The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “Politics

The Time For Tinkering Is Over

Posted on May 25, 2018

Writing posts like this is never easy.  Partisans of one stripe or the other relentlessly claim that their party’s policies will do the trick, introduce a new era of prosperity, or restore voter confidence in politics and democracy.  We’ve heard all this before, numerous times, and in diverse fashions, but the net result always seems the same – loss of voter confidence that leaves many wondering if anybody can really turn things around. Yesterday I did an interview with our local paper on a Toronto Star story that concerned how government interventions at various levels have helped the city’s food bank – the country’s largest – see their numbers decline somewhat.  It true – all of it.  Remedial efforts through things like tax credits,…

A Deeper Code

Posted on May 3, 2018

Senator John McCain’s name came up in a discussion yesterday following mention of what could be one of his final communications before his brain tumour takes its final toll.  The young man’s view was that this is just another self-serving politician who’s lived off the political system for years and it’s time to replace him anyway. When I mentioned McCain’s being a POW in Vietnam, the response was, “Yeah, but think how terrible he was supporting Bush and some of the stupid votes he made.” And so it goes.  We are rapidly losing the ability to place people in some kind of context that truly represents their life and not just the part we disagree with.  That will be the subject of tomorrow’s post, but…

Truthiness and Consequences

Posted on May 1, 2018

It was back in 2005 when Stephen Colbert first used the word “truthiness” on the Jon Stewart show.  The audience bellowed their laughter and overnight the term took its place in our modern vocabulary.  Colbert said he used it to describe the kind of politics that rejects reason and research in favour of “gut feelings” that someone feels regardless of the lack of facts.  Now, some 13 years later, the term is etched in our thinking. One of the clearest examples of how “truthiness” played out in real life occurred in the Republican Party’s 2012 primary race – a contest eventually won by Mitt Romney.  In one debate, Romney’s key challenger, Rick Santorum, provided a strange example of what happens when governments get too…

Hope Will Return

Posted on March 4, 2018

Spring is coming, and with it the annual sense of renewal – for us and the world.  The problem is that we all too frequently look at what’s going on around us and don’t like much of what we see – poverty, selfishness, rampant consumerism, a distant government, even a frustrating dysfunction in our own communities. In his book The Art of the Impossible, Vaclav Havel makes some telling observations on where the true fault lies for much of our collective malaise.  In a word, it is us.  We all too frequently accept the troubled world as it is, waiting for others to solve our problems, instead of understanding that we are the present world’s caretakers and bear much responsibility for the current troubles.…

Cities – Our Future Battleground

Posted on March 1, 2018

Whatever the future holds, the fate of humanity will be played out in our cities. Seem far-fetched?  It shouldn’t.  This much we know.  In the next 100 years, the greatest migration to cities around the world will occur, with some 7-8 billion people becoming urbanites – more than exist on earth right now.  Nothing in history matches this.  Most of this vast movement will take place in developing nations, but the cities of the West won’t be able to escape the remarkable challenges and opportunities that come from this phenomenon. When you think about the greatest challenges facing us at present, they have been emerging mostly in our urban centers for a half a century or more.  Climate change, poverty, wealth creation, jobs, unemployment,…

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