The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Election 2015: It’s About the Fate of Democracy, Not Politics

Posted on August 27, 2015

“POLITICS HAVE NO RELATION TO MORALS,” said Niccolo Machiavelli back in the 16th century and there are many of us who surely disagree. And yet the idea the politics itself has become a real-life version of House of Cards is growing in strength the more the mudslinging and misrepresentations continue. Those undergoing Canada’s federal election season likely struggle hard to maintain their belief in a politics that matters, but it isn’t easy. In fact, across the entire Western world democracy itself is losing its moorings; we know it and we are troubled by it. So, yes, it is likely the easiest to blame our present political difficulties on politicians themselves. And it is largely true that if they wish us to believe in good…

Election 2015: Have We Passed Our Peak?”

Posted on August 26, 2015

THE SUBJECT ABOUT WHETHER AMERICA has peaked as a nation consumes much of the airtime south of the border in the run-up to their election. Repeatedly in Canada’s long election campaign the subject is being heard from various voices as well. We’ve already referred to former Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark’s current book outlining how we’ve lost our national and global prestige, but there is a chorus of others from across the political spectrum pointing out our tragic slippage, including a book released just yesterday by former Ontario premier and MP Bob Rae, titled What Happened to Politics? One would expect former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis to be concerned about our national direction over the past two decades, but lately it’s become clear…

Election 2015: How Elections Break Our Brains

Posted on August 20, 2015

GOING INTO AN ELECTION, WE ALL KNOW what to expect from some of those running for office. And we end up getting it in spades – rancor, false claims, stereotyping, hyper-partisanship, and name-calling. But it’s not all about the candidates themselves, and not all following such practices.. But this week we saw evidence of what happens when good people go over the top with their political leanings and it was ugly, real ugly. Social media went crazy when, at a Stephen Harper election rally in Etobicoke, Ontario, Conservative supporters verbally jostled with reporters, especially when questions centered on the Mike Duffy trial presently consuming Ottawa. We’re used to temperatures rising at partisan events, but the sight of one Harper supporter going after reporters while…

“Election 2015: The World is Watching”

Posted on August 18, 2015

“WHAT WOULD BE THE POINT,” Jesus asked his generation, “if you gained the whole world but lost your soul in the process?” It was a timely reminder, but there are increasing numbers of Canadians who wonder if their country might be in the process of losing both. There’s no better time than an election to focus on what we’ve gained and what we’ve lost. While it seems like everyone is focused on jobs, the middle class, debt, and taxes at present, we need to remember that a world is watching and that the stakes are higher that just the domestic arena. Former Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark has provided a timely reminder of just what our nation has lost in the past few years.…

10 Essential Traits For The Next Prime Minister (Part Two)

Posted on August 14, 2015

WELL, THERE YOU GO. It’s probably a cautionary risk to offer advice to anyone seeking the highest elected office in the land. An old political operative contacted me by email this morning regarding yesterday’s post, 10 Essential Traits Our Next Prime Minister Will Need. “Politics is fundamentally tough, Glen,” she noted. “It’s hardball at a high level and these soft characteristics you write about surely sound great to average people, but no prime minister can afford to govern like that.” So there I was, busted – a hopeless public service romantic in a world of real-world politics. Yet I suspect there’s something in her observation that most of us would have to acknowledge. As it presently stands, federal politics is a war zone and…