The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “authenticity

Being Real

Posted on May 31, 2016

THE WHOLE THING DIDN’T GO AS PLANNED. The de facto Republican leader, Donald Trump, was supposed to be an also-ran, largely purged from the primaries by early 2016. For Hilary Clinton and the Democrats, it was supposed to resemble something of a coronation. Yes, there was Bernie Sanders, the elderly statesman from Vermont, but, like Trump, was supposed to be out of the race months ago. As we near the conventions of both parties, each is experiencing an identity crisis of major proportions. There’s a reason why millions of young people have signed up for the Sander’s campaign. Spotting in him someone who has maintained the ideals of his youth, they see in him as a mentor, a guide into the complex future that…

Can Conscience Save Politics

Posted on May 12, 2015

THIS TILE OF THIS POST ISN’T MERELY A RHETORICAL QUESTION.  If it were, then hope is gone. Vaclav Havel protested against dysfunctional politics for a long time before he eventually became the peoples’ choice as president of Czechoslovakia in 1989. As a playwright and a philosopher prior to his political ascendancy, he asked a penetrating question: “Are we implicit n the system that enslaves us, or are we what we always wanted to believe of ourselves?” Though on the surface it seems that the average citizen believes conscience and politics have become mutually exclusive, it seems more likely that they hold on to the faint hope that in some way, or somehow, the political influence in our country can still bring us back to a…

Jesus and Thanksgiving

Posted on October 14, 2013

I have often observed in fascination as people attempt to adroitly dance around the subject of Jesus.  Some, of course, don’t flit around the subject at all, opting to either dismiss all things religious or even seek to trounce it altogether. But when it comes to the person of Jesus himself, people often take more care, aware that whatever he was, it was something more transcendent than organized religion. We in the West, free of so much oppression and turmoil, continue to take our heroes out of context because we understand so little about what it takes to overcome the remarkable oppressions of politics, authoritarianism, and failure.  We pick the parts we like and even quote them on important themes and occasions. Vaclav Havel,…

Transcending Politics

Posted on October 3, 2013

One more insight from Michael Ignatieff’s book, Fire and Ashes, stuck with me and it forms one of the great results of losing in politics – namely you become one of the forgotten ones.  At least that’s the theory.  Ignatieff puts it like this: In the weeks afterward, the solitary reality of defeat began to sink in.  It turns out that there is nothing so ex as an ex-politician, especially a defeated one.  Your phone goes dead … When you’re done in politics, you are well and truly done, and it is a good idea to accept this as quickly as you can … the psychic challenge after defeat is to recover your standing.” Political office can add a kind of esteem to your…

A Face For All Seasons

Posted on October 1, 2013

I had varied responses to Michael Ignatieff’s reflection on his political tenure in his new book, Fire and Ashes, but most of all I just felt badly for the human emotion of disappointment he must have endured.  Many will pile on with their political punditry, but it must have been tough, that’s all. Michael and I had breakfast at the Chateau Laurier on the week he was to be the final signatory to the document then Liberal leader, Stephane Dion, had asked his caucus to sign in support of a coalition.  The air was painfully rife with tension all over Ottawa that day, but Michael himself was a picture of conflicted emotions as we talked over eggs and coffee.  Later, we walked up to…