The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Campaign Insider – “Michael’s In Town”

Posted on April 30, 2011

Michael Ignatieff appeared in London yesterday, donning a pair of Converse red running shoes and declaring he was ready for the dash to the finish. With only a few hour’s notice, it was a scramble to get ready for his arrival. Other than his voice being a little hoarse, he was far more energized than I thought he would be at the end of a gruelling and confusing campaign. The London West Liberal candidate Doug Ferguson and I had some time with him in his bus yesterday. Michael seemed casual and comfortable during the discussion, confessing that this was the kind of political campaign no one really saw coming. Then it was off to a flower shop, where he purchased his wife some flowers…

Jack Was Never In The Box

Posted on April 30, 2011

Michael Ignatieff toured through London yesterday, providing me some good discussions with a number of friends from the national media touring with him through this final leg of the 2011 campaign. A couple commented on how the Liberal leader had shown grace and poise in these last difficult days. “He’s really connected with average Canadians,” one of them noted, before going on to state that it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t have shaken the hands of over 30 million Canadians in a short five-week campaign. “There just wasn’t enough time,” he concluded. Milling among them, I was repeatedly asked if I had any light to shed on the NDP surge. Before I could answer, they first offered their own observations, ranging from, “Layton connects well…

It Loves Me. It Loves Me Not.

Posted on April 29, 2011

I enjoy the Globe and Mail, read it every day, and some of their columnists are terrific. So I’ve been struggling these last couple of days with the paper’s endorsement of the Harper government as their choice for this election. I know, I’m a Liberal and I wasn’t destined to appreciate it in the first place, but it has been the history of that newspaper with the Conservative government that has created my confusion. As I read the editorial, I noticed online that the paper, in one of its “Our Time To Lead” contributions, talked about the heavily partisan nature of the House of Commons (“Partisanship Rears Its Ugly Head”, April 28, 2011). I realize it was a contributor’s column to the paper, but…

It’s Our House

Posted on April 29, 2011

It was years ago and it was a vicious fire in a rural region. A number of us with firefighting experience volunteered to attempt to stop a forest blaze that was in the process of devastating the wildlife and habitat of the region. It had already consumed a number of houses and cottages and threatened a local woodworking operation. Seven of us had banded together in an attempt to head off the blaze before it charted a new path into another set of woodlots. We were filthy and exhausted, having struggled for the entire night and now half the morning. It was almost noon when a helicopter arrived with some food and water for the team. It was then that we noticed one of…

Campaign Insider – Firefighters

Posted on April 28, 2011

As a firefighter for 30 years prior to entering politics, I was thrilled to take part in an event yesterday at the local Covent Garden Market to assist London’s firefighters with raising funds for Muscular Dystrophy. A group of six of them will camp out for three nights on the roof of the Market as a way of raising funds. It was a pleasure to be there with Ontario’s Health Minister Deb Matthews in an effort to raise awareness. You’ll get to see Jim Holmes, president of the firefighter’s union and a good friend for the last 35 years (we started together on the fire department on the same day). All of this has nothing to do with campaigning of course. But in some…