The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “leadership

It All Comes Down to Cities

Posted on December 15, 2015

FOLLOWING EXTENSIVE NEGOTIATIONS a deal emerged among 190 countries regarding climate change and the very future of the planet. Almost immediately opinions pro and con erupted in every venue imaginable. The average citizen can be forgiven for experiencing difficulty as to the truth of the summit’s success in Paris this past week. Nevertheless, there are some aspects of the climate change response that have been clearly successful, with progressive track records that still spell hope on the file. I speak especially of cities. While the accomplishments on carbon emissions of a number of nations have been mixed, cities around the world opted to act long before the Paris summit. Following the dismal failure of the 2009 Copenhagen summit, municipal leaders took the initiative when others…

A Tale of Two City Mayors

Posted on November 3, 2015

IN ALL THE RUSH AND EXCITEMENT ABOUT THE recent federal election and the ambitious agenda put forward by Prime Minister-designate Justin Trudeau, we tend to forget that there are already numerous examples of sweeping, at times breathtaking, agendas being put forward by some of this country’s mayors. Naheed Nenshi (Calgary) and Don Iveson (Edmonton), have not only had enough of being neglected by the more senior political jurisdictions, they are actually setting out strong policy options whether or not Alberta or Ottawa are ready for them. Having already insisted that they would like to open discussions with their senior partners on the prospect of becoming charter cities, they are now experimenting with the idea of their respective cities becoming testing grounds for the concept…

Election 2015: Do What You’re Afraid to Do

Posted on September 9, 2015

HIS AIDES STRONGLY ENCOURAGED HIM to beg off from the engagement. It was believed that rioting was about to break out across the country, and here in Indianapolis human anger would pour out onto the streets. It was rainy and cold, and so dark that the Life magazine photographer couldn’t shoot what came to be an epic scene. His speechwriter had cobbled together some hasty notes for his boss but they were tucked away, unused. When Robert Kennedy climbed aboard the flatbed truck that evening, he asked the mayor of the city, “Do they know?” he asked, nodding at the crowd. “To some extent,” came the reply. “We thought we’d leave that up to you.” It was then that Bobby Kennedy, candidate for the…

10 Essential Traits For The Next Prime Minister (Part Two)

Posted on August 14, 2015

WELL, THERE YOU GO. It’s probably a cautionary risk to offer advice to anyone seeking the highest elected office in the land. An old political operative contacted me by email this morning regarding yesterday’s post, 10 Essential Traits Our Next Prime Minister Will Need. “Politics is fundamentally tough, Glen,” she noted. “It’s hardball at a high level and these soft characteristics you write about surely sound great to average people, but no prime minister can afford to govern like that.” So there I was, busted – a hopeless public service romantic in a world of real-world politics. Yet I suspect there’s something in her observation that most of us would have to acknowledge. As it presently stands, federal politics is a war zone and…

10 Essential Traits Our Next Prime Minister Will Need

Posted on August 13, 2015

BEING AN EFFECTIVE LEADER IN ANY DISCIPLINE is an art, but in politics it comes close to the impossible. Citizens want many things from their politicians, but, their chief desire, by their own admission, is character, a person they can trust. But in politics, a leader learns early on that to get the most support you have to be all things to all people. To have so many sides to you in the effort to woo voters while at the same time being honest and true to yourself is a balance so exquisite and difficult that it’s rarely managed well. This is what happens when good people go into politics. Coupled with a commitment to serve their country, they have egos and desire to rise…

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