The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “progressive centre” Category

Sometimes Leaders Have to Follow

Posted on September 21, 2018

It’s never an easy or simple thing for a politician to cut across the grain of public opinion for the sake of building an even stronger community. And yet that’s what San Antonio, Texas, Mayor Ron Nirenberg did, in a decision that garnered international attention. When the great behemoth that is Amazon announced it was searching for a second headquarters location, it started a bidding frenzy that saw more than 500 cities bend themselves out of shape in their bid for the prize. San Antonio appeared to be one of the favourites, since it was situated in Silicon Valley and had enjoyed a successful business partnership with Amazon for more than a decade. Nirenberg, who knows Amazon chief executive Jeff Bezos personally, rocked the…

A Decade of Doubt

Posted on September 21, 2018

Confusion.  Confusion everywhere.  Confusion in the House itself and in Question Period.  Confusion in caucus meetings.  Confusion in the various committees.  Confusion at events.  Confusion when socializing with other MPs.  Confusion in calls home to spouses and children.  Confusion from the top leadership levels to the lowliest backbencher. Confusion among economists. Confusion among bureaucrats. Confusion in the media and among citizens.  Again, confusion everywhere. A decade ago I was sitting in Parliament – one of slightly over 300 MPs trying to figure out what just hit us.  Had the American stock market crashed?  Was Wall Street doing anything?  What about Canadian securities?  Is this going global or confined to America? It didn’t take long to understand that the Great Recession of 2008 was upon us and, like…

Looking Outward To Find Our Identity

Posted on September 19, 2018

One has to feel a certain empathy for Meghan Markel – the newest royal through her marriage with Prince Harry. Enduring scrutiny in a fishbowl unlike any other, Markel has to fight for her own identity and image in an institution bathed in historical structure, rigid adherence to form, fighting for air amongst a host of other royal family personages who have the advantage of learning the protocols from the youngest age.  In such a setting, images of Diana come to mind. It’s all about identity and Meghan Markel is up against the best of them.  And yet there is something benignly noble about her fighting for her own space.  Sure, she receives endless criticism as a person of privilege in a privileged world, but…

The Most Expensive Real Estate in the World

Posted on September 13, 2018

The following is a repost from a blog originally written on February 16, 2017.  It is still prescient since little seems to have changed since that time 18 months ago and citizen responsibility is required now more than ever.   Readers and viewers seem transfixed with the more extreme political movements across the world. Far from bringing the world closer together, these new developments threaten to disassociate us in ways we haven’t experienced in decades. All eyes are on politics these days. Yet something else is bubbling beneath the surface that receives little attention but which is effectively cutting off our collective ability to meet the powerful challenges facing our modern world. For over two decades we have watched as hyper-partisanship has ripped the…

Revolution or Evolution: The Only Two Choices Left

Posted on September 11, 2018

We have reached the stage where we actually have no idea of what is going to happen.  Here’s a list of questions to get us in the mood for a more serious kind of discussion.  Some are cheeky, but they need to be asked regardless. Is free trade ever going to be as great as past leaders and economists told us it would be? Will the Trump Doctrine, or lack of it, blow up the rest of the world? Can Canada keep its delicate federalism in place when the inevitable threats of separation arise? Will good paying jobs ever come back? Do the terms “post-democracy” or “post-capitalist” mean that both of those systems are about to be relegated to the history books? Are citizens…

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