The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “democracy

No Labels

Posted on November 9, 2017

It was bound to occur at some point, but the emergence of the group called No Label became inevitable even years ago as the hper-partisanship of Washington D.C. began to systematically tear down many of the accomplishments and hopes established in America following World War Two. No Label is a group of Republican, Democrat and Independent lawmakers and supporters committed to the simple premise that it’s time for politics to get off its devolving cycle and start functioning effectively again. As the group put it in one of their press released: “We understand that there are real philosophical differences between Democrats and Republicans, and we don’t expect anyone to check their principles at the door. But we do expect our elected officials to replace…

The Lost Art of Disagreement

Posted on October 9, 2017

What makes for a thankful city, a grateful community? Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to ask that question. Our divisions can overtake what are some of the great qualities of this city. Divisive opinions abound, while common purpose becomes rare. It’s tough to adopt a collective thankful culture while all this is going on.  We’re not alone though; the entire world seems in an increasingly grumpy state. A recent lecture by U.S. journalist and political commentator Bret Stephens in Sydney, Australia, created quite a buzz online and sheds some light on why a sense of collective gratitude seems harder to come by. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Stephens bemoaned what he termed “the dying art of disagreement.” While finding agreement is necessary for communities…

Humility or Hubris? It’s a Choice

Posted on September 26, 2017

Talking with some folks in the audience during Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s speech to the UN General Assembly last week evoked some interesting observations. Ironically, the most common response was the least charged: “It was different.” Indeed it was. Trudeau’s clearly pointing out some of this country’s failures was surely unlike anything Canadians had heard in years, if ever. It has left many wondering as to the purpose of the PM’s approach. We’ll never fully know, but some advantages come to mind. Some maintain that’s it likely to help Canada’s next bid for a seat at the UN Security Council, scheduled for 2021. Given our failed bid for that same seat in 2010 following something of a bungled campaign, there are some lingering perceptions…

Behind Lincoln’s Back

Posted on September 8, 2017

It has become known as one of the greatest protest movements of the modern era, and one of its most poignant and powerful moments was the great March on Washington by those fighting for civil rights. Led by Martin Luther King Jr., some 250,000 people (70% of whom were black) gathered at the Lincoln Memorial to hear King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. It became an iconic moment for how to mobilize and empower a nonviolent rally. It could have turned out another way, however. John Lewis, now an American black congressman but on that day in 1963 was only 23 years old, tells of a key moment that ultimately turned the rally into a success. Lewis was an angry and young black activist…

What’s to Become of Labour Day?

Posted on September 5, 2017

Social agencies throughout the country are encountering people who are recently without work or holding down one or two minimum wage jobs as they seek to make ends meet for their families. It’s an endlessly disillusioning process – one showing no sign of abating. Yet, with yesterday being Labour Day, the subject received little mention. Governments can be forgiven for having grown distracted by terrorism, climate change, the struggles of modern democracy and, yes, Donald Trump. But this is the new world, the new economy, the new reality of employment. Millions are facing it and, despite training and education, they are witnessing that link between work and wealth disappear in real-time and with real fallout. We see what happens when democracy stumbles along through…

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