The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “change

Ready to Go

Posted on April 28, 2016

AFTER SPEAKING AT A NUMBER OF UNIVERSITIES and colleges in these past three months I’m getting a clear sense of an uptake of interest in civic responsibility. Often the subject emerged in classes that, on the surface at least, seemed to have little to do with citizenship and engagement. When I talked to students following the sessions, I would ask them directly if they felt their respective educational institution offered enough instruction on the subject and the answer was most often in the negative. Another thing was repeatedly affirmed: all those commentators who lamented that the Millennial Generation, and those even younger, were retreating into their own private worlds were themselves living in some other universe. Mountains of research has emerged recently showing that…

The Future Is No Longer A Gift

Posted on March 14, 2016

Note:  This post is also available to view on National Newswatch here. BARACK OBAMA WAS ELECTED ON A GENERATIONAL SEA CHANGE in politics and government. Justin Trudeau, on the other hand, is riding its crest. The American president’s agenda eventually came up against an angry partisan opposition, remaining somewhat unfulfilled. The new Canadian prime minister’s policies have yet to sail through choppy waters. When the two leaders summited in Washington D.C. last week, there was the unmistakable sense that something new was brewing and that the brief moment in the sun between Obama’s retirement and Trudeau’s arrival was a kind of passing of the torch. But behind each of these men emerged a new social and political force that will make our tomorrow, for better…

The Shelter of Each Other

Posted on March 3, 2016

THIS CONUNDRUM OF HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA has become an exquisitely painful exercise. Over a number of decades we watched from a distance as it first emerged in our larger cities, then became something of an embarrassment to civic, provincial, and federal leaders. It is a part of the Canadian landscape that we understand doesn’t match our worldwide appeal or our domestic ideals. At crucial moments during that journey (an excruciating trek for those who are actually homeless) the subtle compromise was reached that it was a problem that needed to be managed as opposed to solved – a subtle admission that the distance between our compassionate ideals and our desire for an affluent life was unbridgeable. For those living without a secure place for…

Transcending Cynicism

Posted on March 1, 2016

This blog post is also available at National Newswatch here. “SCRATCH ANY CYNIC AND YOU WILL FIND a disappointed idealist,” comedian George Carlin said during an interview. We are watching this play out in the American election season, as both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump have plumbed a motherlode of disenchantment on both sides of the political spectrum. Supporters of both candidates continue to cry out that they want their country back and their leader is just the person to do it. In the modern era, those seeking election have learned that it’s possible to create something of a political movement by speaking to the despair of citizens, and there’s a point to it. Globally, politics has increasingly become a mug’s game – a…

Sanders and Trump: The Jig is Up

Posted on February 19, 2016

IT’S TIME FOR ALL POLITICIANS TO LISTEN to Nick Hanauer, an American billionaire who actually came out last month to say, “When they (the financial industry) say that the better profits are, the better it will be for everybody, I’m the one who can say ‘That’s a lie. ‘ “ And a lie it is. Those pundits studying the tea leaves to ascertain Donald Trump’s or Bernie Sander’s appeal are looking in the wrong place. They simply have to walk through most neighbourhoods, or sit down in coffee shops throughout America, to figure it out. Here’s how Leonard Steinhorn from American University laid it out. the Great Recession “flatlined” the lives and aspirations of millions of Americans comparable jobs just didn’t come back following the…

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