The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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How Not To Judge Our Leaders

Posted on May 30, 2011

There’s a strong tendency among all of us as Liberals right now to criticize so much of the party’s ruling elite, some of it unfair, other portions bang-on. Something of a “revolt of the grassroots” is evolving, not without merit, but often with a collective bias unworthy of our great traditions. Whatever else transpires in the next four years, if those fighting for a more relevant Liberal party in the various regions of the country are not permitted better access to the decision-making structure then there won’t be much of a party left. Nevertheless, many in these grassroots offered little assistance during the last campaign, often opting to sit distant from the national happenings like some modern-day Jonah waiting for the judgment. It surely…

Binary Code

Posted on May 26, 2011

So much of what we do digitally these days is based on the binary number system, the use of the digits 0 and 1 to produce what we see on our screens. Simple in concept, it is remarkably complex in what it all produces. Two digits can create an entire digital reality. Politics in Canada has always had its own version of a binary code, not consisting of numbers but of two powerful perceptions. In the binary world of politics it’s about whether people are for you or against you. And the way Canadian politics reflects this is primarily through political parties. Bob Rae chose an apt description of this yesterday during one of his first interviews on Power and Politics as interim Liberal…

Bath Water Out With The Baby

Posted on May 24, 2011

Perusing the social media over the weekend, it was remarkable how many people are providing input into what the Liberal party must engage in to renew itself. It was comforting in its own way, though it left the lingering impression on me that my own meagre posts are likely inconsequential. A most helpful comment came in through Facebook from Jon, a London, Ontario journalist, and it was profound enough to sit me up to take a look at it once again. Here’s what he said: The Liberals in power embraced fiscal conservatism but so too have the Conservatives. As to social issues, it’s long been clear the current PM simply has no desire to wave a far-right flag. There is no great void in…

The Centre Line (2)

Posted on May 20, 2011

I was going to put down some more ideas of what a centrist holds to, but there have been a good number of great responses to the initial list from yesterday and I thought it might be best to include them in this post. Some of these suggestions are quite evocative and well thought out. From Facebook Christopher notes – “I like your definition of progressive centrist, especially “•believes in evidence-based research and practice and not some kind of political dogma”. Unfortunately, we’ll get more political dogma from the Conservatives over the next four years with more prisons, trying to shut Insite, ignoring climate change, etc. … Liberals believe being centrist means being all things to all people. Selling a conservative side to conservatives and…

The Centre Line (1)

Posted on May 19, 2011

When someone heard I was changing my blog’s direction to political renewal and the pursuit of a more engaged progressivism of the centre, he responded on Twitter: “I hope you start with a definition of ‘centrist’.” That made eminent sense to me. He later went on to observe that he hears the term all the time but wonders if such a definition actually exists. I have no idea. After almost five years in politics, I have really only begun to seriously hear the term “centrist” emerge amidst all the dialogue surrounding the rebuilding the Liberal party. Perhaps a good place to start is to cast off exact definitions and just talk about what a centrist actually believes. Usually something is defined and then a…