The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Citizenship” Category

The Secret Nook – Chapter 2 (The Crash)

Posted on September 24, 2018

Such questions were her companions as she boarded the public bus, work shoes stuffed in her large faded purse, and took the daily twenty-five-minute journey to Storm’s – an efficient, if dated, family diner that had survived eight economic recessions, countless community ups and downs, demographic fluctuations and who knew how many elections.  The favourite feeding spot, situated a mere block from the beautiful downtown college campus, had been her employer for the past fifteen years and provided her the only real community Meadow had known since the death of her mother over a decade ago. It had paid her bills, enabled her to live in a rundown but always immaculate apartment, and, thankfully, kept the tentacles of an encroaching community poverty from getting too…

The Secret Nook – Chapter 1 (The Dream)

Posted on September 22, 2018

Her eyes opened with a start.  The ceiling above her bed seemed to move back and forth like some kind of reflection on the water.  She drew a strange comfort from the familiarity of it and watched for a moment as the lights from the cars on the street below meandered in their usual fashion across the plaster above her. Meadow was surprised to feel her heart beating heavily in her chest – so loud that she swore she could hear its pounding rhythm in her ears.  She felt a slight perspiration on her upper lip and realized she must have been having a bad dream. And then the memory of it returned.  The tanned hand, crossed with deep and abiding veins, covered with…

Sometimes Leaders Have to Follow

Posted on September 21, 2018

It’s never an easy or simple thing for a politician to cut across the grain of public opinion for the sake of building an even stronger community. And yet that’s what San Antonio, Texas, Mayor Ron Nirenberg did, in a decision that garnered international attention. When the great behemoth that is Amazon announced it was searching for a second headquarters location, it started a bidding frenzy that saw more than 500 cities bend themselves out of shape in their bid for the prize. San Antonio appeared to be one of the favourites, since it was situated in Silicon Valley and had enjoyed a successful business partnership with Amazon for more than a decade. Nirenberg, who knows Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos personally, rocked the…

A Decade of Doubt

Posted on September 21, 2018

Confusion.  Confusion everywhere.  Confusion in the House itself and in Question Period.  Confusion in caucus meetings.  Confusion in the various committees.  Confusion at events.  Confusion when socializing with other MPs.  Confusion in calls home to spouses and children.  Confusion from the top leadership levels to the lowliest backbencher. Confusion among economists. Confusion among bureaucrats. Confusion in the media and among citizens.  Again, confusion everywhere. A decade ago I was sitting in Parliament – one of slightly over 300 MPs trying to figure out what just hit us.  Had the American stock market crashed?  Was Wall Street doing anything?  What about Canadian securities?  Is this going global or confined to America? It didn’t take long to understand that the Great Recession of 2008 was upon us and, like…

Looking Outward To Find Our Identity

Posted on September 19, 2018

One has to feel a certain empathy for Meghan Markel – the newest royal through her marriage with Prince Harry. Enduring scrutiny in a fishbowl unlike any other, Markel has to fight for her own identity and image in an institution bathed in historical structure, rigid adherence to form, fighting for air amongst a host of other royal family personages who have the advantage of learning the protocols from the youngest age.  In such a setting, images of Diana come to mind. It’s all about identity and Meghan Markel is up against the best of them.  And yet there is something benignly noble about her fighting for her own space.  Sure, she receives endless criticism as a person of privilege in a privileged world, but…

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