The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “commitment

The Third Place (Chapter 5) – Rules of Engagement

Posted on August 5, 2018

At some point during the Third Place’s early years the public began to understand that Everton Overly had quietly struck a deal with his customers without anything official being said about it. The future of any restaurant depends on its performance – quality of the meals, parking, decor, price, selection and aura.  Should the operator get it right in all of these fields then the chances of success were good.  In a world of rampant consumerism, it was all about the customer and the operation that didn’t understand that had already lost. Except Dad didn’t really believe it.  A restaurant in his mind wasn’t just about serving food but, rather, a public space where contribution was expected.  At one point he placed on the…

Do Elections Work Anymore?

Posted on June 5, 2018

I admit to being purposely provocative here, but the question arises from a place of sincerity.  It’s simply this: in an age when democracies are struggling everywhere for legitimacy, do elections still make sense?  Writer David Van Raybrouck ruminated on this a number of years ago and wrestled with the answer. Doubts have been driven by radical democratic moments in Europe, Brexit, the great chaos that is the American political system today, and now the troubling turbulence of an Ontario campaign due to be settled(?) this week.  The campaigns of this modern era result in more confusion, not less, once concluded. Buyer’s remorse emerges the moment a campaign has concluded, the ballots have been counted, and organized chaos ensues. These days almost everyone talks about…

Revolutions Without Revolutionaries

Posted on June 9, 2015

‘IF WE REALLY WANT TO MAKE CHANGE, then it’s time we used social media.” We’ve heard this often, but given the experience of the last few years one wonders if it’s accurate. It’s vital, to be sure, but it’s hardly the cure-all for democracy, our communities, or even the fate of humanity. We can be forgiven for wanting this to be true. The world requires change and we know it. The Internet seemed the obvious tool of choice, and its immediacy and punch often satisfied the momentary emotion we felt. But there’s a sense that its reach (and it is immense) doesn’t quite match its grasp. The reason for this is what it has always been: revolutionary tools (printing press, television, Internet) don’t necessarily…

Lit From Within

Posted on December 18, 2014

IT WAS TOUCHING, HUMOROUS, AND A SIGN of the changing times in our city. Newly elected city council member Jared Zaifman, in a reflection of his Jewish faith, brought in latkes for his counterparts as a celebration of Hanukkah. Zaifman’s reasoning was simple and profound at the same time: I brought latkes for council and staff to have because very simply, this is a food that I indulge in over this time of the year, and I wanted to share that hospitality and treat with them.  I am very proud of my heritage and traditions, and I think being able to share that and give people a better understanding of my background and practices goes a long way in allowing us a better understanding…

None Of Us Can Truly Rest

Posted on July 31, 2014

  SUMMER IS A FINE TIME FOR WRITING AND I’VE GREATLY ENJOYED putting the final touches on a book on the complex life of Nelson Mandela that I began a year ago before his sad passing. His death brought out worthy global praise and extolled some of those qualities we so came to love about him: reconciliation, champion of human rights, a powerful personality which he used for the public good, international ambassador for peace, and a vast inner life. Yet we often overlooked how Mandela felt about poverty and the depth to which it moved him. He had felt it in his own life, but, more than that, he placed human want in the broader context of human rights. Given his universal belief in…

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