The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Identity – Jesus, Branding and Politics

Posted on March 28, 2013

It’s Easter Week and for some it will only mean a few days off work or school.  For people of the Christian faith it will carry the deeper meanings of mortality and new life.  I’d like to pursue something unusual and trust the some don’t view it as irreverent.  Since we are considering thoughts on identity, I’d like to ponder how politics framed Jesus Christ’s final week but how it couldn’t ensnare or own who he truly was.  There are lessons in this for everyone considering a political life. When he rode into Jerusalem on that particular Palm Sunday, Jesus was entering a charged political atmosphere.  There was no way he could avoid it.  Jewish sects were vying for prominence, the general population was…

Identity – Beyond Politics

Posted on March 26, 2013

It was one of the most profound moments of my political life.  Two days following my election loss I took my son Ater for lunch.  When we entered the crowded food court at one of the local malls some people started clapping and soon most others joined in.  I was overwhelmed, leaning in closer to Ater.  It was all a little perplexing until one store owner took me aside, saying, “Know what that was about?  Until you got elected you were the food bank guy and we all love the food bank.  But when you became a politician you were a Liberal and right away people fell along party lines and saw you different because not all are of that persuasion.  Now that you’re…

Identity – Out-of-Place

Posted on March 21, 2013

“To be honest, I’ve just given up.  It seems likely everything good-hearted people attempt in politics has to be wrapped up in some kind of coloured package, and the moment you select one such colour, the others are automatically against it.  There’s no place for free thought anymore, or for me.” These words uttered yesterday from a friend of mine adequately sum up where millions of Canadians are situated at the moment.  By “colours” he meant, of course, the hues of the major political parties in this country.  It appears as though partisanship has reached such a level that no one who is colour blind stands much of a chance of getting their voice heard in the political or public policy worlds.  Hyper partisanship…

Identity – Posterity

Posted on March 19, 2013

These recent posts have been about how we define and protect our collective identity – in our communities, country and the world.  But what about in centuries to come?  It’s an intriguing question. If in our efforts we fail to embed our narrative in history, what’s to become of our story, our exploits in improving our lives?  Will we be viewed as the generation that ultimately lost control of the delicate eco-balance of our planet? Will future historians write about how we defeated the tentacles of poverty through the revitalization of our communities?  The answer to those questions will determine how the future identifies us and whether we were the people who overcame tremendous challenges or, instead, just floated with the current into historical…

Smoke Signals

Posted on March 14, 2013

Long before the white smoke emerged from the small chimney in Rome the Roman Catholic church was already suffering from a thousand cuts. The occasion of papal succession served as a global lightning rod for the church’s many sins and its army of critics. And who can deny the troubling revelations that made their way into the public discourse over recent decades? Nobody seeking the truth of humanity and history, God-fearing or not, desires to gloss over the findings or put such failures back in the box. Yet I observed in mild alarm as contributors to both social and mainstream media alike took to trouncing the Roman Catholic church beyond all reasoning or charity. To the church’s sin were now added the iniquities of…