The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “The New Internationalism” Category

Peace’s Missing Component

Posted on April 26, 2018

The headlines have been fairly consistent.  “Canada Introduces a New Era in Peacekeeping,” notes Legion magazine.  “UN Peacekeeping in a New Era,” is the title of a policy piece by the Routledge Group.  The Globe and Mail headline read, “Liberals Grapple with a New Era of Peacekeeping.” It’s remains a difficult thing to discern exactly what this new era entails, but with much of the emphasis on troops, helicopters, the risks and dysfunctional nations overseas, we could be missing the most important resource.  One headline from 2015 asked a key question: “Peacekeeping Has Evolved: Is Canada Ready?”  Well, that depends on if, and how, that resource is utilized. The resource is women, in all of their wisdom, lived experience, survival skills, military knowledge, understanding…

Labyrinth

Posted on April 26, 2018

The thing about rage only two decades into the 21stcentury is that it’s everywhere.  In past eras it brewed in turbulent hotspots – the Middle East, India-Pakistan, the Balkans, the Congo, Nicaragua, among others – usually far away and, in consequence, far from our minds.  But the individual and collective anger has spread to normally stable places around the globe – Germany, France, Norway, Britain and most obviously in the United States. In his Meditations, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius cogently noted, “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”  It seems to me that some are coming to terms with this observation.  The “age of rage” has been rolling on for years and the change which that kind…

A City’s Potential Stifled By Self-Doubt

Posted on April 24, 2018

The quote holds out hope for what a mid-sized city can become: “These cities have the potential to become leaders of sustainable and inclusive city-building initiatives across Canada.” It’s posted on the website of Evergreen Canada, a group coming to London on May 15-16 to see if we can make the cut as a municipality dynamic enough to carve out a more prosperous and meaningful future for itself. That Evergreen is coming to London at all, in co-operation with numerous local organizations, might be a sign that it values our potential, but it could just as well be a recognition that we are floundering enough as a community that we could use some outside help. It’s tough in a country as spread out as…

Bringing It Home

Posted on April 20, 2018

Last week I attended an annual outdoor lunch that raises awareness over the state of homelessness in our city.  It’s a powerful mix of housing advocates, policy makers, media and most important of all, homeless individuals seeking a better world. On the same day The Guardian published what turned out to be a timely piece titled, “Finland has found the answer to homelessness.  It couldn’t be simpler.”  It was the kind of headline meant to quickly draw the reader into its rationale that defeating homelessness isn’t perhaps as complex as we thought. But first the bad news.  The article reminded its British readers that, whether they liked it or not, they were tolerating a homelessness situation that was becoming a national embarrassment: The number…

Think You Know Your World? A Quiz.

Posted on April 12, 2018

Hans Rosling revolutionized my perspective of the world back in 2006, with his thoughts on world health and development.  Though he passed away last year of liver failure, his TED talks remain some of the most popular.  He remained a good friend and advisor to Bill and Melinda Gates prior to this death. His final book, Factfulness, reminds us how little we truly know of the world and humanity’s great potential and maintains that things are really better than we believe.  It’s a debatable point, but in his field of global health few could match his scope nor the innovative methods he utilized in promoting his ideas. Just how necessary minds like his are is apparent in the earliest portions of Factfulness, when he…

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