The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “partisanship

Brain Breaking

Posted on November 6, 2014

THERE WERE LOTS OF THINGS TO BE WORRIED ABOUT regarding this week’s mid-term election south of the border. In many ways it didn’t matter which party won what because we have seen this film before and the ultimate losers are citizens themselves. The partisan squabbles will only be magnified and the run-up to the next presidential election will be painful to watch. Perhaps the most sinister portent of all wasn’t about who prevailed but who didn’t show up. Only 38% of voters filled out their ballots, reminding us yet again that politics continues on at the same time as democracy is in danger of dying. But it’s not merely about the political class and how they just seem bent towards destroying one another; it…

The New Breed

Posted on June 25, 2014

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 political…

Smart Sovereignty

Posted on June 5, 2014

  THOMAS JEFFERSON AND HIS PEERS STOOD ON THE VERGE of an entirely new historical era, but the ultimate question remained: were citizens up to the challenge of enhancing the democratic ideal and of intelligently voting for representatives who best housed their values? Over 200 years later, we look back on those turbulent times and wonder what the big deal was. But that’s only because we have the benefit of hindsight. All that the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution saw when they looked back was a combination of wealth owners and a political elite that basically decided for everyone else how society would function. To decide upon a marked departure and simply “trust the people” approach was a gamble of truly historic proportions and…

The Partisan Mind (2)

Posted on October 9, 2013

It seemed like a sincere enough request.  I was being asked by an MP from another party if I’d like to have a drink with other MPs just to be social.  “Sure,” I responded, and that evening, following a late vote in the House, we retired to a favourite watering hole in Ottawa.  Nine of us had gathered, from every party but one.  I listened in fascination as we all complained about how impossible it was to accomplish any cross-party cooperation because our party positions were so rigid.  Government and opposition MPs that evening bemoaned the decline of democracy but we were all stymied as to what to do about it.  When it was suggested that we take a public stand in the House…

The Partisan Mind (1)

Posted on October 8, 2013

The dictionary defines the word partisan as an “adherent or supporter of a person, group, party or cause.  A person who shows a biased, emotional allegiance.”  It also carries a military connotation, meaning someone “engaged in harassing the enemy.”  We get our English word from the Latin pars, which means “particular” and which evolved into the word “partiality.” The term has always possessed a kind of edge, yet previous times viewed a partisan as a loyalist who held to certain views.  Today it accumulates increasingly negative baggage and such a person is frequently viewed as incapable of understanding and blind to further truth.  That’s a shame.  Sincere partisans are everywhere in politics, believing in their cause, and furthering their point of view.  All of…

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