The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “Liberalism” Category

Canada-U.S. Relations: Rising Tides

Posted on March 7, 2016

CANADA VISITS THE WHITE HOUSE this week and behind all the glitz and glamour naturally produced by two leaders who effectively know how to work a crowd are issues that will take a lot more than popularity to address. We’ll consider some of these in the next few posts, starting with perhaps our greatest challenge. Both Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama got lots of press at the Paris climate change summit last November. They got along well and agreed the time had come to raise the game between the two nations regarding climate change. The buzz from the agreement still moved through the streets of the great French city when I was there in January. But while all this is going on, environmental decline…

Transcending Cynicism

Posted on March 1, 2016

This blog post is also available at National Newswatch here. “SCRATCH ANY CYNIC AND YOU WILL FIND a disappointed idealist,” comedian George Carlin said during an interview. We are watching this play out in the American election season, as both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have plumbed a motherlode of disenchantment on both sides of the political spectrum. Supporters of both candidates continue to cry out that they want their country back and their leader is just the person to do it. In the modern era, those seeking election have learned that it’s possible to create something of a political movement by speaking to the despair of citizens, and there’s a point to it. Globally, politics has increasingly become a mug’s game – a…

Time to End the Tinkering

Posted on December 8, 2015

With the new Parliament getting under way, it appears that, thus far, things don’t seem like business as usual in Ottawa.  Numerous commentators have wondered whether Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s ambitious agenda about renewal in many dimensions can last.  We don’t know at present, but watching the House proceedings yesterday reminded me of a post I wrote last year, pressing that it was time to get serious about change.  It won’t happen unless citizens keep pressing for the very pragmatic ideals they voted for in this past election.  Below is the post from almost a year ago. THE FEDERAL LIBERALS CAUCUSED IN LONDON this week and it was good to see some old friends. Justin Trudeau was struggling through a bout of food poisoning…

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…

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