The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “sacrifice

Do Elections Work Anymore?

Posted on June 5, 2018

I admit to being purposely provocative here, but the question arises from a place of sincerity.  It’s simply this: in an age when democracies are struggling everywhere for legitimacy, do elections still make sense?  Writer David Van Raybrouck ruminated on this a number of years ago and wrestled with the answer. Doubts have been driven by radical democratic moments in Europe, Brexit, the great chaos that is the American political system today, and now the troubling turbulence of an Ontario campaign due to be settled(?) this week.  The campaigns of this modern era result in more confusion, not less, once concluded. Buyer’s remorse emerges the moment a campaign has concluded, the ballots have been counted, and organized chaos ensues. These days almost everyone talks about…

The Nobility of Sacrifice

Posted on March 30, 2018

It’s Good Friday and with its arrival comes a willingness to speak of the term “sacrifice” and its many components.  A theme that precedes Christianity and other faiths, the sense of giving up something for a greater purpose has been with us from our very beginnings as a species and is remarkably common in the animal kingdom, especially when it comes to parents sacrificing for their young. People frequently become confused when using the word.  Yes, it’s Good Friday, and, yes, it’s that time of year when we consider how Jesus gave his own life for ideals for which he lived.  Throughout the cultures of the world there are such great examples and they remind us that life is not just something to be…

Community Amnesia – Part 2

Posted on December 12, 2017

In our previous post the subject concerned what transpires in communities when news sources – traditional or online – are wiped out by corporate fiat. Journalists lose their livelihood, citizens lose their context, and communities are cut loose from their recorded history. But there’s more, and it’s devastating. It’s not just about losing the stories that others won’t cover – social club luncheons, the doings of smaller community organizations, neighbourhood developments – but the lack of momentum for causes that are as equally important to society than any other big story. Take poverty for instance. Sure there are the important stories currently gaining attention, like pilot projects for a Basic Income Guarantee, federal housing money for the next decade, a special benefit for children…

The Sacrificial Bond

Posted on April 16, 2017

An old sage once observed that, “the greatest sacrifice is when you sacrifice your own happiness for the sake of someone else.” The modern age isn’t so sure of that principle anymore. The term “sacrifice” summons up thoughts of loss, pain, foregoing of resources, even life itself. Our daily lives cater more to the concept of self-improvement and our economic choices frequently reflect that reality. We aim too low. It remains one of the great ironies of modern life that our heroes are frequently those whose lives barely resemble ours. When Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai visited Ottawa this past week, it was something like a spiritual event. We understood what she had given up in order to raise her voice for the cause…

Which Set of Virtues?

Posted on February 9, 2016

“IT IS NOT ALWAYS THE SAME THING to be a good man and a good citizen,” wrote Aristotle a long time ago about ethics and politics. Winston Churchill put a slightly different twist on it: “Good and great are seldom in the same person.” In a lot of cases we possess the capacity to be good people and effective citizens, but we often find that one gets emphasized at the expense of the other. David Brooks penned a New York Times article a while ago that spoke about the resumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. The former are the kind we put in our applications for employment and that provide for external success. The latter? Well, we already know what they are. They are…

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