The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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Middle-Out

Posted on February 25, 2016

“AMERICA’S PREMIER SELF-LOATHING PLUTOCRAT“ – no kidding, that’s what they call Nick Hanauer. He’s been in these blog posts before, where we spoke of his criticizing his peers for robbing the wealth of the United States instead of investing in productivity. He’s now at it again, only this time championing a $15 minimum wage south of the border. Again, his peers and the corporate elite are irate with his position, and small business owners aren’t wild about it either, but his rationale, and the way he publicizes it, is carrying some momentum. In fact, the way he sees it, it’s not the labour leader or minimum wage employee who’s the best face of the effort, but his own. His rationale? “A guy like me…

The Good in Common

Posted on February 23, 2016

WALK ALONG THE STREETS OF ANY Canadian city for a few minutes and you’re inevitably presented with a conundrum. There at the front entrance of a store or on a busy pedestrian corner is a homeless individual seeking help. All at once you are confused – to help or journey by? This isn’t a post about poverty, but it is about Canadian citizens being confronted with the troubling possibility that our systems of compassion are failing. Author Robert Bellah put it poignantly regarding the American context: “… the difficulty of being a good person in the absence of a good society.” Either way, whether we withhold money from that homeless person or provide some spare change, we inwardly understand that neither option is the…

Sanders and Trump: The Jig is Up

Posted on February 19, 2016

IT’S TIME FOR ALL POLITICIANS TO LISTEN to Nick Hanauer, an American billionaire who actually came out last month to say, “When they (the financial industry) say that the better profits are, the better it will be for everybody, I’m the one who can say ‘That’s a lie. ‘ “ And a lie it is. Those pundits studying the tea leaves to ascertain Donald Trump’s or Bernie Sander’s appeal are looking in the wrong place. They simply have to walk through most neighbourhoods, or sit down in coffee shops throughout America, to figure it out. Here’s how Leonard Steinhorn from American University laid it out. the Great Recession “flatlined” the lives and aspirations of millions of Americans comparable jobs just didn’t come back following the…

The Ticking Time Bomb Sanders and Trump Both Share

Posted on February 17, 2016

WATCHING WHAT’S OCCURRING IN THE POLITICAL primaries south of the border is like nothing we have really experienced before. Those who thought just a few years ago that Sarah Palin was likely the most extreme establishment candidate to come along now stare agog at how Donald Trump has blown up the long-held “rites of passage” in American politics. It is likely few believed in this era that a serious political candidate running for president would run so afoul of facts that he could say what he wished and get away with it. Moreover, his willingness to entertain the idea of building a wall between Mexico and the U.S., or banning Muslims from the country, would have been thought of as political suicide only a…

Scrawling in the Snow

Posted on February 11, 2016

A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVE ASKED if these blog posts are available in book form and the answer is “yes”. The Parallel Parliament posts for 2015 can be acquired here in hard cover and in paperback, and here as a free download from the iBooks store. You’ll also find other recent books there that I’ve written on Don Quixote, and a couple of novels on Paris and Africa. My very first book was a novel about a Spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain – written when I was 12 on a Brother portable typewriter my parents gave me for Christmas. Why did I write it? I had no idea back then, but I’ve come to realize that each of these books or blog posts…

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