The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “citizens

Smart Sovereignty

Posted on June 5, 2014

  THOMAS JEFFERSON AND HIS PEERS STOOD ON THE VERGE of an entirely new historical era, but the ultimate question remained: were citizens up to the challenge of enhancing the democratic ideal and of intelligently voting for representatives who best housed their values? Over 200 years later, we look back on those turbulent times and wonder what the big deal was. But that’s only because we have the benefit of hindsight. All that the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution saw when they looked back was a combination of wealth owners and a political elite that basically decided for everyone else how society would function. To decide upon a marked departure and simply “trust the people” approach was a gamble of truly historic proportions and…

Mandela’s Legacy and Politics

Posted on December 10, 2013

WITH NELSON MANDELA’S PRESENCE NOW GONE from among us, questions continue to linger about his abiding influence.  Some of it is easy to figure.  As a person of moral stature, it is likely that no one from this present generation will stand as such a colossus of meaning and integrity.  As a family man, his life was mixed – as one would expect from someone so fully dedicated to a cause of freedom and having to spend almost 30 years in prison as a result of that commitment.  As a leader for human rights, his practices were varied, but the ultimate outcomes of his efforts are now beyond dispute.  And as a human being, he has ascended to that rarified realm occupied by people…

“New Cards” – Community Engagement Podcast (36)

Posted on August 23, 2013

It is highly possible for citizens to discuss their way into solutions.  But that’s not how the political process works.  There you have an agenda and people must dialogue along those lines or they are excluded.  But what would happen if an agenda was worked out later in our discussions.  This is what happens in real life.  Sometimes the answers to our struggles are to be found in third or fourth options, not merely what we are presented by the political class.  Community is about conversation; the agenda comes later. Just click on the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

“From Interests to Interest” – Community Engagement Podcast (35)

Posted on August 22, 2013

To create meaningful dialogue, good citizens display empathy more than emphasis.  To understand and respect where the other person is coming from is one of the hallmarks of civil society – a trait made all to rare these days by a partisanship that’s gone mad.  We all have our points of view – interests – and we all need to present them.  But above all there is the need to get to the overriding interest of why were attend such gatherings in the first place.  Sometimes the best people in such situations are those with respectful characters, instead of those with smart minds that are nevertheless petty. Just click on the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

“Idiots” – Community Engagement Podcast (25)

Posted on August 8, 2013

If citizens check out of the political process, then it becomes increasingly easy for governments to do as they wish.  We all know that.  And yet, with voter turnout declining in most democracies around the world, the democratic estate is becoming increasingly ineffective.  There’s an ancient name for people who don’t wish to take up their societal responsibilities and until they do, then our challenges will only get greater in equal measure to our disillusionment.  We can solve such difficulties, but it will require a new kind of citizenship. Click on the audio button below to listen to the six-minute podcast.

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