The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “apathy

Election 2015: Caught Between Empathy and Apathy

Posted on August 6, 2015

EVERYTHING THIS WEEKS SEEMS TO BE ABOUT the upcoming federal election, called much too early and perhaps needed far too late. It’ll all be about the party leaders. Which is not only too bad, but also misguided. It is inevitable that we make each election about the choices before us, but this time around it will be about the choosers: us. It’s likely that the majority of Canadians sense the country isn’t doing well, but they’ve just lost belief in the hope that politics can turn things around. The polls say that as well, but we don’t require them to convince us. The ineffectiveness of today’s politics was revealed in a recent interview with Dr. Ben Carson, Republican candidate for the American presidency. When asked…

“Public Dialogue: Not” – Community Engagement Podcast (32)

Posted on August 19, 2013

Just two weeks left in these podcasts, but this is an important one.  What happens if we get a chance to build an effective democracy as citizens and no one shows up?  Sad to say, this is repeatedly occurring in various citizen engagement activities around the world.  The regulars show up, and through their dedication and hard work seek to instill new life back into the democratic spirit.  But, in a sad discovery, the learn that the majority just don’t care or seek to involve themselves in the process.  How do we get ourselves of that devolving cycle? Just click the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

Preserving Neglect

Posted on October 24, 2012

It remains one of the three great lessons I learned in my time in politics and it’s even more pertinent now, some four years later. Though it was referred to in one of my earlier blogs, it stands repeating here, especially if anyone reading these words is thinking about entering politics. Seated on a lengthy plane ride with a government minister, we fell into talking of my discouragement with Question Period and especially the negative advertising that appeared to be a permanent part of the political landscape. He was immediately sympathetic, nodding in the affirmative, and at times even seeming to agree with my conclusions. It was then that he dropped the bombshell that forever changed my view of present-day Ottawa. “Glen, you’re such…

The Biggest Obstacle In Running For Politics

Posted on October 22, 2012

You want to run politically – locally, provincially, or federally. You might think that your greatest challenge will be the uber partisanship that has destroyed so much of the political legacy of compromise in Canada, and you’d have a point. This past week the city of London, Ontario found itself the centre of national attention when one of its local elected officials (a former Liberal MP) was accused of using federal funds inappropriately during his time in Ottawa. Our community has been going through difficult times these last few years, but the sight of a present government MP slagging the London official in Question Period and on national media embarrassed our community on a nation-wide stage. No charges have been laid on the official,…

Citizenship – “Online Map but Offline Relationships”

Posted on August 2, 2011

Interesting responses on the last two posts on the Internet and democracy, and, as expected, they have been divided, at times even sharp. Some view the digital world as a vast sea of unrefined opinions, whereas others believe no filters should be put in place – let citizens sift through it for themselves, deciding whether they agree or not. The problem is that the complexities of public policy, of managing what it takes to keep communities functioning and progressing (something different from just “growing”), can lead to simplistic arguments that add little to citizen engagement or comprehension.  It is vital to understand in all this that there is nothing essentially “democratic” about Internet technology. It is merely a tool, but one full of potential…


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