their time in public life.

We asked them to tell us about the good the bad and the ugly of how Nova Scotia politics works from the inside.

All of our interviews were on the record…

But what we heard...  didn’t sound much like the usual scripts.

Read the full transcript

Episode #1: Road Map (TRANSCRIPT)

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[Theme music kicks in]

Mark: You're listening to On the Record, Off Script. The podcast.

My name is Mark Coffin, and I’m one of your hosts.

For the past couple of years, the Off Script team has been tracking down former policiticans in Nova Scotia.

Former members of the Nova Scotia legislature - to be precise.

Whenever we found one, we invited them to participate in an ‘exit interview,” to reflect on their time in public life, and the workplace they all served in - provinces.

All of our interviews were on the record, but what we heard didn’t sound much like the usual script.

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"For the brokenhearted" TRANSCRIPT (Parker J. Palmer)

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[background music starts]

Mark: It’s November 9th. It's the day after the US Presidential Election of 2016.

Every meeting, every unplanned encounter I’ve had today - with friends, colleagues, strangers - everyone has begun with recognizing the shared sense of despair that we’re all feeling that I suspect many of you are feeling as well.

My name is Mark Coffin, and I’m one of the hosts of the Off Script podcast. Today, we were planning on releasing the first full episode of this podcast - podcast based on conversations we've had with former MLA's about their life in politics in Nova Scotia.

But we’re not going to do that anymore, at least not today.

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"How an MLA gets involved in 'those kinds of things'" TRANSCRIPT (Clarrie MacKinnon)

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[background music]

(Male Voice): Your day-to-day role as an MLA, like my children could not believe the type of things. I wouldn’t discuss people’s names with them, they'd say, “How does an MLA get involved in doing those kinds of things?"

[podcast theme music kicks in]

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"Where's the minister?" TRANSCRIPT (Eleanor Norrie)

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Eleanor: [Interview tape] I was part of the community, I was part of the we. Over there those people that are elected are 'they'. So it’s the we and the they.

The day after I was elected, the community doesn't treat you as part of the 'we' anymore, you're the 'they.' So you become they, so you become somebody that either they want to be with or attack. You're separate apart from the community, it’s just - what happens.

Then on top of that when you're a woman, I call it the 'she-they.' 

[laughter]

[podcast theme music kicks in]

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"Three cheers for the lady" TRANSCRIPT (Francene Cosman)

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[background music]

(Female Voice): I'm the Deputy Speaker of this House, this chamber is my responsibility. I just sat at my desk, staring at a group full of chanting, roaring angry people.

And that's when I got removed from the chamber out the back door because they said, 'You're not safe…’

[podcast theme music kicks in]

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Starting Up TRANSCRIPT

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[background music]

(Female Voice) I remember going to visit the legislature when I was in High school. It was just a room full of white suited men. I remember looking down and being in awe of it and it just never crossed my mind 'Gee I'd like to do that someday,' because it was just not a possibility.

(Female Voice) You put yourself out there, it affects your finances, it affects your personal life, it affects your family; it's a big commitment.

(Male Voice) And it started with the presumption that you pretend always to be right in what you have to say in politics, that you take on this bravado about always being right, and the other side always being wrong.

[music loudens]

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