The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Turning Left on Main Street

Posted on June 30, 2015

THIS TITLE ISN’T ORIGINAL TO ME, BUT IT’S COMPELLING.  Things are shifting.  The media senses it. Political parties recognize it. But above all, we feel it. In the parlance of the old rag-tag political world, the last two decades of a detached corporatism, the strangling effects of the ongoing austerity agenda, and the ineffectiveness of the present political order, means the right-wing agenda is running out of gas, or more likely ethical legitimacy. Our collective problems aren’t going away. Take your pick – a deteriorating climate, escalating poverty, high unemployment, a diminished public space, mushrooming healthcare difficulties, especially in the mental health field – and it’s clear that for all the wealth, the access, the trade, the flooding of the world with cheap goods, we…

Needing More Than Good Wages

Posted on June 25, 2015

FOR TWO DECADES THE SUBJECT OF JOBS, or the lack of them, has come to dominate more and more of the public and political space. The conversation runs the range from no jobs, minimum wage jobs, to intriguing new discussions on living wage opportunities. The gold standard that everyone would prefer is employment with good wages – a depleting reality at present. There has been some movement on the issue, perhaps the most notable being Walmart’s raising wages for some of its lowest-paid employees in the U.S. It has been surmised that the retail giant made the move following the release of the book, The Good Jobs, by MIT professor Zeynep Ton 18 months ago. But rather than being encouraged by such initiatives taken…

Public Good Without the Facts

Posted on June 23, 2015

WHEN ALLAN GREGG DELIVERED THE Knowles-Woodsworth lecture at the University of Winnipeg 18 months ago, his speech created much introspection on where Canada is going. Yet the well-known pollster, television interviewer, and political pundit, began with who were are as a people before launching into his concerns of who we might become. He spoke of how we were a nation of facts, data, progressive thought, and directed by research for public policy decisions. Such dependence on evidence-based data and relevant statistics had served us well for decades, helping Canada to stand somewhat apart from other countries through its unique balancing of social justice and economic health. But no sooner had he said that than he got to nitty-gritty: “It seems as though our government’s…

Hibernating Bigotry

Posted on June 18, 2015

WITH A FEDERAL ELECTION HEATING UP, the political establishment will come after citizens once more, asking them what they want and promising to give it to them if they would but vote. You’d think that after a time, especially following years of political dysfunction, that this being catered to every four years or so would begin to grate on us somewhat. And perhaps it has and that is part of the reason voter turnout continues to decline. But politicians know something about us that they would never say and we would never admit: we aren’t just a people of myriad opinions, but of latent prejudices that we quietly live out each day but which we never let fully out into the open. Thus the…

800 Years and We’re Still At It

Posted on June 16, 2015

“2015 is the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta, the single most important legal document in history.  The foundation for global constitutions, commerce and communities.  The anchor for the Rule of Law.” … RT. Hon. Fiona Woolfe C.B.E. WAIT, DON’T MOVE ON JUST YET, because what this means is that we are who we are because the Magna Carta is what it is. Yes, the language is a bit formal and, yes, eight centuries seem a long time ago. But the signing of this vital document at Runnymede in England served as a shot across the bow of all those seeking to hold onto power for its own sake. All those great movements and documents that came later – revolutions, constitutions, declarations of independence,…

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