Peace, Order and Good Government: The Canadian parliamentary crisis can be addressed by Robert Burns' poem “A Man's A Man For A' That”

With the current parliamentary crisis, and government and opposition members of each side calling each other names… one must remember that ALL were elected by their own constituencies to represent their ridings.  Their party leaders are voted by in by the parties.  And all must work together to put into action the words of from the 1867 Constitution Act “Peace, Order and Good Government

Please take a moment to read the words of Scottish poet Robert Burns in his 1795 poem “A Man's A Man For A' That

The following explanation of the stanza's is from a discussion on the Robertburns.org website, and can be applied to the current Canadian parliamentary crisis where Prime Minister Harper tried to introduce legislation that included taking away the rights of public sector workers to strike, as well as the funds for all political parties based on how many votes they receive in an election.  I think the verses and interpretation are easily applied in the maelstrom that has errupted as a unity crisis, a class divide, and a question of who claims the title of Prime Minister.




1. Burns is reflecting that a downtrodden, hardworking and penniless


peasant—is nevertheless still a dignified MAN. However he is highly


contemptuous of the servile creature, who hangs his head to the arrogant


poseurs whose power has been bought with gold.




2. He considers that deprivation, poor food, and rough simple clothes,


do not diminish the pride of a victim of circumstances.




3. He sneers at the swaggering, strutting 'Lord', with the Peacock-


attitude, unaware that his wealth cannot purchase respect.




4. Burns' view is that Titles and Honours, which have not been earned


are meaningless and worthless. The working man, despite being poor,


has a wealth of dignity and worth…




5. He forecasts that the day will come, when Rank and Power will be


dramatically diluted as the common man gains equality.



Is there for honest Poverty
That hings his head, an' a' that;
The coward slave-we pass him by,
We dare be poor for a' that!
For a' that, an' a' that.
Our toils obscure an' a' that,
The rank is but the guinea's stamp,
The Man's the gowd for a' that.

What though on hamely fare we dine,
Wear hoddin grey, an' a that;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their wine;
A Man's a Man for a' that:
For a' that, and a' that,
Their tinsel show, an' a' that;
The honest man, tho' e'er sae poor,
Is king o' men for a' that.

Ye see yon birkie, ca'd a lord,
Wha struts, an' stares, an' a' that;
Tho' hundreds worship at his word,
He's but a coof for a' that:
For a' that, an' a' that,
His ribband, star, an' a' that:
The man o' independent mind
He looks an' laughs at a' that.

A prince can mak a belted knight,
A marquis, duke, an' a' that;
But an honest man's abon his might,
Gude faith, he maunna fa' that!
For a' that, an' a' that,
Their dignities an' a' that;
The pith o' sense, an' pride o' worth,
Are higher rank than a' that.

Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a' that,)
That Sense and Worth, o'er a' the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an' a' that.
For a' that, an' a' that,
It's coming yet for a' that,
That Man to Man, the world o'er,
Shall brothers be for a' that.

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