The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “humanitarianism

In a Dysfunctional World, Individual Potential Matters More Than Ever

Posted on February 8, 2018

Hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of us, are feeling the tug to just give up.  We shun giving in because we instinctively understand that the direction much of the world is travelling is inequitable and unsustainable.  Yet a kind of resignation is confronting so many of us as we sense that little we do seems to change anything.  For all the mention of the importance of the individual in democracy the reality is we feel alienated by the sweeping power of globalization, the impending timetable of climate change, and the sense that democracy is in trouble around the world. And then those moments of personal meaning occur when we come to understand that our lives can alter the destiny for others, instilling within them,…

Canada’s Kind of World

Posted on August 17, 2016

PERHAPS THE GREATEST TEMPTATION IN THE WORLD of government is the politics of the urgent, and in a world of bad news the pressure to “do something” becomes endless. The recent incident in Strathroy, Ontario, of a man suspected of plotting a terrorist attack only provides further fodder for those concerned over the presently precarious state of the world. Turkey, Syria, France, mass shootings, individual acts of madness – all of these occurrences are pressing on the Canadian government at once, with pundits endlessly reminding us that something has to be done before our planet blows up. But there is another world out there – a global place of collaboration and effectiveness that continues to get glossed over in favour of front page headlines.…

Lead by Example or Force: Which is It?

Posted on November 26, 2015

IN 2003, THE U.S. ARMY SPONSORED a conference in Washington to consider the possibilities of soft power, among other things. When asked by the media what he thought of the insights into soft power that had just been presented, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld appeared a bit miffed and answered, “I don’t know what it means.” That lack of understanding and appreciation of power in its other low-key forms would ultimately contribute to the chaotic nature of the Iraq war. But, in truth, the lack of knowledge of soft power is part of our problem as well, especially as Canada continues to mull over its role as part of the 65-member coalition fighting ISIS. And when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to help…

It’s Not All About Bombs

Posted on November 24, 2015

OUR FAMILY HAS BEEN WATCHING THE REFUGEE CRISIS with interest, and with good reason. Our one daughter was a southern Sudanese refugee and her brother and sister internally displaced persons (IDPs) before coming to Canada. Our work in South Sudan entails providing essential needs for refugees flooding into the area from surrounding nations. So, yes, the fate of millions with no home (11 million from Syria alone) draws us to our screens. For Canadians, the discussion on what to do about ISIS has formed the dilemma easily into two parts: keep our military forces in attack mode or pull them out. The focus of hopes and fears has fallen on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and which option he will choose. It’s likely he will opt…

Uneasy Lies the Head that Wears the Crown

Posted on November 17, 2015

AS JUSTIN TRUDEAU MOVES THROUGH A SERIES OF SUMMITS that will surely have an effect on global direction, I thought of John Kennedy describing the turbulent first few months of his presidency: “I knew that this country faced serious challenges, but I could not realize – nor could any man realize who does not bear the burdens of this office – how heavy and constant would be those burdens”  Both men were the second youngest to be elected to the highest office of their respective countries – Kennedy was 42, Trudeau one year older. International crises defined their first year, and, like Kennedy, Trudeau has fielded no shortage of opinions concerning how he should respond to the Paris attacks. Some think he should ramp…

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