The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “change

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…

The Ticking Time Bomb Sanders and Trump Both Share

Posted on February 17, 2016

WATCHING WHAT’S OCCURRING IN THE POLITICAL primaries south of the border is like nothing we have really experienced before. Those who thought just a few years ago that Sarah Palin was likely the most extreme establishment candidate to come along now stare agog at how Donald Trump has blown up the long-held “rites of passage” in American politics. It is likely few believed in this era that a serious political candidate running for president would run so afoul of facts that he could say what he wished and get away with it. Moreover, his willingness to entertain the idea of building a wall between Mexico and the U.S., or banning Muslims from the country, would have been thought of as political suicide only a…

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…

Betrayed by Silence

Posted on January 22, 2016

“I AM NOT A SAINT, UNLESS YOU think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying,” Nelson Mandela said reflectively. It’s hardly an accident that the former South African human rights champion looked on Martin Luther King Jr. as one of his guiding lights. Both men were flawed, yet they endured against significant odds, believing in their ideals when others thought they should pull back. Robert Louis Stevenson would have agreed with Mandela’s observation: “Saints are sinners who kept on going.” All this week we have been dealing with the life of Martin Luther King Jr., noting his power of rhetoric and ideals, his refined sense of justice, and his deep understanding of human nature. There is ever the tendency to turn…

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