The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “liberalism


Posted on January 17, 2012

If the recently concluded Liberal convention in Ottawa showed anything, it was the pundit’s penchant for predicting the end of the party was as futile as their conclusions of the end of the Conservative party a decade ago or the NDP even a few years previous. It’s a fool’s game, made all the worse by the smug certainty of forecasts that fail to materialize. If they were stockbrokers they’d be broke. I wasn’t in attendance at the convention but have heard repeated reports of just how many young Canadians were present, eager and expectant of change. With such a vital core of youth, memberships continuing to climb, and fundraising becoming more successful, exaggerated claims of demise reveal how removed many in the media have…

The Mythical Middle

Posted on September 21, 2011

The parliamentary cycle begins once again and already the Liberal Party is getting its fair share of pundits offering advice on how it should renew itself. Time and again we hear of how Liberals must begin the process of finding the “centre” or the “middle.” I understand the allure of it; after all, it was the Liberals themselves who held the middle ground during many recent decades. Yet one wonders if there is a point to such a pursuit anymore. Let’s just state at the outset that there is no such place as a static “centre” of the political spectrum – it moves with the times. Jean Chretien’s middle ground was far to the right of Lester Pearson’s, just as Mulroney’s was to the…


Posted on June 27, 2011

Even for someone as brilliant as Charles Darwin, it took a while to figure it out. He had chafed at the iron rules of scientific societies, feeling that they were populated by elite patrons who would only verify certain scientific advancements and discoveries that came through established channels. But he was about to face a new experience that challenged even his own thinking. Sailing on the Beagle in 1835 provided him with an entire new series of revelations. Alighting on the Galapagos Islands broke his thinking wide open, however. The diversity and uniqueness of species he discovered in his brief time there formed the germ for what would later become his Origin of the Species. None of the species he found existed anywhere outside…

A Knight’s Tale

Posted on June 6, 2011

“I miss you in this place. I so badly wanted a better form of politics, but now it’s all about power, and who has it, and not participation.” This email popped up on my iPhone a couple of days ago from a Conservative MP who’s tired of the same-old, same-old. We shouldn’t be surprised at this; there exists in the House of Commons today, and perhaps more particularly in the Senate, good Conservatives who know in their heart that they’ve become unmoored. Now with power fully in their grasp, they feel they may never find their way back to a more participatory democracy that defends modern institutions and invests in their effectiveness. The same MP said that he envied my freedom and I believe…

The Rough Beast

Posted on June 3, 2011

                                                                                                                    W. B. Yeats Is this us? Are we Liberals akin to the “rough beast” Yeats is referring to? Likely we are. The great Irish poet and playwright lived to see the hopeful glories of the 19th century lost in the bloody trenches of the 20th. The hoped for era of progressive liberalism gave way to the deathly toll of fascism, communism, and ultimately the rather harsh realities…

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