The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Humanity – It’s Indifference

Posted on July 30, 2012

One of modernism’s great paradoxes has been its inability to solve its own problems. It sounds counter-intuitive but that’s the way it’s working out in real-time. In my youth, I recall reading my father’s Popular Science magazines and learning in fascination of how cars would be emission free, modern communications would end conflict, and how the development of new seeds would spell the end to world famine. I grew up believing my future world would be better than my present. I was wrong, and so was Popular Science. With so many advances in science, how is it that climate change now has us by the throat? In a world of spreading capitalism, how did it come to be that we have rising unemployment around…

The Myth of Neutrality

Posted on July 25, 2012

“Do you hear what you’re saying? You’re talking about parity here – in this *?&%@& place?” The words were uttered behind enemy lines in south Sudan, a decade ago, by Barry Came, European Bureau Chief of Maclean’s magazine, who accompanied us to write a story on modern-day slavery for the magazine. A respected veteran of numerous conflict situations, his article went on to become the cover story of the magazine a few weeks later. Also on that trip we had taken along a Dutch film crew who wanted to cover slavery as a story. We had been tipped off in advance that they were determined to discover evidence showing that slavery itself was a sham. Jane and I opted to work with them anyway…

The Myth of the Silent Majority

Posted on July 24, 2012

Listening in on a radio panel discussion to the pros and cons of citizen engagement was something of an education. London is a community that is buzzing now with energized groups attempting to get local citizens involved with the democratic process and the shared planning of their own future. One would think this would be a positive story, yet it descended into a kind of illustration as to why democracy is in such trouble these days. The term “silent majority” was used in the program as a kind of alternative to the “minority” of citizens who are attempting to wake their communities from slumber. “Silent majority” is a useful term when describing moral or ethical debates that often run through modern societies, but as…

Binding From Mischief

Posted on July 23, 2012

One of the clear signs of the demise of modern democracy is the penchant for politicians to put partisanship over the constituencies they supposedly represent. But there is another indicator, perhaps even more ominous, and it involves citizens themselves. Politics has become so dysfunctional for so long that citizens have taken to blaming the State for their ills when in fact it has been political parties themselves that have inextricably hollowing the State out of its meaningfulness. Politics is always with us but by the very confines put upon it by democratic laws remains transient in nature. The State, on the other hand, represents the accrued refinements and advances made over decades, and these advantages bring stability not only to the system, but to…

No Mere Dream Date

Posted on July 18, 2012

Thirteen years of marriage is a very brief time to fill with all the adventures we have had over the years. Jane and I are deeply aware that our life has not been an ordinary sojourn – anything but. There’s a reason for that and it has nothing to do with me. Even as I type these words, Jane is packing for her and her mother as they head out tomorrow to Churchill, Manitoba on the train. Her mom is 89 years old and I haven’t seen her this excited in a long time. She knows that with Jane there everything will be taken care of. This is just what my wife does – inspires people to press the envelope, regardless of age or…