The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “liberalism

Liberalism – After You’ve Got It

Posted on September 3, 2010

The Lebanese-American writer Kahlil Gibran once made the prescient observation: “Desire is half of life; indifference is half of death.” One gets the sense that today’s liberalism is facing both challenges in the same moment.  Having triumphed at so many levels (and failing at some), liberalism has either rested on its laurels or forgotten its birthright as it rushed along the same road of materialism and affluence as everyone else.  And yet there remains within many the desire to find a new, more dynamic future for this country.  The future of liberalism will ultimately depend on whether desire or apathy wins. One thing is certain: neither of these can depend on sentimentalism.  Those that are liberally minded today, coming from all stripes across the…

Liberalism – Sidebar #5

Posted on September 2, 2010

Our summer of studies on liberalism has drawn to a close.  Comments have come fast and furious – the constructive have been passed on to others seeking change, the inane have been happily “spammed,” and those of vitriolic hatred have been passed on to the appropriate authorities. I want to personally thank those who took the time to give thoughtful and thought-provoking replies to the posts.  Such comments affirmed for me the belief that progressives exist in all parties and are frustrated by hyper-partisanship of our present politics.  At least in their sentiments expressed in response to this blog they have proven that well-meaning Canadians need not be ideologically biased or think themselves so intelligent that other views don’t matter. Just yesterday, I received…

Liberalism – The New Leadership

Posted on September 2, 2010

We have discussed the broad challenges facing liberalism in the coming decades.  The rise of the “comfortable” bent on protecting their lifestyle will pose difficulties.  As the most recent Department of Foreign Affairs report stated, the closing of so many embassies and High Commissions overseas in just the last few years has lowered Canada’s standing internationally.  Poverty of various kinds, and women’s equality remain a pipe dream.  The lack of a community voice at upper levels of government will continue to result in solutions that aren’t practical.  As long as modern media, in its various forms, concentrates on the battle between political opponents and fails to aid citizens in their dialogue with one another, it will offer little assistance.  Others have been mentioned, like…

Liberalism – The National Conversation

Posted on September 1, 2010

According to a number of national columnists, Michael Ignatieff has been energized after his 40,000-kilometer bus tour and some 150-200 events across the country.  There’s more than just politics in it.  As Franklin Roosevelt himself discovered after a similar journey while in opposition, it speaks to the very essence of democracy itself.  He was not only energized, but gained a whole new “ground level” understanding of the country by the time he became president. It’s time we talked to one another about the country we want, just as Ignatieff is doing.  For that to occur, however, there must be humility, concern and respect.  Respect is necessary in order to provide room for other views and opinions.  Concern over our national slide downwards must be…

Liberalism – The National Pathology

Posted on August 31, 2010

There are a few things about wealth in this country that we should get our collective head around. The first is that we are more vulnerable to it. From the beginning of time people craved riches but understood that it was never likely to be theirs.   Liberal economics turned all that on its head, and in Canada most people have achieved a standard of living thought impossible only a few decades previous.  The average kitchen that cost $9,000 in 1958 now costs almost $60,000.  In the U.S., the number of vehicles owned between 1969 and the late ‘90s grew by a phenomenal 144%.  More staggering yet is that this figure represents twice the growth of the number of drivers.  In 2003, the U.S. Department…

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