The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

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As the World Moves

Posted on July 29, 2016

Read this post on National Newswatch here. IN CANADA, THERE IS FREQUENTLY THE SENSE that the refugees brought into the country in the last year posed not only a challenge but a kind of calling card to the world of why we still remain such a compassionate land. We feel good about what we’ve done. The disruption of thousands of Syrians families into our communities has been slight compared to the sense of inclusion and accomplishment the challenge created for us. Yet all this can provide a rather rosy sense of the refugee problem that stands in stark contrast to the rest of the world. It has been reported that there are more displaced people and families in the world than at any time…

Outside the Lines

Posted on July 19, 2016

Read this post on National Newswatch here When Ben Hur was launched as a stage play in 1899 it became an immediate sensation. Stagehands were hired to shake tarps to make the background set look like waves, while others rocked the fighting ships back and forth in an effort to make it look realistic. A year of preparation went into the production, with the highlight being the chariot race in the grand arena. People had been practicing for months – the white horses leading Ben Hur and the black steeds powering his enemy Masala’s chariot. Then something went wrong behind the scenes, with the result that Masala won the contest – a conclusion that threw the plot, and the rest of the evening, into…

Shaken, But Not Stirred

Posted on July 14, 2016

I SPENT THIS LAST WEEK IN SCOTLAND, and it was clear from the places I visited that people feel swept up in an array of key events that left them at a loss at their own individual place in it all. The Chilcot Report was released on my first day there and everywhere people were glued to their screens, mostly angered that they had been duped into supporting a war that Sir John Chilcot himself concluded was driven more by ideology than information. People were discussing the implications of Brexit wherever I journeyed, including a fish and chips spot where two people in the booth next to us bemoaned the reality that they had no idea what would happen next. This is the world…

Light in the Tunnel

Posted on July 7, 2016

WITH THE DEATH OF ELIE WIESEL I find myself wondering if the world is in the final stages of going silent. There was once the great pantheon of moral voices that housed individual so gigantic on the world stage that their very words could summon generations to action. We know who they were: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Vaclav Havel, Mother Teresa, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and a few others. Most became Nobel Peace Prize winners and went on to challenge their world to stop taking things so easily. A Holocaust survivor, Wiesel became the clarion voice against human injustice in these last few decades. Everything he said and wrote came from the backdrop of Auschwitz – memories from which he had to endure until his final…

Canada Through Obama’s Eyes

Posted on July 1, 2016

WHAT IS CANADA’S PURPOSE?  ONE YEAR AGO today that answer might have been a little more muddled than today. As the world around us tumbled about, challenging our traditional set of norms and understandings, our country had seemed, for a number of years at least, to be more minimalist than meaningful, more reductionist than radical. Today, however, there seems to be some stirrings among us as to our potentials and usefulness to the human condition. Listening to Barack Obama speak in Parliament this week about how the important human values aren’t American or Canadian, but universal principles sounded more like something from the 1950s or 1960s than the modern era. What was truly wonderful about his speech was watching the emotional collective countenance of all…

  

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