The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “challenges

Sometimes Our Democracy Isn’t Enough

Posted on February 22, 2019

Our system of government, loosely known as democracy, is a complicated machine of many moving parts, guided by bureaucrats and elected representatives tasked with the role of making sure it all works.  Should it fail to function effectively, the system is designed to self-correct through periodic elections designed to give citizens ongoing opportunities to render their verdict on whether their aspirations are being matched with suitable policies. That’s how it’s supposed to run anyway and in the last two centuries generally our political systems in the West have proved adaptable and responsive.  In recent years, however, there is a growing sense that political power is no longer leveraged or guided by the people.  Sometimes it’s because our expectations are too high.  We have been spoiled as decades of…

Answers vs. Solutions

Posted on March 6, 2018

“The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom,” wrote Isaac Asimov in a moment of frustration.  Was he correct?  Of course he was.  The Information Age brings us new findings every minute of the day and our ability to assimilate that knowledge for the betterment of our communities doesn’t so much depend on our brain as our character. Everyone has answers these days, as our digital screens display relentless bits of information, research findings, and happenings across the globe.  People are finding answers for everything – how to fix an eavestrough, invest in stocks, tend a garden or hold a meeting.  Our days are daily journeys of discovery that assist with practical solutions or just…

Canada Through Obama’s Eyes

Posted on July 1, 2016

WHAT IS CANADA’S PURPOSE?  ONE YEAR AGO today that answer might have been a little more muddled than today. As the world around us tumbled about, challenging our traditional set of norms and understandings, our country had seemed, for a number of years at least, to be more minimalist than meaningful, more reductionist than radical. Today, however, there seems to be some stirrings among us as to our potentials and usefulness to the human condition. Listening to Barack Obama speak in Parliament this week about how the important human values aren’t American or Canadian, but universal principles sounded more like something from the 1950s or 1960s than the modern era. What was truly wonderful about his speech was watching the emotional collective countenance of all…

Davos: The Ever-Missing Gender Lens

Posted on January 27, 2016

THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM IN Davos, Switzerland last week captured a lot of attention, not all of it positive. Sessions were held in the growing fear that elite figures in finance, government, and the entertainment industry are no longer in control of the direction in which our planet is headed. A clear sign of what’s wrong was obvious just in the makeup of the participants. Around 18% of them were women – that’s it. In 2002 that number was 9%, and in 2011 it was 16%. True, things are heading in the proper direction, but, seriously, this is trite and incremental stuff – hardly worthy of true leadership, especially on a global level. What’s truly frustrating about this fundamental lack of progress at Davos is…

Christmas and the Art of Making Goodness Attractive

Posted on December 22, 2015

WE AREN’T FORCED INTO DOING GOOD. Nor are we legislated or coerced into performing a kind act for others. Rather, we are inspired into it. It might be a holiday song wafting through a favourite store, a Salvation Army kettle attended by a citizen, seeing our kids start decorating the tree, watching a favourite holiday movie, or standing silent as a family looking over a manger scene in our local park – all of these moments, and so many more, arc us towards kindness, generosity, to be more accepting, even committed to being a more compassionate people. But somewhere along the journey we encounter others who call out the best in us and we end up being better as a result. And whether we…