The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “participation

2018’s Greatest Danger to Democracy

Posted on January 4, 2018

Ugh. We get into the same bind every year. New Years is a time of resolutions and some of them inevitably deal with our hopes for a better society, cleaner environment, a functional equality between the genders, and our desire for meaningful work, to name just a few. And then we look back a few months later and realize we didn’t make it. Somehow the rigors of life got between us and our aspirations. If we’re not careful, 2018 could end up looking a lot like last year. For democracy to truly work, it will take more than just wishing it to be so – we must become essential parts to its overall performance. But that’s just the problem: society seems to go on…

Election 2015: Please, Don’t Think

Posted on October 6, 2015

ACROSS THE COUNTRY, CONSERVATIVE CANDIDATES have become, once again, conspicuous in their absence at election debates. If any one word was used to describe democracy it is supposed to be “participation,” but this trend of avoiding the voters while at the same time asking to be their representative is a bit confounding. It would be similar to a teacher failing to show up for a parent interview, or a doctor avoiding a consultation. The government has already provided the script to all its candidates in case their absence is missing: “I am out canvassing and meeting constituents in their homes.” But there is no evidence whatsoever to prove that these absentees have visited any more homes than those of other parties who consistently show…

Needing More Than Good Wages

Posted on June 25, 2015

FOR TWO DECADES THE SUBJECT OF JOBS, or the lack of them, has come to dominate more and more of the public and political space. The conversation runs the range from no jobs, minimum wage jobs, to intriguing new discussions on living wage opportunities. The gold standard that everyone would prefer is employment with good wages – a depleting reality at present. There has been some movement on the issue, perhaps the most notable being Walmart’s raising wages for some of its lowest-paid employees in the U.S. It has been surmised that the retail giant made the move following the release of the book, The Good Jobs, by MIT professor Zeynep Ton 18 months ago. But rather than being encouraged by such initiatives taken…

“We’re Back”

Posted on November 4, 2014

ONE OF THE CRUCIAL BATTLES OF OUR DAY is being fought in the political arena, but its essence is far deeper than politics. It’s more about whether constructive or destructive tendencies will define our communities than whatever person it is that we choose to lead us. Take London, Ontario’s recent election results as an indication. The winds of change blew so completely through the community that hardly any incumbent was left standing. Citizens came out of the experience sensing it was a new day and that new players would take them in a more positive direction. In a very real sense they were correct and, following months of hard work fighting for change, deserved the opportunity to bask in it. One nagging problem remained, however:…

Skeleton Democracy

Posted on June 10, 2014

  THERE HAS BEEN A BREACH BETWEEN THE PRESENT AND THE FUTURE  within our democracy. In the Ontario provincial election coming up later this week, some pundits are suggesting fewer citizens will vote than ever. In an innovative twist, many are suggesting simply showing up and declining the ballot as a way of showing interest in the election but revealing their disillusionment with the choices. It will no doubt have some effect, but leaves the issue of power itself unaddressed. Kind of like approaching the altar but refusing to say “I do,” or coming to a baseball game and opting not to play. The point will be made, but the great power the citizen possesses – the vote – won’t be utilized. It all…

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