The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “citizenship

The Ripping of Our Social Fabric

Posted on December 30, 2017

Another year is ending, and in some respects we are more divided as Londoners than ever – not a popular sentiment, I know, but one with which we must come to terms. Somewhere in the last few years, the possibilities we once envisioned for social media to help guide us into a more collaborative future have floundered. Friendships have been lost, enemies gained, and a brighter future dimmed. It has exacerbated an already difficult generational divide in London and threatens to derail our potential. We’re not alone in this challenge, as communities around the world wrestle with a remarkable resource that has somehow turned citizens against one another. News was made recently when former Facebook executive, Chamath Palihapitiya, spoke out concerning the harm the…

Societies Can Fail

Posted on December 21, 2017

We are well aware of the key characters involved in the ancient Christmas story – shepherds, wise men, angels, Joseph, Mary and Jesus. It’s all so quaint and moving that we forget the oppressiveness of that era. Few would have believed in those times that the mighty Roman Empire was about to crumble. And they would have been incredulous to learn that within 70 years, the temple, Jerusalem and the Jewish homeland itself would be gone. This is ever the problem with societal decay: the seriousness of the situation is hardly obvious at the time. Yet Aristotle warned that a growing inequality would only bring instability and chaos. Plato wrote that tyrants utilize the premise of free speech and public angst to claim absolute…

Inequality in the Fast Lane

Posted on December 14, 2017

In the midst of all the election hubbub following the stunning Democratic Senate win in Alabama, one Republican congressman used the occasion to call on the Republican Party to dump Steve Bannon, one of the early architects of Trump’s presidency. Congressman Peter King is worried over where his own party is headed in recent weeks and although his speaking out against Bannon raised a lot of eyebrows, it was something he said only a couple of weeks earlier that carries much more significance. While the Republican tax cut plan was heralded by some in Washington, King was flummoxed by the nonsensical hurry to get it passed when it was, in fact, the deepest cut in corporate taxes seen in decades. “You’re rewriting a tax…

A Village State of Mind

Posted on December 3, 2017

There’s no denying it – Christmas and a village just go together. There’s the original Santa’s Village, where the famous bearded man and his wife lived and toiled with the elves. There are replicate Santa’s Villages in over 40 countries, including our own province. Even Bethlehem, in the time of Jesus, is referred to by some commentators as a village. And the Whos from Whoville in Dr. Seuss’s famous How the Grinch Stole Christmas, lived in village that was ingeniously located on a snowflake. Every year around this time families begin digging out the boxes with the little figurines, which, when compiled together, become ornate or rustic villages placed on tabletops or on a piano. So, yes, “Christmas and the village” go comfortably together…

Mass Flight

Posted on November 2, 2017

The continuing meltdown of Venezuela’s economy is drawing increasing worry in global circles, and not just about finance. Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland was right to warn about the regional effects, including a pending refugee crisis. As she noted recently: “I do think. . . this is a humanitarian crisis as well as a political one. We are seeing the real preventable suffering of the people of Venezuela.   And I think . . . there are mounting signs of a regional refugee crisis as well. Colombia and Brazil are facing a lot of pressure. So I think it is an area where Canada needs to be very engaged.” Given all that’s transpiring on the refugee file around the globe, it’s easy to overlook…

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