The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Liberalism” Category

Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown

Posted on November 17, 2015

AS JUSTIN TRUDEAU MOVES THROUGH A SERIES OF SUMMITS that will surely have an effect on global direction, I thought of John Kennedy describing the turbulent first few months of his presidency: “I knew that this country faced serious challenges, but I could not realize – nor could any man realize who does not bear the burdens of this office – how heavy and constant would be those burdens”  Both men were the second youngest to be elected to the highest office of their respective countries – Kennedy was 42, Trudeau one year older. International crises defined their first year, and, like Kennedy, Trudeau has fielded no shortage of opinions concerning how he should respond to the Paris attacks. Some think he should ramp…

Looks Like History Didn’t End After All

Posted on November 12, 2015

ALMOST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO IT BECAME a literary sensation. I devoured the book in three days on the coast of Nova Scotia. The premise of Francis Fukuyama’s The End of History and the Last Man was provocative, if not audacious. He reasoned that it was clear that capitalist democracy has basically beaten back every other form of government and stood pre-eminent over history itself. He viewed history as a winding experimentation of various forms of governance that eventually fended off unworthy contenders to claim democracy itself as the ultimate victor. In that sense, history needed to look no further; it had reached the most free, refined, and prosperous political management system that would likely never be transcended. Admittedly, it was a heady time. Communism…

Election 2015: The Son Outshines the Father

Posted on October 21, 2015

  My new Huffington Post piece on how Justin Trudeau’s victory was greater than his fathers – http://goo.gl/qYtK2R   ‘PEOPLE EXPECT WHAT THEY EXPECT,” says Vaibhav Mehta, “But they never realize the possibility of surprise beyond expectations.” It is a sentiment that, just as good as any, describes what happened on Election Night 2015. Justin Trudeau accomplished what many thought impossible, or at the very least improbable. Regardless of what one may have thought of the remarkable results, it reminded everyone that the Canadian people, subtle and polite as they are, hold within them the seeds of quiet revolution, occasionally teaching us that even in the familiar there can be surprise and wonder. Almost every prediction was wrong. Virtually no one expected the early…

More Than Buildings

Posted on May 5, 2015

“A UNIVERSITY IS JUST A GROUP OF BUILDINGS gathered around a library,” wrote American historian Shelby Foote years ago. It’s just the kind of minimalist view that Socrates would have disagreed with forcefully. “Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel,” the old philosopher wrote not too many years prior to his death. It’s likely that Shelby never took into account just what such an institution of higher learning would mean to billions around the world. To them it would be the highest of all attainments, a grand destination for all those seeking enlightenment. In the regions of South Sudan where we have volunteered for years, there is no greater ambition, no desire higher for a family, than to…

A Life More Important Than Words – Citizen Engagement Podcast (33)

Posted on August 20, 2013

The genius of democracy is not how right, or even how smart we are.  It is how open we are to find compromise that will permit us to move ahead as a citizenry.  Our present democratic state is mired in rigidity, in policies that won’t budge, and in characters than think having a strong opinion is the same as possessing strong truth.  No leader can deliver us from this and no government can legislate an open mind.  There’s work to do and humility is the one great essential if we are to succeed. Just click the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

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