The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Bitten By The Mania

Posted on February 27, 2010

Years ago, I penned a book on Abraham Lincoln following a couple of years of research. So it was that when Doris Kearns released a seminal study titled Team Of Rivals about Lincoln’s ability to work with others, I picked it up and devoured it. Some paragraphs cemented themselves in memory before I could even finish the first portion of the book. To her abiding credit, Kearns examined in great detail the diaries and characters of the key players around Lincoln and yielded up some revealing truths about the nature of politics itself and its hold on people with ambition. One man challenging Lincoln for the Republican nomination was the well-respected Missouri elder statesman Edward Bates. While he had briefly held political office years…

Those Darn Cigar Smokin’ Women

Posted on February 26, 2010

Good grief! What is becoming of the state of Canadian women? Sure, they won a gold medal for hockey in a pretty exciting game, but they are supposed to show restraint because they’re … well, they’re women! Give me a break. At least they weren’t pounding on security doors or throwing their skates at guards! Let’s face it, we all know this is silly, regardless of how seriously the IOC is concerned about the example it sets. While the men’s hockey team took some time to find its stride, the women’s team was quietly taking care of business. Throughout each of their games they displayed a kind of professionalism and ability that could only bring pride and a sense of status to the IOC.…

True North

Posted on February 24, 2010

Well, Conservative Maxime Bernier really let the cat out of the bag. By concluding in La Presse that he believed there is no consensus on global warming, the former Foreign Affairs minister effectively ripped the cover off of his party’s discipline enforced code of silence. That discipline was necessary because it permitted the Conservative government to communicate in double-speak to the electorate, effectively enough confusing them as to where the governing party truly stood on the issue of the environment. By speaking out against environmental alarmism, Bernier himself raised the climate change stakes to an alarmingly new level. He’s was way off on this, but in a world of illusion over substance, it doesn’t really matter. Opposition members say Bernier truly mirrors Stephen Harper’s…

The Truth Is Out There

Posted on February 23, 2010

It hasn’t been adding up for some time now, and when Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon announced last week that the Harper government had fulfilled the Paul Martin 2005 promise of doubling aid to Africa, observers from that continent shook their heads once more at what they knew was clearly a misnomer. For almost two years now the government of Canada has been telling Canadians that it was on-track for fulfilling Martin’s promise even at the same time as they were pulling long-term development funds out of numerous African countries. It remained an ominous task to acquire the true number that would validate such a claim. When the Auditor General had to finally conclude a few months ago that the CIDA disbursements were something…

Quiet Giant

Posted on February 23, 2010

“Since we’re going to be playing opposing parts to one another, I wondered if you’d be open to letting me treat you to lunch at the Parliamentary restaurant?”  “As long as we can fight over who pays,” I responded. To my knowledge these were the first words Jim Abbott and I ever said to one another. Watching him seated in the Conservative seats, I had observed all six foot, five inches of him, from a distance for my first two years but never had occasion to speak with him. No sooner had I been appointed critic for international cooperation (which includes CIDA) than he approached me with that first question. We dined together two weeks later and he was interested to learn I had…