The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “political change

Filling the Vacuum with Distinction

Posted on September 2, 2014

FIRST, SOME CONTEXT BEFORE THIS BLOG LAUNCHES into a series on some of the innovative mayors of the world. The series itself is based on the simple premise that mayors matter more to the state of the world and democracy itself than at any other time in the past 400 years. We can be forgiven for feeling that politics isn’t up to the task of effectively managing the world anymore. The evidence is all around us: the complete inability to coordinate an effective response to climate change, the bewildered gaze of the world powers as they confront the ISIS crisis in Syria and Iraq, the mixed messages from prime ministers and presidents on the state of the world economy and the growing gap between rich…

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…

Will Canadian Politics Have A Breakthrough?

Posted on April 23, 2013

Does politics really matter anymore?  The greatest challenges facing our generation are getting short shrift from the major parties as they continue to tinker around the edges and continually seek out that “sweet spot” that will hopefully launch them into power.  The rise of Justin Trudeau to the Liberal leadership has caused a stir, in part because he is viewed as a new leader for a new era.  Trouble is, we still have old problems, and should the new Liberal leader propose incremental policies on files such as climate change or poverty, then he will have wasted his opportunity to take our country in a new direction.  People always say we require bold policies if we are to embrace change, but we yet await…

Citizen Gifts – Daring

Posted on December 12, 2012

With democracy in varying degrees of turbulence globally, and with the opportunity for citizens to make their mark, the next few blogs will be about gifts citizens might consider giving themselves – just in time for Christmas. Throughout 2008, Iceland suffered some of the worst effects of the global economic meltdown. Its private banks went into default, entered bankruptcy, leading to the largest collapse of a nation’s economy, relative to its size, in the history of the world. The coalition government at the time opted to bail out the banks by requiring each citizen of Iceland to pay 100 Euros a month for 15 years. Icelandic citizens, showing a remarkable ability to come together, forced the government to hold a national referendum on the…

Critical Mass

Posted on June 9, 2011

Thomas Friedman of the New York Times didn’t win the Pulitzer Prize three times for being cute. His insights on issues such as world trade, the environment, Middle East developments, and foreign affairs have made him a force with which to be reckoned. Yesterday, in an article titled “The World is Full,” Friedman lists some of the main challenges facing this generation and concludes: “What were we thinking? How did we not panic when the evidence was so obvious that we’d crossed some growth/climate/natural resource/population redlines all at once?” Friedman has been masterful over the years in laying out the pitfalls of the corporate mindset. I don’t mean “corporate” as in business, but the way in which people who have gathered themselves into bunches end…