The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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The New Breed

Posted on June 25, 2014

THE MORE ONE EXAMINES IT, THE EASIER IT IS TO CONCLUDE that politics of the heavily partisan nature is quickly losing its appeal to the average citizen living in a community and just desiring a good place to live and opportunities for their children. Previously we let political parties formulate their policies on various parts of the political spectrum and then citizens could select their priorities and vote from there. In many ways it all functioned well: communities were offered choices, parties drew on supporters, and politics involved rigorous debate that clarified the issues. What we have been witnessing in the past two decades is the breaking down of that model for two key reasons. The first arises when people don’t really know what political…

Blood Purple

Posted on June 19, 2014

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. He to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, is as good as dead: his eyes are closed.” … Albert Einstein WHEN I ASSESS WHAT I EXPERIENCED YESTERDAY through these observations of Einstein, I realize I was never more fully alive. Standing before a filled to capacity Alumni Hall at Western University, and for the first time in life being introduced as “Doctor Glen Pearson,” I was carried along by emotions not of my own making and immersed in tradition far greater than any single life. And yet the subject of my commencement…

More Than DNA

Posted on June 15, 2014

“THE HEART OF A FATHER IS THE MASTERPIECE OF NATURE.” Really? Antoine Francois wrote that a long time ago, but I sense I have fallen far short of that kind of nobility of soul. Because fathers never stop learning, it is almost impossible to arrive at anything near a “masterpiece”. Fatherhood itself is a series of rites of passage – births, first days of school, graduation, marriages, grandkids – which, no matter how many times they are experienced, leaves one with the feeling that we never get it quite right. Most people are cursed with the idea that if only they could acquire something externally that they would be better people. Extra money, a better job, more patience or kindness, a sense of purpose –…

Have a Little Faith

Posted on June 12, 2014

IT MIGHT VERY WELL HAVE BEEN A SEMINAL MOMENT in London politics, though I doubt anyone realizes it yet. The London Community Foundation had just presented a proposal that would bring numerous partners together to stage an international design competition for a large stretch of the Thames River. There was positive energy in the gallery, among the city administration present, and also from the politicians on the committee that would pass it on to a larger council vote. The chair of the committee – a seasoned politician – expressed his concern that the Foundation’s proposal and leadership was perhaps all vision and little reality. Whether he understood it or not, he was quickly letting the air out of the Council chambers. Perhaps seeking some…

Skeleton Democracy

Posted on June 10, 2014

  THERE HAS BEEN A BREACH BETWEEN THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE  within our democracy. In the Ontario provincial election coming up later this week, some pundits are suggesting fewer citizens will vote than ever. In an innovative twist, many are suggesting simply showing up and declining the ballot as a way of showing interest in the election but revealing their disillusionment with the choices. It will no doubt have some effect, but leaves the issue of power itself unaddressed. Kind of like approaching the altar but refusing to say “I do,” or coming to a baseball game and opting not to play. The point will be made, but the great power the citizen possesses – the vote – won’t be utilized. It all…

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