The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “conscience

Democracy Without Conscience Can Only Lead To Chaos

Posted on March 7, 2017

This post can also be read at Huffington Post here It’s likely time most of us agreed that we collectively have noidea where democracy is going. And if numerous polls are correct, living in such a situation is creating increased insecurity and tensions among citizens around the world. It’s at times like the present when Vaclav Havel, former independence activist, playwright, and president of Czechoslovakia, might have something to offer us, despite the fact that he died some six years ago. It wasn’t by accident that the New York Times called him the “global ambassador for conscience.” He, too, lived in a world of turbulence. With the Soviet Union breaking apart, no one was quite sure what would arise to take its place. In…

Light in the Tunnel

Posted on July 7, 2016

WITH THE DEATH OF ELIE WIESEL I find myself wondering if the world is in the final stages of going silent. There was once the great pantheon of moral voices that housed individual so gigantic on the world stage that their very words could summon generations to action. We know who they were: Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, Vaclav Havel, Mother Teresa, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and a few others. Most became Nobel Peace Prize winners and went on to challenge their world to stop taking things so easily. A Holocaust survivor, Wiesel became the clarion voice against human injustice in these last few decades. Everything he said and wrote came from the backdrop of Auschwitz – memories from which he had to endure until his final…

“Making Food Waste Illegal?”

Posted on June 4, 2015

AT YESTERDAY’S PRESS CONFERENCE FOR THE Curb Hunger Food Drive for the London Food Bank a fellow named Steven approached me and asked if I had heard of all the things Europe is doing to divert food from the trash. We talked about the situation for a few minutes and he closed by saying, “Why can’t we do something about it in Canada. I mean, we have all this food, and with hunger growing it seems a crime to just let stores and restaurants throw good food away.” It appears that a town councillor in France felt it was criminal too, and he recently succeeded in getting a national law passed that would ban supermarkets in France from tossing out or destroying unsold food. And…

“Extinction Warning: The Political Saint”

Posted on November 7, 2013

How is one to recognize good politics these days?  It is increasingly becoming a kind of spectacle and gives rise to an air of pervasive unreality that stumps politician and citizen alike – nothing seems to work anymore.  When the ultimate political standard is how well someone can sell himself instead of the manner of conduct that sees to the public business first and foremost, then we have turned democracy on its head.  Worse, we have turned the citizen into a spectator of the absurd.  Think of the parody of Rob Ford, or the tragedy working its Shakespearean way through the Senate.  We shake our heads in disbelief, but, since we, along with the media and political sophisticates, believe it to be the essence…


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