The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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A Bookish Summer

Posted on June 27, 2013

Friedrich Nietzsche used to say, “All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.”  I guess I’ve been trying to do that for years, only with a keyboard.  Mostly I write in the attempt to urge politicians to act on the foundations of their conscience and for citizens to rise up and grasp for the democratic torch that has been handed to them.  It’s likely all that writing has little effect. I read an article in the New York Times last week that said, “If you want your blog to be popular, write for your audience – talk about them and their interests.”  Trouble is, I can’t work like that. The…

Counting On Nothing

Posted on June 24, 2013

I am one of 9,564,210 Baby Boomers in the country – a group that makes up almost 30% of the population.  For almost 30 years I was one of some 22,000 Canadian professional firefighters.  I am one of the less than 1% of internationals who undertake development programs in south Sudan.  I am part of the 912,600 families in Canada that have three or more children (I have 7).  My blood type is O-negative.  I was a member of the 39th and 40th Canadian Parliaments, and, oh yeah, I was one of the 2,100,000 people who watched Britain’s newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II emerge from her balcony at Buckingham Palace on June 2, 1953 (I was 3 years old). So, do you think you…

Homelessness Without a Home

Posted on June 24, 2013

New data on homelessness emerged last week and immediately competed for front page attention – some 200,000 Canadians every year are affected by homelessness, with a hefty price tag of 7 billion dollars.  This was the first ever national report on homelessness and the findings spell deep trouble for our communities, especially our cities. Perhaps it’s time that we just admit that citizens are expecting this to be an ongoing reality – a troubling shift.  Worse still is the fact that our leaders – political, economic, social – are now planning for poverty – it’s enmeshed in our economic system and there are no plans for alleviation. A proper remedial place for tackling this troubling issue within the realm of public policy goes wanting…

Off in the Wrong Direction

Posted on June 18, 2013

In his 1999 biography, famed anchorman Walter Cronkite writes of being on assignment on D-Day in 1944 and, encountering the “redoubtable” Canadian journalist Charles Lynch.  Journalists like Cronkite had to wait to file their stories by radio or wire later in the day, but Lynch opted to do it the old-fashioned way by using three homing pigeons.  He typed out his first dispatch on the special light paper provided by his employers, Reuters News Service, and tucked it into the special capsule affixed to pigeon number one.  He went through the same routine for the remaining two birds.  The pigeons lifted into the air, circled twice, and then flew off, not in the direction of England, but Berlin.  Flustered, Lynch labeled them “feathered turncoats”.…