The Parallel Parliament

by Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “partisanship

Election 2015: The Politics of Everywhere

Posted on September 1, 2015

THE MORE ONE EXAMINES IT, the easier it is to conclude that politics of the heavily partisan nature is quickly losing its appeal to the average citizen living in a community and just desiring a good place to live and opportunities for their children. Previously we let political parties formulate their policies on various parts of the political spectrum and then citizens could select their priorities and vote from there. In many ways it all functioned well: communities were offered choices, parties drew on supporters, and politics involved rigorous debate that clarified the issues. What we have been witnessing in the past two decades is the breaking down of that model for two key reasons. The first arises when people don’t really know what…

Election 2015: Have We Passed Our Peak?”

Posted on August 26, 2015

THE SUBJECT ABOUT WHETHER AMERICA has peaked as a nation consumes much of the airtime south of the border in the run-up to their election. Repeatedly in Canada’s long election campaign the subject is being heard from various voices as well. We’ve already referred to former Conservative Prime Minister Joe Clark’s current book outlining how we’ve lost our national and global prestige, but there is a chorus of others from across the political spectrum pointing out our tragic slippage, including a book released just yesterday by former Ontario premier and MP Bob Rae, titled What Happened to Politics? One would expect former Ontario NDP leader Stephen Lewis to be concerned about our national direction over the past two decades, but lately it’s become clear…

Millennials Put the Positive Back Into Politics

Posted on April 25, 2015

My article in today’s London Free Press, for April 25, 2015.  You can link to the original article HERE. “I’M NOT A PARTISAN LIKE MY FOLKS WERE,” she said in reflection. “I just want politics to work and I don’t see why it can’t. Most of us want the same basic things, right?” Interestingly, the older generation isn’t all that partisan either, and, as we saw in the last column, they are checking out of the “gotcha” form of politics as fast as anyone else. Yet the emphasis on making things “work” is perhaps the key desire of my 41-year old friend’s generation in their view of politics. Part of a cohort called the “MIllennials” and born in the span between the early-1980s to the…

Mud vs. Common Ground

Posted on April 13, 2015

Below is my London Free Press piece from April 11, 2015 on the real costs of bad politics. CALL IT THE “MEAN SEASON,” AND IT’S ABOUT to descend upon us in the run-up to the next federal election, scheduled for Oct. 19. While Easter might have instilled hope for a better humanity, the months leading up to the next federal contest for political dominance will inevitably resurrect negative campaigning in ways that continue to turn an increasing number of Canadians away from politics. Hyper-partisanship reaches its apex at the national level and its potential for destructiveness is worrying to a growing number of political observers. Respected pollster and political writer Bruce Anderson has been troubled enough by what he is witnessing at the federal level…

Time For a Millennial Moment

Posted on December 4, 2014

IT’S NOT DIFFICULT TO OBSERVE THAT POLITICS, as an occupation, has entered a dark era – been in it for some time, in fact. We continue to ask ourselves how it is that good people running for office can get so disconnected from those they are supposed to represent. The chief reason is that the political system itself, predicated on a debilitating kind of partisanship, where politicians live in a bubble-like culture. Unless that system itself can be transformed, politicians themselves are doomed to ineffectiveness. A lengthy tenure in politics definitely brings experience and know-how, the ability to communicate and glad-hand, to read a room and give the impression that people matter. But if the latter point was true the system itself would change. Experience…

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