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Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Non-partisanship” Category

Wounded Warrior

Posted on June 24, 2018

I caught his stare as I was brought into the House of Commons for the first time and just couldn’t read it.? It was late-2006, shortly after I had won a by-election as a Liberal in London, Ontario.? Paul Dewar had entered the House as a newcomer for the NDP only a few months before.? I had known of him prior to my political tenure, but seeing his face that day left me with no doubt that he was a fighter of some kind. A couple of hours later we passed one another in the Opposition Lobby and he introduced himself.? Taller than me, he looked vigorous, contained, and somewhat intense.? We sat on the same side of the House and frequently voted the…

War Under the Peace Tower

Posted on June 24, 2018

In the parliamentary calendar, it is inevitable that the subject of Question Period’s dysfunction will emerge, often with a twinge of anger. It’s happening again in these last few days, led by the Toronto Star researching into the veracity and truthfulness of that one time in the House where the government must account for its actions, or lack of them. To that must be added the insights of Star reporter Tonda MacCharles, who notes that Question Period’s 45-minute duration is really just a regurgitation of talking points, ad nauseum. Bruce Campion-Smith and Sabrina Nanji of the same newspaper put a fitting point on it by asking just how is it that an important political event designed to hold the government accountable has become an…

Angering Our Democracy to Death

Posted on April 3, 2018

Every couple of years I make the journey out West to spend some time with my old high school friends.? We’ve all worked hard at maintaining that contact despite the fact that the twists and turns in our lives have occasionally left us on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to certain issues.? Most of our days are spent in talking, occasionally, debating, and in acknowledgment that the liberal-conservative distinctions in our temperaments could, in other conditions, create deep divisions among us. But they don’t because we carry some history together and thus have learned mutual respect.? One of them noted yesterday that it remains a wonderful thing that, despite the deep divisions in politics these days, we have nevertheless worked on…

Closing the Distance

Posted on March 22, 2018

Speaking to an American university graduating class two years before he died, former playwright and Czech president Vaclav Havel said something that caused the auditorium to do some serious thinking: “The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning – in other words, of absurdity – the more energetically meaning is sought.” He knew his audience.? America’s youth, like those in most nations then and today, was fed up with the kind of politics that got increasingly ugly the more it grew ineffective.? Yet the final six words of his quote lit a fire – “the more energetically meaning is sought.”? It was true of those students, as it is of us.? We want more than a politics that just can’t inspire. Perhaps the…

Fire in the Eyes

Posted on December 19, 2017

The old scriptures tell of how Moses, over 100 years of age at the time of his death, stood on a mountain overlooking the Promised Land and “his eyes were not weak.” Yet, despite that great advantage, the legendary Jewish leader passed on, never able to enjoy what he had seen and dreamed of for most of his life. I thought of that story again a couple of days ago when I learned that Gina Barber, politician, activist and author, passed away of cancer. The outpouring of collective grief and thankfulness for her influence was remarkable in its own way, with many chronicling personal stories of her effect on their lives. I have one of my own, and it’s as recent as two weeks…

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