The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “progress

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,…

Progress Despite All That Negativity

Posted on April 14, 2018

This week I posted a quiz compiled by Hans Rosling regarding our knowledge of the broader world, specifically the strides made in global health and poverty.  You can find that post here.  I heard from a number of folks taking the quiz that they failed – miserably.  We laughed when I told them I only got half of the questions right.  Inwardly I chastised myself for my own lack of knowledge. Rosling, in his book Factfulness,takes that quiz a little further and talks about the results.  The findings are fascinating and troubling – especially in a series of questions that are neither trick queries or realities that can’t be found thousands of times on the internet.  In some research of 12000 respondents, here’s what…

Our Frail Craft

Posted on March 8, 2018

Former UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon once voiced a perceptive observation concerning humanity’s potential and its limitations:   “We are the first generation to be able to end poverty, and the last generation that can take steps to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.” He went on to talk of how future generations will judge us on the strength or weakness of our moral vigor to manage change. And that’s just how it’s playing itself out.  We’ve learned in a previous blog about how the world is making important strides in fighting destitute poverty in the developing world.  Much of this is due to governments rising to the challenge of the UN’s Millennial and Sustainable Development Goals and also for the abilities of…

The Authoritarians

Posted on March 17, 2017

Perhaps more interesting than the subject of exactly where Donald Trump came from to seize the ultimate prize of the American political system is to wonder where were all the people who came out of obscurity to vote for him. The same way that nobody really gave Trump a chance early in U.S. election cycle, the same forces failed almost completely to spot the millions who would emerge to eventually put him into the Oval Office. It’s called populism, and in its own way it’s kind of crazy. A few years ago, the term “populism” was rarely heard, let alone capable of overthrowing entire governments. But now that it’s here, everyone is jumping on board and talking about how it could realign politics and…

Down to You and Me

Posted on January 11, 2017

There is only one way that civil society makes sense, and that’s if we disagree – a lot. Sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but consider the average coffee shop banter in any local hangout.   You hear friends disagreeing all the time, most often with good-natured humour, but crossing verbal swords nonetheless. If civil society is to work, it must include everyone who wants to take part, and since we are all unique in our opinions and outlook on the world around us, it’s inevitable that there will be just as many points of view as there are people. A troubling trend in recent years has been the propensity for citizens to expend great energy with those who mostly agree with them, primarily online. It’s natural…

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