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These interns want you to know there's a lot more to Parliament than yelling

Young Canadians who participate in a coveted internship program on Parliament Hill say federal politics isn't anything like the version of it you see on TV.

In fact, they say, it's far more civilized and less combative than video clips from question period might lead you to believe.

«Before coming to Ottawa and getting to work on the Hill, question period basically defined what politics looked like to me,» said Ahdithya Visweswaran, an intern from Edmonton.

«But what you don't see on the screen is the MP crossing the floor to go talk to someone, get a little scoop on — 'Hey, my constituent needs their casework looked at right away' — or another MP coming and just having a conversation with them behind the curtains.»

«MPs aren't just screaming at each other,» he said. «They're working together to achieve what they want, which is a better life for all Canadians across the country.»

Visweswaran is one of four participants in the Parliamentary Internship Programme (PIP) who spoke with. They all said they were struck by the amount of co-operation and shared values they observed in Parliament.

«If an everyday Canadian or a political science student is watching question period, that is incredibly different than what happens at the committee level or what happens in constituency offices,» said Katie Campbell, an intern from Winnipeg.

«There are so many nuances associated with parliamentary duties and how to represent Canadians that you don't get to learn in a classroom,» she said. Being a parliamentary intern, she added, means getting to be «on the ground of what politics actually looks like, and learn from your MP, learn from your staffers, learn from constituents as well.»

Both sides of the aisle

The 10 to 12 people awarded spots in

Read more on cbc.ca