The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Archive for

Being Real

Posted on May 31, 2016

THE WHOLE THING DIDN’T GO AS PLANNED. The de facto Republican leader, Donald Trump, was supposed to be an also-ran, largely purged from the primaries by early 2016. For Hilary Clinton and the Democrats, it was supposed to resemble something of a coronation. Yes, there was Bernie Sanders, the elderly statesman from Vermont, but, like Trump, was supposed to be out of the race months ago. As we near the conventions of both parties, each is experiencing an identity crisis of major proportions. There’s a reason why millions of young people have signed up for the Sander’s campaign. Spotting in him someone who has maintained the ideals of his youth, they see in him as a mentor, a guide into the complex future that…

A National Tragedy

Posted on May 25, 2016

WE ALL COME FROM SOMEPLACE – NOT JUST PHYSICALLY, but emotionally and psychologically. For many, such origins involve pain, sadness, even trauma. Some of them take the inner turmoil and turn it outward, inflicting pain on others as a way of dealing with their own. But others pull that pain inward and become prisoners in their own world. The latter point is important if we wish to begin to comprehend the recent slate of youth suicides in our aboriginal, metis, and First Nations communities. We watch in horror upon hearing of the suicide pact reach recently in the Attawapiskat First Nation community and confess our utter inability to either comprehend or provide solace in such a situation. Recently in an interview with the Huffington…

What’s a City For?

Posted on May 19, 2016

THE IMPOSSIBLE OFTEN HAS A KIND OF INTEGRITY which the merely improbable lacks,” wrote Douglas Adams. Sounds great, but what does it mean exactly? For cities and communities, understanding this distinction is pivotal to assessing themselves. It is why the impossible will always hold greater appeal in our lives. We all know that the things we value most also cost the most – it’s what makes them treasures. Raising children, making marriage work, building a successful business, excelling at the arts, saving the environment, or overcoming mental illness – all of these take effort and loads of it. Why, then, should building a valuable city be any different? If we’re going to go cheap, then we might as well pack it up. Just ask…

Politics Without the Politics

Posted on May 17, 2016

Read this post on National Newswatch here. IN IRONIC FASHION, POLITICS IS SEEING a resurgence in Canada – not the kind that swirls around professional political parties but the kind which inevitably finds its way in discussions in coffee shops, among neighbours and employees, even between parents and their high school or university-aged kids. It’s not the rants between partisans that we have grown so used to and rejected, but open conversations about all those aspects of citizenship that we must live out together. There was a time not all that long ago when people pined for this true essence of democracy. It’s been some time coming. Politics had become what citizens saw on television, and in social media, or encountered with indifferent bureaucracies,…

Cities are Rebuilding Faith in Government

Posted on May 12, 2016

IT HAS BECOME A PERSISTENT NARRATIVE, especially during the American primary season south of the border – politics is broken. There will be those who argue the opposite, but in the minds of most citizens north or south of the 49th parallel something has gone wrong in our politics and we feel it for a certainty. Yes, a cruel partisanship has gripped the political class for years. Yes, our deeper problems remain insufficiently addressed as an uncertain future moves into our collective life. But perhaps the greatest cause of the present disillusionment has been the growing distance citizens have experienced from the kind of society they would seek for themselves and their children. Maybe that’s changing. While America fights through its own political wars…