The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “society

“And” or “But”

Posted on May 4, 2018

“If someone isn’t what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.” So wrote Paulo Coelho in his book The Alchemist.  And he’s right – perhaps in this age more than any other, when anger can flash everywhere, even across borders, at the speed of light.  It’s seems like the more we judge others the less we understand life, or history, or most dangerous of all, ourselves. Somehow, we become smaller, the better angels of our nature receding into the dark distance. Yesterday’s post about Senator John McCain was prompted by just such a circumstance.  The person I spoke to felt confident…

Trust vs Trustworthy

Posted on November 15, 2017

She possesses a unique file that includes the disciplines of philosopher, politician, policy maker, author and public figure willing to challenge the preconceptions of the day. A powerful woman thinker in her native Britain, Baronness Onora O’Neill was recently awarded a $1 million prize for lifetime achievement in the fields of philosophy and public service. Intriguingly, O’Neill refuses to jump on whatever is fashionable at the moment, opting to discover those deeper traits that she believes are the only things that can save humanity from its ongoing fascination with itself. No doubt it emanates from the woman’s remarkable diverse background – former principal of Newnham College, Cambridge, and was chairperson of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and prolific author on matters of justice,…

Digital Citizenship

Posted on July 22, 2017

Now that he’s out of public office, former President Barack Obama has been going more public with some of the causes that carry special meaning for him, as has his wife Michelle. To be clear, he’s not calling for an increase in the quantity of people to expand but the quality of how they utilize their online resources to better their communities, their countries, their world. Recently the Obama Foundation issued a challenge to better examine digital citizenship – its potential and pitfalls. The positives everyone is aware of: broader engagement, developments in real time, massive education opportunities, and the ability for everyone to have a voice. But the former president is worried that a whole negative side is emerging from these advantages. As…

The Governing Cancer of Our Time

Posted on March 28, 2017

In what could only be seen as a stunning defeat, the author of the Art of the Deal found himself unable to close. Instead of “draining the swamp,” as he had promised, Donald Trump found himself drowning in it. Regardless of which side one stands on the recent showdown in Congress, the event signaled again that hyper-partisanship remains “the governing cancer of our time,” as David Brooks and Bill Clinton each put it. Each side blames the other, year after year, and now decade after decade, but the result always leaves good policy initiatives lying in burning ashes. In his attempt to browbeat a recalcitrant political establishment and special interest groups, President Trump invariably became part of it all, forcing the division even further.…

Is Our News Ripping Us Apart?

Posted on March 1, 2017

My wife and I spent some time in Ottawa last week testifying before the Human Rights Committee concerning the deteriorating situation in South Sudan. I noted a number of changes in Parliament since my sojourn there as a Member of Parliament ended six years ago, chief of which was the collective sense of tentativeness among the elected officials. That’s because the world has suddenly become far more complex, and at times threatening. Politicians are getting their information from all sides, both pro and con, and in doses that would challenge anyone. That’s mostly opposite to the challenges citizens are facing regarding how they get their information. According to a recent Abacus Data survey, Canadians are becoming increasingly addicted to social media as their preferred…

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