The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “community

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…

Tackling Seniors’ Isolation

Posted on March 24, 2018

As London sees its population age, a new reality is emerging that challenges our sense of collective well-being: seniors’ hunger and isolation. As we get older, life shifts in unexpected ways. The one-time caregiver needs some caring, the citizen needs her community, families require some assistance. It’s a subject we don’t discuss much, but the idea of older citizens lost in loneliness or pining for a meal is one of the quiet tragedies that places a lengthening shadow on community life every day. A spotlight needs to be shone on it and perhaps that’s the greatest service London’s Meals on Wheels program provides us. What started out as a humanitarian impulse in churches has now become a larger London necessity. The organization delivers more…

Hope Will Return

Posted on March 4, 2018

Spring is coming, and with it the annual sense of renewal – for us and the world.  The problem is that we all too frequently look at what’s going on around us and don’t like much of what we see – poverty, selfishness, rampant consumerism, a distant government, even a frustrating dysfunction in our own communities. In his book The Art of the Impossible, Vaclav Havel makes some telling observations on where the true fault lies for much of our collective malaise.  In a word, it is us.  We all too frequently accept the troubled world as it is, waiting for others to solve our problems, instead of understanding that we are the present world’s caretakers and bear much responsibility for the current troubles.…

Millennials Seek New Way to Effect Change

Posted on February 10, 2018

Like many other mid-sized cities, London is dealing with a difference in generational attitudes — value distinctions that affect everything from public transportation to employment, locally grown food, neighbourhoods and politics. To date, the friction generated among demographic groups is largely unresolved and that reality partly explains why so many citizens feel frustrated at our collective dysfunction. Neither our politics nor our civil society has succeeded in creating a shared vision. Research increasingly shows how millennials (those born between 1980 and 1995) approach community life differently than the generations that preceded them. A recent Deloitte survey found millennials believe businesses should focus more on people than profits, are politically independent and distrustful of partisanship, and are far more inclined to use public transit than…

A December Like No Other

Posted on January 6, 2018

Signs that Christmas 2017 were going to be different began in September when we had three remarkable exploratory meetings. CBC Radio London confirmed for us that they wished to organize a “Sounds of the Season” for December as a way of generating community support for the London Food Bank as well as exploring the issue of poverty in the city. Business Cares – a city-wide initiative that has been running for over years and brings London businesses together in a coordinated effort to raise funds and food for the London Food Bank – held preparation meetings, appointed a working committee, and began working out how the hectic holiday season would look when it came to donation time. The London Food Bank was invited to…

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