The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “opinions

Shaken, But Not Stirred

Posted on July 14, 2016

I SPENT THIS LAST WEEK IN SCOTLAND, and it was clear from the places I visited that people feel swept up in an array of key events that left them at a loss at their own individual place in it all. The Chilcot Report was released on my first day there and everywhere people were glued to their screens, mostly angered that they had been duped into supporting a war that Sir John Chilcot himself concluded was driven more by ideology than information. People were discussing the implications of Brexit wherever I journeyed, including a fish and chips spot where two people in the booth next to us bemoaned the reality that they had no idea what would happen next. This is the world…

Expressions of Interest – Citizen Engagement Podcast (34)

Posted on August 21, 2013

True dialogue can begin with positions, but it should end in understanding.  “Before the tongue can speak, it must lose the power to wound,” said an old philosopher, and we need that insight now more than ever.  Free riders come to community engagement exercises with only one purpose: to impose their views on others.  They can’t compromise, no matter how well versed they are on the issues – and so the community suffers for their lack of belief in that community.  Starting with two monologues is okay, but they must end in dialogue if progress is to be made. 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.

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…