Political scientists (III) - Macleans.ca
 

Political scientists (III)


 

Glen Pearson considers himself as a “doe-eyed” 59-year-old.

I have brought all these experiences with me into politics, so I have a bit of trouble viewing myself as naive. But if the author was saying that I wouldn’t play along with the political system that surrounds me in Ottawa, I suppose that’s true. Nevertheless, I don’t want to lose that more innocent view I have of Parliament just so I could be a seasoned performer. To the House of Commons I brought the view that Parliament mattered far more than any politician or bureaucrat. Undertaking the massive challenges that face Canadians at the moment calls out for the very best in us, including our ideals. I know very well how brutal the Diefenbaker-Pearson years were now that I’m older, but I still recall the respect they permitted a little boy to witness. Ottawa can rip that respectfulness out of you, however, if you just play along, and soon enough skepticism and rank partisanship can become your worldview – not a good thing for any public servant. Ideals aren’t about naivete, but about our resolve to put the public good above all else. To lose that is not about losing your ideals but more about losing yourself to those crass political practices that inevitably diminish us as observers in Ottawa. I pray every day that God will protect me from a fate as disillusioning as that.


 

Political scientists (III)

  1. Glen Pearson, the Dwight Kurt Schrute III of politics.

  2. "To the House of Commons I brought the view that Parliament mattered far more than any politician or bureaucrat."

    Well aren't you special Glen.

    I can't quite put into words what it is that annoys me about Pearson, and know little about him other than Wherry's links to his blog and basic wikipedia bio, but I loathe the guy more than just about any politician I can think of. He *really* gets under my skin. His attitude and demeanor just screams "wholly disingenuous and unaccountable self congratulatory PC chilled Ontario unionized public sector wanker", which he was for 30 years. With a Mother Theresa complex, I should add.

    • "To the House of Commons I brought the view that Parliament mattered far more than any politician or bureaucrat."

      Well aren't you special Glen.

      The question is not whether Pearson is special. The question is, is he right?

    • More than ANY other politician? Really?

      • Ah, but that's not what I said, nice try though.

        • Your minor equivocation is noted, sir.

          • Wrong again:
            e⋅quiv⋅o⋅cate
              /ɪˈkwɪvəˌkeɪt/
            –verb (used without object), -cat⋅ed, -cat⋅ing.
            to use ambiguous or unclear expressions, usually to avoid commitment or in order to mislead; prevaricate or hedge:

            Nothing at all ambiguous or misleading about what I said, my comment was phrased in clear, ordinary English.
            Again: nice try. So we see how Liberals nearly always get the facts wrong :-)

          • "but I loathe the guy more than just about any politician I can think of."

            Okay, I'm one of those Liberals that always gets her facts wrong. We have established that the sentence above didn't mean you loathe the guy "more than any other politician" and we have established that the rest of the sentence ("I can think of") or the insertion of the word "other" didn't make it ambiguous or unclear.

            So, what did you mean?

          • "Okay, I'm one of those Liberals that always gets her facts wrong."

            Ah, but I didn't say that, read it again. You also misquote me as saying, quote, "more than any other politician" – I didn't say that either.

            Wait: you guys are just trolling me at this point, OK, I get it, hahaha, misquote the conservative guy, very funny.

            You are pulling my leg, right? Right?

          • No, they are not pulling your leg. They do that sort of thing, some do it politely, others not so much.

          • Yikes, you're right, as evidenced by the comment below by Jenn; she genuinely appears to have a problem comprehending the following sentence, a sentence which is comprised nearly entirely of monosyllabic words: "I loathe the guy more than just about any politician I can think of."

            Wow. I mean just…wow.

          • I try not to bring up word usage issues anymore, though I reserve the right in the case of tiresome little bugs who fancy themselves clever. So, a sentence can be COMPOSED nearly entirely OF monosyllabic words, but it would be monosyllabic words that nearly entirely COMPRISE the sentence. You're welcome, you tiresome little bug.

          • Surprise, surprise: you're wrong again, pay particular attention to #4::
            com⋅prise
              /kəmˈpraɪz/
            –verb (used with object), -prised, -pris⋅ing.
            1. to include or contain: The Soviet Union comprised several socialist republics.
            2. to consist of; be composed of: The advisory board comprises six members.
            3. to form or constitute: Seminars and lectures comprised the day's activities.
            4. be comprised of, to consist of; be composed of: The sales network is comprised of independent outlets and chain stores.

            But I know you weren't serious and were just trolling me, right?

            Right?

          • Definition number FOUR? Oh please. Only a simpleton brings a dictionary to a stylebook fight, then uses the fourth definition.

            From Mighty Red Pen:
            Bill Walsh explains, “Nothing is ever ‘comprised of' something. To comprise means ‘to contain or to embrace.'” AP Stylebook states, “Compose means to create or put together. It is commonly used in both the active and passive voices. . . . Comprise means to contain, to include all or embrace. It is best used only in the active voice."
            and
            At times like these, I like to end with the gentle wisdom of H.W. Fowler, who says sweetly, “This lamentably common use of comprise as a synonym for compose or constitute is a wanton and indefensible weakening of our vocabulary.”

          • "If you were to ask me if I bought footwear when I returned from the mall"

            Ah, but that's not what I was asking you. So we see yet again how Liberals nearly always get it wrong :-)

          • Whoops, that was for the other annoying megatroll, not you.

            As for you, I used the word in precisely the manner that the dictionary describes and in fact gave an example listed therein exactly analogous to my usage, notwithstanding Mighty Communist Pencil or whomever. You were wrong misquoting me in your first comment, you were wrong in the usage of equivocations, and now you're wrong again.

            But please, continue trolling and shouting insults, you're doing a splendid job of reminding people why Liberals aren't in power anymore: they're just too goddamned ugly, too angry, and too nasty, as your cyberstalking and shouting of insults demonstrates.

          • I repeat: Tiresome little bug = you.

          • Emotional and persistent little feller, aren't you? It's amusing.

            Keep talking pal, show the world the true angry face of the Liberal Party of Canada.

          • Supposing I were to point out that the group of words Yikes, you're right, as evidenced by the comment below by Jenn; she genuinely appears to have a problem comprehending the following sentence, a sentence which is comprised nearly entirely of monosyllabic words: is a run-on sentence.

            Would that make me a supporter of the Liberal Party? I'm just trying to comprehend your viewpoint.

            ANd yes, I'm trolling. It's relatively rare to find a CPC supporter online who can spell.

          • You'll have to take a number, YSP; I can only deal with the current pack of ten or so frothing, furious Liberal trolls that I seem to have attracted at the moment. If I have time later today I might address your concerns but there's no guarantee. Have a splendid day.

          • It's relatively rare to find a CPC supporter online

            Actually, on the contrary, I think you'll find that the CPC supporters around here are the ones with the spelling and grammar skills, while the Liberal supporters are lacking.

          • See what I mean? It's not so much what you're saying, they're attacking you because you're on the other side, you're the enemy, you showed it when you criticized Glen Pearson. They're right and you're wrong, because they say so. They're even willing to claim which dictionary entries you are allowed to use.

            They make up the rules as they go along, to show you that they're right and you're wrong. It's an interesting psychological phenomenon.

          • Hi s_c_f, how are you?
            Rather than tell you you're wrong, I'll ask: Am I to understand that it's okay for Anon#2 to run around telling people they're wrong about every little thing, but it only becomes an "interesting psychological phenomenon" when they give it back? Because that sort of reminds me of what nonsense is like.

          • ": Am I to understand that it's okay for Anon#2 to run around telling people they're wrong about every little thing"

            Well, yeah. When you're blatantly and demonstrably wrong about, heh, nearly every little thing, it's cricket to point that out, especially when you outright fabricate quotes, which is not cricket at all, sir.

          • The fact that you interpret things that way is part of what makes the phenomenon interesting.

          • I thought you of all people would know that. Wow. I mean just…wow.

          • Mimicry being the highest form of flattery, I thank you sir! I do hope you someday become creative enough to find your own schtick.

            Oh, and I know what you're thinking: there is a split infinitive in the preceding sentence. The OED recently allowed this, hahaha, as the reason for this archaic rule stems from Latin, a dead language. So we see how you're wrong yet again.

          • Yes, yes, I have limited comprehension skills, am shocking, etc. Yet you don't answer the question. How is that different, in meaning, from loathing more than any other politician?

            Sea 'n Mountains asked for names of politicians you loathe more, (now that you've had time to think about it) and you didn't answer him/her, either.

            Is it possible that you don't know what you mean? Did you forget you said what you did when replying to Mike T? OH! Do you not include Glen Pearson as a politician? That makes sense I suppose since he doesn't play the partisan politics game, but instead works with integrity, honour and conviction. Okay, now I get it.

          • Ha. Good one. Because I am a woman, so have so many shoes (hint: two pairs).

            If you were to ask me if I bought footwear when I returned from the mall, I wouldn't say to you that that wasn't what I went shopping for. I'd answer the question! Something you seem incapable of.

          • "If you were to ask me if I bought footwear when I returned from the mall"

            Ah, but that's not what I was asking you. So we see yet again how Liberals nearly always get it wrong :-)

          • Hey, you don't answer the questions I pose to you, why on earth would you think I'd answer the question you posed to me? :)

            Your last sentence bothers me, though. I speak for myself, I am not *all* Liberals. I often do get things wrong, but not this time.

          • I quoted you exactly, in the quote. I cut and pasted, in fact. Yes, I paraphrased the Liberal thing, I was making it my own. And you misquote me when you say I said you said more than any other politician.

            But really, if you didn't mean you loathe him more than any other politician, what did you mean? I am seriously asking you.

          • He loathes him a lot. That's what he meant. And you knew it, but you're playing this silly game anyway.

          • Thanks, scf! That wasn't so hard, was it?

            I was just playing this silly game because it seemed to me Anon #2 was playing some silly superior schtick with his response to Mike T. That kind of smarmy smug crap bothers me, for some reason.

          • "I was just playing this silly game"

            Well that was a frank admission. Regulars here know the drill:

            *ahem*

            Men talking grownup stuff here sweetie; beat it.

          • Grow up and stop the put down sarcasm like "sweetie". It's so passe and so chauvenistic.

            You don't know Pearson but you hate him.

            Wow.

            You just want to argue NOTHING and do put downs – wow.

          • This made me actually laugh out loud. How am I not a regular here? I'm the one with 82 points, you haven't even registered. And if this is what men talk about when they are being grownups, no wonder the world is in the shape it's in, poo-bear.

          • "poo-bear. "

            Finally! A funny Liberal. Jeepers, if we are to judge by this thread you people are among the most miserable on the planet. Thanks for the laugh.

          • Yep, me too. When precision's what I'm shooting for, more than just about any phrase I can think of, I like to turn to, "more than just about any … I can think of," to get the job done.

          • ok. out of interested who are those special few politicians that you loathe more than Peason, given you say that you "loathe the guy more than just about any politician" you can think of?

          • I realized a moment after I had hit enter I should have said "your minor irrelevancy" instead. I did not think anyone would think so highly of themselves for pointing it out, so I let it be.

            Nice dodge, though.

            Oh wait, it was a stupid clumsy dodge!

  3. Pearson is one of the good guys. I have no idea why he gets under some people's skin (e.g. the person who posted above). I suspect some see him as sanctimonious because he tries to let his faith guide his conduct in the political arena, and writes about it on his blog.

    • I have no idea why he gets under some people's skin

      It's because he is so obviously and excessively disingenuous. I find it loathsome too. And nauseating.

      • Don't forget that it was Glen Pearson who handed Elizabeth May her first electoral thrashing as Green Party leader in the London North Centre byelection in 2006. The nascent Green Party had pinned all their hopes on winning their first seat in that byelection, and Pearson squashed those hopes by booting Ms. May out of Ontario with a gentlemanly smile on his face. He engaged her respectfully in candidate debates, to the extent that they remained friends long after the election was over.

        • Well, I must agree with you. I did not realize that, I guess I was not paying close attention at that time.

          I admit that I dislike May more than most politicians (even though I consider myself an environmentalist), I prefer Pearson.

      • He exaggerates dishonestly and pompously. He paints himself as above the fray while at the same time hiding important details and unfairly portraying the reality…[he's] "smug and self-congratulatory… while partisan and nasty"…

        …and thus clearly in the wrong party.

        Really, the qualities you enumerate are applied stringently and collectively as a prerequisite skill-set to all prospective CPC candidates, which explains the likes of Baird and Poilievre.

        • In that case, would you say that those qualities apply to Brison, Stronach, and Emerson?

          • I'd say those people possess all of the qualities in question to varying degrees.

          • Fair enough.

        • Sir Francis, I humbly suggest that your nonpartisan credibility would be enhanced by making your assertions less unequivocal. Had you dropped the adverbs "stringently" and "collectively", and changed "all" to "some" or "many", your statement would have been much more palatable to nuanced observers like me.

          I know you see yourself as a David Cameron Tory, and you're not a fan of Ignatieff, but when was the last time you said something that was in any way critical of the LPC? Is the CPC the only Canadian party worthy of your public scorn?

          • Is the CPC the only Canadian party worthy of your public scorn?

            The CPC happens to be the only Canadian party in government, and I am possessed of the quaint notion that the prime duty of electors in a healthy democracy is to hold the wielders of executive power to account. If I believed that the administration of Her Majesty's Canadian Dominion would be meaningfully improved through a careful and sustained critique of the policy priorities of the Canadian Marxist-Leninist Party, I would happily volunteer to treat it to as much critical scrutiny as I could manage.

            …when was the last time you said something that was in any way critical of the LPC?

            I've drubbed that party on this site and on my blog–not often, but vividly. Those occasions were not memorable for you, because they did not sting. As I've said, the Liberals are moronic but, for now, also harmless. The CPC is moronic and, for now, dangerous.

          • I suppose you're trapped in a vicious cycle, in that case. Whenever one of the two moronic parties who are capable of governance becomes the governing party, they become dangerous.

          • Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

          • Well, the phrase "capable of governance" begs the question, I'm afraid–but I shall let you have it for the nonce.

            At any rate, the cycle is more tedious than it is vicious, and it needn't be a cycle at all. It's up to us to break the spell of this crypto-American two-party system with which we've damned ourselves and jump out of the cycle–whether it be vicious or no–entirely.

            A political system is not endowed with legitimacy merely because its human components cannot manage a better one. We do not look back upon the reigns of Heliogabalus and Commodus with satisfaction because they represented the best that the imperial Roman system could supply. Similarly, I see no need to declare the acceptability of one of the two or three patently unacceptable political options before me simply because I am presented with no others.

          • Good answer!

          • Whenever one of the two moronic parties that are capable of governance becomes the governing party, they become dangerous.

            By the way, since the notion that government, any government, is dangerous is a peculiarly American concept, I'm surprised you don't find it rather appealing. ;)

          • I'm not pro-American, nor am I anti-American. As a Canadian, I'm simply pro-Canadian.

          • I can heartily agree with you here, Crit.

          • I'm pro-Canadian, pro-American, pro-British, pro-French and pro-Irish, pro-democracy and pro-Western. There's a number of other countries that I am fond of as well, to varying degrees.

          • Now, allow me to dilate upon my first comment. Anyone who suggests that Glen Pearson's level of disingenuous self-regard comes even close to the demanding–nay, unsurpassably vomit-invoking–standard established by the barking hacks in Stephen Harper's front benches is either mewling from the depths of a total moral incapacitation or knows better but feels the need to sing in tune with the glassy-eyed Hallelujah Chorus that rings itself around Harper's glorious bulk. Such a person deserves excoriation, and I've provided it. There's nothing “partisan” about that.

          • I'd have to disagree with you on that one. I'd say that Pearson is far more vomit-invoking than most of the elected members of all parties.

  4. Let's put it a little more bluntly.
    Glen Pearson has real life experience doing good work for the community in places in the world that the typical CPC elected member has never heard of.
    What he brings to Parliament is decorum – which is something else that the average CPC member has also never heard of!

    • Giving cash to slave owners, so they can round up more slaves and make even more profit by "selling" them to naive "aid" workers , is a matter of considerable debate in the international development community. Many believe it does more harm than good. I for one would rather invoke the Law of Nations and massacre the slave owners with extreme prejudice.

      I'm not sure how implicitly accusing his fellow MPs of being this and that in a rather smug and self-congratulatory manner is commendable. His blog reveals him to be as partisan and nasty – in a passive aggressive way – as many other MPs, the key difference being that they're not patting themselves on their own back for being such swell guys as Pearson does. I can't stand the guy.

  5. The fellow who will be calling the shots in the election warroom for Glen Pearson's Party next election will be Warren Kinsella,

    speaking of "crass political practices".

    If Pearson backed up his whiny holier-than-thou rhetoric with criticisms of his own party's excesses, he'd have some street cred. Glen Pearson's saintly Liberal schtick, given his party's track record while in power, and the way it continues to do politics, is bemusing at best.

    • Are you sure Kinsella will be back for the next election? I was under the impression that Donolo doesn't want him back. Who knows? Maybe he thinks Kinsella has outlived his usefulness as a war room tactician. Kinsella had a lot of misfires in 2009, like flogging Wafergate, relentlessly pushing for an election, and masterminding goofy antics like the doorknob fiasco that embarrassed poor Wayne Easter.

      • I thought he went back to Toronto from Ottawa when it became apparent there would be no fall election. As far as I know Mr. Kinsella is the Liberal's warroom election guy. And that's fine. The only thing I'd like to see then is the hypocritical Liberal chorus about the Conservatives using hard-ball tactics when the Liberals do the very same and arguably worse.

        Personally, I think wafergate is really as low as it gets. Using religion expolitively for divisive political ends. It's similar to the mocking of Stockwell Day's religious views. It's just so offensive and so wrong.

        • Can somebody post some sort of script that will generate an autoreply about people not mocking Mr. Day's religious beliefs (which he darkly made clear he would not set aside for politics), but his scientific ones every time someone brings up their faux outrage over this?

          It would be a boon to us all.

          • Sea_n_mountains,

            You're making my point. The Liberals use Kinsella, the Conservatives have read his book no doubt. These tactics are used by both parties. I happen to think the Liberals are worse. And when the Liberals and their media friends (notice your source is the CBC, big surprise) cry out "That's outrageous", when the Conservatives do it, well they're being hypocritical because the Liberals have been doing it for years – and continue to do it.

            What about Carolyn Bennett's aboriginal kids and body bags mail out which she sent to ridings with large aboriginal populations? I think that's how you spell gutter. The longer version anyway.

            Spare me your pious indignation Liberal supporters.

            And spare me your selecitive pious indignation, left/leaning media types.

            So it is hilarious.

        • Let's not forget the Glen Pearson was one of only two Liberal MPs who spoke out publicly against Wafergate (the other was Dominic Leblanc, who was outraged that people like Kinsella were playing cheap politics with his dad's funeral).

          Glen Pearson defended the PM in this blog post:

          http://glenpearson.wordpress.com/2009/07/08/come-

          • Yes that's a valid point and Pearson gets kudos for that. As he points out on his blog, Stephen Harper attended Romeo Leblanc's funeral out of respect. It was truly despicable that the Liberals fanned the flames on that total non-story. That's below thebelt gutter politics.

            True as you say, Pearson spoke out, as did Leblanc. Why didn't Iggy, Iggy could have shut it down being the leader. Being the leader he could have defended the PM and called off the dogs. He didn't do either.

            He didn't do either. He appointed Warren Kinsella as his election warroom chief. An act that speaks,

            volumes.

          • Ignatieff was getting a lot of bad advice back in July. I agree that Ignatieff should have put a stop to the nonsense (he could have muzzled his attack poodle Kinsella, at the very least). Still, I don't really hold Iggy responsible for the Wafergate fiasco, because I don't think he was running the show at that point.

            By July, most of the tactical stuff had already been totally delegated to staffers, so with regards to daily operations Ignatieff was reduced to the level of "passive observer" rather than "leader". You could make the case that Ignatieff was nominally the leader, so he should have been firmly in control of the ship, but that's a separate issue.

          • Ignatieff has shown his inexperience with issues like these. He doesn't seem to know when to hold his cards and when to fold.

          • Glen Pearson was one of only two Liberal MPs who spoke out publicly against Wafergate

            He does seem to have some redeeming qualities.

          • Maybe that's why you don't like him.

          • Aren't you nasty.

          • Forgot to put a smiley face at the end.

      • It amazes me how some people have nine lives.

  6. Let's try a different approach: the only Liberal MP I can think of at the moment who I don't find repulsive is Ralph Goodale. He's been in the house for years, often in high profile roles, and I just can't think of anything he's said or done that has made me nauseous. Notably, Ralph doesn't pat himself on his back on what a swell non-partisan guy he is, nor does he carry on like an emo teenybopper about why can't we all get along, nor is does he come across as disingenuous, which is no mean feat for a Liberal MP.

    He acts like a MAN, to put it succinctly, and Pearson would do well to emulate him.

  7. I pray every day that God will protect me from a fate as disillusioning as that.

    My word. When was the last time we heard a member of the CPC–our self-anointed Praetorians standing guard for Canada's Christian heritage against the depredations of political correctness and moral relativism–confess to the public that he prays…and to God?

    I suppose we may safely assume that CPC caucus members obey their market-driven libertarian instincts by confining their prayers to silent, private petitions in request of a parliamentary majority and a bullish TSX–the first being quite contrary to the will of a merciful God and the second quite outside His jurisdiction.

    • I find it strange you take a phrase like that and go off on the CPC. Strange.

      • Why is it strange to note how odd it is that overt religiosity (and the balls that come with it) appears to be coming from precisely the folks the CPC wants us to believe are anti-religious zealots?

        • the folks the CPC wants us to believe are anti-religious zealots?

          I've never heard anything of the sort coming from the CPC.

  8. Aaron, we're deleting comments which imply vaguely that women are somewhat fond of shopping for shoes now? Seems astonishingly oppressive and overly sensitive, loosen up man.

    • I may agree that the Human Rights tribunals are somewhat over-the-top and a little Cultural-Revolutionish in their zeal. But there's no point in blatantly antagonizing them.

  9. Anon#2 – you seem to have a strange obsession with manliness – how many is it to hide behind the "Anon#2" name?

    Are you insecure or something?

  10. Are the sneering, eye-rolling juveniles done yet?

    Anyway, the only thing I was interested in was finding *who* called Pearson doe-eyed in one of our…*snort*…"national newspapers."

    What is it with journos (besides the Natty Poo Nasties) refusing to name names? Politicians I understand, since one mustn't antagonize the bitter hacks with fragile egos, but it really would be illustrative to find out who uttered this latest bit of dull cynicism.

    • Chris Selley in the NP mentions it. Whether he's the author if it I don't know.