The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “democracy

Sometimes Our Democracy Isn’t Enough

Posted on February 22, 2019

Our system of government, loosely known as democracy, is a complicated machine of many moving parts, guided by bureaucrats and elected representatives tasked with the role of making sure it all works.  Should it fail to function effectively, the system is designed to self-correct through periodic elections designed to give citizens ongoing opportunities to render their verdict on whether their aspirations are being matched with suitable policies. That’s how it’s supposed to run anyway and in the last two centuries generally our political systems in the West have proved adaptable and responsive.  In recent years, however, there is a growing sense that political power is no longer leveraged or guided by the people.  Sometimes it’s because our expectations are too high.  We have been spoiled as decades of…

Are There Lessons For Us In Brexit?

Posted on February 5, 2019

Actually, there are dozens of things we can learn from Brexit chaos that has torn at the very fabric of Britain and the European Union.  British polls continue to verify that most respondents can hardly even recall what the referendum was about and most express confusion over whether there can be any hope for a successful outcome.  These lessons for politics, citizenship, populism and the media are vast and have some things to tell any lover of democracy. Much of the confusion likely comes down to political parties playing with the fear of the future that so empowered the populist movement in Europe in recent years.  British newspapers are discovering that, while many still hold to their positions to leave or stay, the vast majority can no…

Challenging Capitalism From Within

Posted on January 31, 2019

The field of Democratic candidates for 2020’s American election is mushrooming and it’s destined to expand further.  The infusion of left-wing socialism within the party has filled it with new life and not a little frustration.  Already divisions are making themselves apparent – an emerging reality that could either help or hinder the party as it seeks the steer the country away from right-leaning trends.  As Republicans have signed over their credibility to one leader who most don’t even trust, Democrats are struggling to get their legitimacy back without a real leader at the moment, other than Nancy Pelosi’s role in Congress. I confess to having been intrigued by Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren’s influence on American politics for years, largely motivated, and frequently inspired, by her two…

More Vulnerable Than We Think

Posted on January 18, 2019

Their stories weren’t of the tragic kind, but in listening to some of the 800,000 American government workers who have been living without a wage during the country’s longest government shutdown, one couldn’t help but feel for them.  They had done nothing to deserve such treatment, yet they are losing mortgages, selling their cars, prematurely dipping into their retirement savings, and, in some painful images, taking their kids out of college.  If there is a trait of tragedy about the entire thing, it is to be found in the partisan mess that is American politics at the moment and how political leaders have become so calloused to the plight of millions – even if those workers are the ones actually keeping the government going instead of…

Why Do Rich Nations Have So Much Poverty?

Posted on January 16, 2019

This is a vital question.  Given capitalism’s track record of generating more wealth in the last century than all the rest of history put together, why, then, do the richest nations continue to have poor people, poor families, and an overall growth in poverty rates? The answers to such queries are necessarily complex.  The rise of precarious employment that offers little in the way of benefits of financial security is an important development, as is the loss of bargaining power of workers in general.  With the “going global” movement among corporations in recent decades, big business has lost its connection with local communities and concentrates more on wealth creation in markets than on healthy economies and satisfied workers.  The lack of affordable housing and alarming rise in…