The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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2010 – The Year of Living Dangerously

Posted on December 30, 2010

In a year-end statement, Stephen Harper offered that 2010 was the year that Canada “shined” on the world’s stage. That was a bit of a stretch, but a quick scan of similar statements by other world leaders boasted much the same fare. Regardless of the progress, or lack of it, in specific nations, collectively we are entertaining policies that are in the process of turning the world into a more dangerous place. Some examples: Somehow, despite all the money flowing in so many directions, things went badly awry. The juggernaut of globalization not only came to a screeching halt but in many ways began reversing itself. For that past 30 years we have been hearing of the merits of free trade, mobile investment transfers,…

Annus Horribilus

Posted on December 29, 2010

1992 wasn’t the best year for Queen Elizabeth II. For months she had watched her family deteriorate and then suffered dislocation when Windsor Castle caught fire. In her year-end speech she could only conclude: “1992 is not a year I shall look back on with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis (horrible year)”. We could easily borrow that same latin term to describe the vengeance of the weather in 2010. In fact, it was the year of almost every natural disaster imaginable. By the time the planet has exerted its revenge for our foolishness, some 260,000 people will have perished from earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, landslides and heat waves. It…

A Bridge Too Far

Posted on December 26, 2010

A very subtle line in journalism was crossed in the past few weeks that needs to experience some push back. Journalist Andrew Cohen and pundit Norman Spector both provided observations that Stephen Harper and his wife Laureen are experiencing anything but marital bliss. In doing so, they journeyed a bridge too far, undermining their own credibility in the process. Without naming the Harpers directly, Cohen puts in public a rumour that’s been floating around for months on their marriage as though it’s a fact. Spector took it a step further, reasoning that Laureen’s purpose in joining the PM for a year-end interview was to counteract any rumours of marital trouble. For many of us in the political spectrum this has become an important moment.…

Your Turn As Santa

Posted on December 24, 2010

What do you do when Santa turns into Scrooge? In what is surely the tip of the iceberg, the federal government quietly cut $53 million from settlement agencies in the GTA. Speaking with a number of agencies in Toronto today gave the unmistakable impression that a government bent on providing corporate tax cuts is as determined to cut programming for the most vulnerable among us. The GTA settlement cuts are the canary in the proverbial coal mine, as the federal government begins sharpening its knife for budget time only a few months away. It has always been this way – passing the pain of recessionary times primarily on to those that can least survive them. The next few months are about to turn very…