The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Just Imagine

Posted on September 30, 2009

Months ago, families attempting to adopt children from Ethiopia received the shattering news that the adoption agency they were working through was declaring sudden bankruptcy.  Most of us recall the pain reflected in the faces and comments of the prospective parents and our hearts went out them.  Their hopes were finished. Except they weren’t.  From the ashes of deep despair emerged a collective effort that turned tragedy on its head and produced hope when people believed there was none.  What is remarkable about the collective effort of these parents-to-be was that they kept themselves together when anger and frustration could have split them in numerous pieces. Imagine Adoption, and the moving story surrounding the parents, has been alluded to a number of times in…

The Art of the Impossible

Posted on September 29, 2009

Vaclav Havel constantly asserted during his tenure in politics that we need to replace a politics of fear with a politics of trust. What would he think of Canada at the moment? Current reality reveals that an opposite process is actually taking place: citizens are growing increasingly suspicious of both their governments and economic systems. When a finely-tuned harmony exists between a health market economy and a wise government, society takes a deep breath of optimism and expands both its economic and social capabilities. What are our economic capabilities at the moment? We have our largest deficit in history, triggered by an economic meltdown of financial systems that had lost the power to govern themselves. The figures are so confounding, and the ability for…

CIDA – Predicting the Weather

Posted on September 28, 2009

We have argued a few times in these posts on CIDA that, since 80% of Africa’s population is rural and agricultural based, the time has come to focus development on those regions where the majority of Africans live. Such settings are often perched on the verge of drought and disease because of the realities of encroaching climate change. Regions such as these make the clearest case for aid. Why would industry ensconce itself in such areas? How would the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund build a sustainable future in these most remote and challenging areas of the planet? Let’s be honest, despite what Dambisa Moyo and her ilk proclaim, economic renewal won’t be coming to such places anytime soon, and since over…

Big and Small Heroes

Posted on September 27, 2009

America’s Thomas Paine fussed over the possibilities of true democracy in his country. Faced with the challenge of threatening nations, he pondered how you focus a distracted citizenry on the task of building a nation of possibilities. Looking at the people around him, he mused: “Society is composed of distinct, unconnected individuals who are continually meeting, crossing, uniting, opposing and separating from each other, as accident, interest and circumstances direct.” Paine’s observation was astute, and presents us with some surprising modern commentary on the Canadian condition. Always difficult to govern, this country is looking more like an old baseball left out in the rain: slightly bloated but with seams coming apart. I’m not referring to regional divisions but to the fine lines of intersection…

CIDA – Environmental Refugees

Posted on September 25, 2009

Get used to the term “environmental refugees” because the reality of Africans on the move as a result of climate change is about to number in the millions. And before someone starts claiming, “Can’t those Africans get their own house in order?” just remember that the West is the main cause of the climate change crisis (80%) soon to descend on all of us. If the UN is right, the number of refugees migrating from this cause will easily outnumber traditional refugees in the next few years. Part of the reason this term has been largely unpublished and unread is because a paradigm shift has been occurring while aid and legal experts continue to use old language. The UN defined refugees as the following…

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