The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts from the “The New Internationalism” Category

For 2018, Boring is Better

Posted on December 26, 2017

Journalists can be forgiven for growing jaded over time. Covering politics can prove to be a deep struggle of getting facts from those seeking to shelter them. More often than not journalists know they are being played. “The media are less a window on reality, than a stage on which officials perform self-scripted, self-serving functions,” wrote Thomas Sowell, and there’s a strong element of truth in it. Given what’s going on in places like America, Venezuela, Russia, Britain, Spain and China, Canadian news at times can seem outright boring. Yet it says something about this country – our politics, our citizenry, our economy, our institutions. Closing out 2017, we as Canadians understand that our pliability is a blessing. There are numerous challenges existing at…

Societies Can Fail

Posted on December 21, 2017

We are well aware of the key characters involved in the ancient Christmas story – shepherds, wise men, angels, Joseph, Mary and Jesus. It’s all so quaint and moving that we forget the oppressiveness of that era. Few would have believed in those times that the mighty Roman Empire was about to crumble. And they would have been incredulous to learn that within 70 years, the temple, Jerusalem and the Jewish homeland itself would be gone. This is ever the problem with societal decay: the seriousness of the situation is hardly obvious at the time. Yet Aristotle warned that a growing inequality would only bring instability and chaos. Plato wrote that tyrants utilize the premise of free speech and public angst to claim absolute…

Payette Speech Should Spark Serious Reflection

Posted on November 24, 2017

Her speech was bound to raise the ire of many, but when Governor General Julie Payette spoke to the respected Canadian Science Policy Centre convention two weeks ago it’s likely she was unaware of the response it would generate. Yet, she’s been dealing with it ever since. Before proceeding further, I should declare that I had penned a National Newswatch article following her appointment that praised Payette’s selection, revelled in her life of remarkable accomplishments, and concluded that she was, indeed, a woman of her times. I should also state that I’m a person of religious faith who rejoices in her scientific advancements. Yet, after viewing her speech a number of times, I grew to understand how she got into some hot water. It…

Trust vs Trustworthy

Posted on November 15, 2017

She possesses a unique file that includes the disciplines of philosopher, politician, policy maker, author and public figure willing to challenge the preconceptions of the day. A powerful woman thinker in her native Britain, Baronness Onora O’Neill was recently awarded a $1 million prize for lifetime achievement in the fields of philosophy and public service. Intriguingly, O’Neill refuses to jump on whatever is fashionable at the moment, opting to discover those deeper traits that she believes are the only things that can save humanity from its ongoing fascination with itself. No doubt it emanates from the woman’s remarkable diverse background – former principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, and was chairperson of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and prolific author on matters of justice,…

Mass Flight

Posted on November 2, 2017

The continuing meltdown of Venezuela’s economy is drawing increasing worry in global circles, and not just about finance. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was right to warn about the regional effects, including a pending refugee crisis. As she noted recently: “I do think. . . this is a humanitarian crisis as well as a political one. We are seeing the real preventable suffering of the people of Venezuela.   And I think . . . there are mounting signs of a regional refugee crisis as well. Colombia and Brazil are facing a lot of pressure. So I think it is an area where Canada needs to be very engaged.” Given all that’s transpiring on the refugee file around the globe, it’s easy to overlook…

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