The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “identity

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 – Tartans, Kilts and Zombies

Posted on March 12, 2013

“Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were,” wrote Marcel Proust, and he was correct. We often see this kind of phenomenon in how many pressing for political reform embrace democracy’s past.  They imagine a simpler time, a kind of small community functionality, where citizens got together at a local assembly hall and determined their future – a Norman Rockwell existence.  This was indeed reality in many rural communities, but in larger cities and in federal jurisdictions decisions were pursued and confirmed at the rarified levels of political backrooms.  By and large, citizens were pawns in an elitist chess match that were merely permitted their own say every few years when there was an election. There never was…

Identity – You and We

Posted on February 19, 2013

Communities have their own kind of DNA.  They came together over years of development, experience, leadership, tough times, migration, ups and down of economies, artistic expression, politics and citizenship, to name but a few.  Whether we are born into the place where we now live or moved into it at some point, it has special characteristics that existed long before we came along.  Often, despite its drawbacks, we choose where we live because we like what history has made of our habitat. A person can spend a lifetime in such environs and add little to their overall community.  The needs of survival mean they must take from it; but if they wish their community to progress they must give back.  This is the essence…

Who Are You?

Posted on February 4, 2013

Who are you? Seriously. For that matter, who are we? Oscar Wilde used to wonder if people really knew themselves, what was truly unique about their personalities. At one point he said: “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinion, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.” I used to think that statement a little bleak, until a couple of weeks ago, when, in a discussion with some engaged citizens, I asked who they really were and received a kind of collective blank stare. I pressed and eventually there emerged a list of the books they liked, who their parents were, where they went to school, and what kind of politics they supported. It was clear by the time it…


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