The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Right to Community – Against Our Wishes

Posted on February 28, 2012

The American Revolution didn’t start out as anything of the kind. Its eventual leaders were believers in the principles that existed prior to the radical act of rebellion, and they continued to espouse them once victory was assured. They weren’t brigands, profiteers, or anarchists; neither were they overtly political. Due to their desire to escape the stifling world of British politics, they ensconced themselves in the New World. Yet they attempted to apply the founding principles of the British parliamentary system in the colonies. They were happy to stay part of the Empire, as long as their individual and communities rights were respected. I think that pretty well sums up where Canadian communities are today. It’s hard to find anyone suggesting anything other than…

Right to Community – Our Turn

Posted on February 27, 2012

It wasn’t expected. Just returning from a meeting, my cellphone rang. The caller ID was blocked, but upon answering I was delighted to hear the voice of a Conservative MP from out West with whom I’d had good relations. I hadn’t heard from him since my election loss. “Glen, I just read the stuff about what happened to you with all that misinformation. Just wanted to say how sorry I am and that I didn’t know a thing about it.” I believed him 100%. “You seem happy,” he noted. I smiled, realizing I was probably more content than him at the moment. “Keep up your blogs,” he said quietly. “We need some clarity.” That was code for the reality that he’s part of the…

Are We Channeling Lincoln or Darwin?

Posted on February 25, 2012

Note: Below is a piece I wrote for the Huffington Post about the growing philosophy of right-wing government. You can get there directly by linking to http://huff.to/wyhIj9 Last week I wrote an article for the Huffington Post about Abraham Lincoln’s birthday and the need for our politicians to take some pointers from the 16th president on how to conduct themselves with a sense of respect and compassion. Lincoln actually shared his birthday with another great historical figure from across the Atlantic. Charles Darwin was born a few hours apart from Lincoln and both of their lives were to have profound effect on their generation. Their combined contribution perhaps has something to say to our political elites today and they are lessons worth learning. We don’t normally associate Darwin’s research…

Legacies

Posted on February 25, 2012

It’s finally over. What had begun as a labour dispute ended this week in sad resignation.  The workers at ElectroMotive finally reached a severance deal with Caterpillar Inc. There was a touch of grace at the end as the union negotiating team successfully wrestled some benefit from a company that in the end didn’t buckle so much to worker demands as it did to the realization that a community stood behind its own. For those of our beleaguered city who stood with the workers on the line for weeks there is sense of deep and abiding loss that only comes from sharing hardship with others. The workers themselves seized the most opportune of moments and chose to fill it with a kind of dignified…

Right to Community – The Meddling Factor

Posted on February 24, 2012

For the American colonies life was becoming increasingly frustrating. The denigration they experienced from their political masters in England was further enhanced by countless tiny acts of subterfuge that made the life of the average colonialist eventually unbearable. The needless addition of the Stamp Tax, the Townshend Acts, and the Coercive Act effectively hampered the life of average people and businesses. Each time some transaction was negotiated, another imposed tax from England found its way into the deal. British interventions were effectively hindering average life. Added to the financial meddling were countless acts of political artifice, especially when it came to the colonists selecting their leaders. King George III ensured that many such community elections for offices like judge or land claims were rigged…

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