The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “dialogue

“From Interests to Interest” – Community Engagement Podcast (35)

Posted on August 22, 2013

To create meaningful dialogue, good citizens display empathy more than emphasis.  To understand and respect where the other person is coming from is one of the hallmarks of civil society – a trait made all to rare these days by a partisanship that’s gone mad.  We all have our points of view – interests – and we all need to present them.  But above all there is the need to get to the overriding interest of why were attend such gatherings in the first place.  Sometimes the best people in such situations are those with respectful characters, instead of those with smart minds that are nevertheless petty. Just click on the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

A Life More Important Than Words – Citizen Engagement Podcast (33)

Posted on August 20, 2013

The genius of democracy is not how right, or even how smart we are.  It is how open we are to find compromise that will permit us to move ahead as a citizenry.  Our present democratic state is mired in rigidity, in policies that won’t budge, and in characters than think having a strong opinion is the same as possessing strong truth.  No leader can deliver us from this and no government can legislate an open mind.  There’s work to do and humility is the one great essential if we are to succeed. Just click the audio button below to listen to the five-minute podcast.

Humanizing Our Words

Posted on June 22, 2012

A few days ago I was having coffee at one of my favourite places when in walked a Conservative MP from an era prior to the Harper times. He immediately sat down and began talking about how he was glad to be out of politics in Ottawa, given all that has transpired in the last few years. He then went on about being retired and brought up some of the challenges he is witnessing in our community. “When I was in the House, Glen, long before your time there, we’d have good friends in other parties and we’d head out for drinks or dinner, and always the subject came around to the legislation we were debating or voting on. And you know, we found…

New Cards

Posted on June 21, 2012

William Greider, an astute chronicler of the American political system, has come to believe that without citizen interaction the United States itself will grow increasingly dysfunctional – as if it isn’t enough already. He admits to certain doubts as to whether citizens are actually equipped and up for the challenge but also comprehends that the politics of the professionals has placed the country in a box from which it cannot escape. And so he looks to average people to rescue politics from itself. He didn’t start with this position, but following years of disenchantment observing the political order, it is where he has ended up in the later years of his life. And so he would seek to draw us to a simple conclusion:…

From Interests to Interest

Posted on June 20, 2012

It all was rather bizarre. Attending the peace talks between north and south Sudan in a nice hotel outside of Nairobi promised to be a challenge. It had been Africa’s longest running civil war, with millions killed and even more displaced. But the point was that people were tired of it – all the killing, the lost generation, the poverty, the hopelessness. Wisely, the Kenyan mediator had opted for three rounds of meetings spread out over a couple of years. The first round was just as I described in yesterday’s post: anger, fierce positioning, recriminations, blame, and inflexibility. Yet behind it all was a growing understanding that the nation itself couldn’t survive in its present state. Nevertheless, there had to be venting and ideological…

%d bloggers like this: