The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Liberalism – The Disconnected

Posted on July 30, 2010

As far back as 1956, Edward Shils, in his The Torment of Secrecy, reasoned that, “both the love of public liberty and the preference for the common good dominate the action of only a minority.”  He believed he detected even in those early years that the growing middle class was moving away from citizenship and towards a kind of symbolic suburbia – removed, materialistic and less willing to engage in the practice of democracy. Though prophetic at the time, it would seem that his conclusion has become even more pedestrian currently in Canadian life.  The social tectonic plates have been shifting for some time, as the middle class climb to “elite” status and those that are without are just without. And the political underpinnings…

Liberalism – The Disenchanted

Posted on July 29, 2010

Americans woke up this week to some troubling news from the Rockefeller Foundation, showing that citizens are more economically insecure now than they have been in a quarter of a century, and the trend lines suggest the worst is still to come.  That life so painstakingly put together by the Great Generation following World War Two is crumbling around them. Canadians like to believe we’re better off, and we likely are, but our country, too, is sliding back.  Trouble is, we won’t admit it.  As previous posts have noted, from municipal infrastructure to declining world influence, our children are facing a bleaker future than we did. Yet there are plenty of citizens out there who have picked up all the signs and are using…

Liberalism – The Discomfited

Posted on July 28, 2010

The ancient Cicero claimed: “The good of the people is the chief law.”  Tough to, disagree because it sounds eminently liberal.  Canadians today would concur easily, but we would have to follow up with, “which people?” This is a question that will be frequently asked of Canada, as our form of democracy grows a little long in the tooth.  The previous post alluded to the middle class as being the new elites – the comfortable.  We always want more, but basically we known we’ve got it pretty good.  While our parents and grandparents took the little they had and invested it into the building of communities, institutions and a country, we instead put our money into investment properties, a second car, that new addition…

Liberalism – The Comfortable

Posted on July 27, 2010

We merely mock ourselves when thinking we are like our grandparents in their industriousness and commitment to the strengthening of Canada.  This is a hard truth but becoming more readily apparent with each passing year. Liberalism was necessity born out of affliction and authoritarianism.  While the noble ideals of democracy found their origins in ancient Athens, they were never powerful enough at that time to spread.  It was with the rediscovery of the Athenian principles during the Enlightenment in Europe that a new hope entered the bloodstream of civilization. Except that it needed a vehicle – some workable arrangement and realignment of the political order to open and direct the channels of the human hankering for freedom.  That vehicle was liberalism, with its emphasis…

Liberalism – Sidebar #2

Posted on July 25, 2010

Putting together these blog postings on liberalism hasn’t been without its challenges.  When the idea first occurred to me near the end of June, I brought a number of key young people together to solicit their opinions and to discern how they saw the liberal spirit being effective in the coming years.  They responded with an enthusiasm that never fails to surprise me.  Not all are large “L” Liberal, but each is keen on finding ways to find commonalities that can assist in drawing this country back together under a broader spirit of respect and understanding.  For the record, here’s a brief bio on each. Josh Chadwick – while he would classify himself as an average citizen, Josh has taken a real interest on…