The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “progressive centre” Category

Follow the Food

Posted on May 31, 2018

There are many key components that keep a city functioning, but if you would want to check up on its overall health, it’s helpful to follow how it moves its food around.  Seriously, it’s one of the main ways you can judge just how integrated things are. If healthy local food from the region is largely bypassing a city on its journey to other markets, then you know there’s a problem.  Should there be numerous food deserts that leave significant holes for food resources in neighbourhoods, it has a serious impact on citizens, especially for those in low-income situations or who aren’t mobile. If there are successful urban gardens that experience difficulty in the distribution of their harvests to locations that require them because of…

The Time For Tinkering Is Over

Posted on May 25, 2018

Writing posts like this is never easy.  Partisans of one stripe or the other relentlessly claim that their party’s policies will do the trick, introduce a new era of prosperity, or restore voter confidence in politics and democracy.  We’ve heard all this before, numerous times, and in diverse fashions, but the net result always seems the same – loss of voter confidence that leaves many wondering if anybody can really turn things around. Yesterday I did an interview with our local paper on a Toronto Star story that concerned how government interventions at various levels have helped the city’s food bank – the country’s largest – see their numbers decline somewhat.  It true – all of it.  Remedial efforts through things like tax credits,…

Rolling the Dice

Posted on May 15, 2018

My city of London, Ontario is in the midst of a gambling debate, with some feeling our collective future could be at risk should a larger casino be built near the centre of town.  That’s likely a little dramatic since a slots casino has been with us for years. But the world itself has changed and key to it all is the difference in attitudes towards gambling inter-generationally.  Regardless of whether the casino is approved, attitudes regarding its presence in our midst are already going through a substantial shift. New research is telling us something important about how gambling is being perceived.  Here’s just a sample of what’s been discovered: While gambling remains popular with older generations, Millennials (1980-2000) take a far dimmer view…

Where Are We Headed Exactly?

Posted on May 8, 2018

Recently I spoke to a group of business leaders on the subject of “wealth and social policy.”  The audience consisted of sincere women and men who had grown concerned that with titanic amounts of wealth being generated in the developed world, little was changing for those whose lives remain in economic stagnation and whose prospect for gainful employment recedes each successive year.  In all of this, governments themselves seemed particularly ineffective. In my city of London, Ontario, recent research revealed that 48% of our workforce is either in precarious or vulnerable work conditions, with little in the way of benefits, pensions, or even a future.  It is a reality that begs the obvious question: if all the wealth is resulting in such little meaningful work,…

“And” or “But”

Posted on May 4, 2018

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” So wrote Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist.  And he’s right – perhaps in this age more than any other, when anger can flash everywhere, even across borders, at the speed of light.  It’s seems like the more we judge others the less we understand life, or history, or most dangerous of all, ourselves. Somehow, we become smaller, the better angels of our nature receding into the dark distance. Yesterday’s post about Senator John McCain was prompted by just such a circumstance.  The person I spoke to felt confident…

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