The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “truth

Elections: Social Media Gets It Right When We Use It Right

Posted on October 16, 2018

Technology and elections have gone hand in hand for a long time and it hasn’t always been a comfortable fit.  When radio and television came along, so did the opportunity to put image in front of substance.  Voting machines, while quicker, became known for glitches, recounts, and recounts and hanging chads. But nothing – nothing – has confounded politics and elections the way that social media has in the last decade.  Rather than putting more meaning and information into the process, platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Google and Twitter have front-end loaded misinformation, hackers, trolls, “fake news” and even the commercialization of privacy. Perhaps the worst of it all is that none of us feel we can do anything about it.  Facebook and Twitter especially…

The Truth is You

Posted on January 15, 2015

WHEN BILL MOYERS RESIGNED FROM political advising in 1967 in order to become the publisher of Newsday, he offered a frank admission: “When I left the White House I had to learn that what matters in journalism is not how close you are to power, but how near you are to truth.” He arrived at this conclusion after taking a 13,000-mile bus trip around the country, armed with a notepad and tape recorder, and interviewing average people across the United States. What he discovered in that odyssey convinced him that politics and citizens were careening along ever-widening paths. He learned that citizens were quickly losing trust in politics to answer their most basic problems and that politics itself, as an institution, couldn’t really have…

An Empty Spot On the Bench

Posted on January 13, 2015

WHEN EFFECTIVE ADVOCATES FOR DEMOCRACY ultimately leave the stage through retirement or death, it’s not always true that their absence is noted. Lose a Mandela, Vaclav Havel, or a Maya Angelou and almost immediately the tributes and stories flood the airwaves. Yet every year we lose many of democracy’s greatest champions without even knowing it, often not even recognizing their names. A candle goes out and we merely transfer our interests to another. The voice of Bill Moyers finally went silent on PBS news stations a few weeks ago, leaving a significant vacancy in our overall struggle for a fairer and more equitable society. Moyers was sage, highly knowledgable, and intensely courageous for those things he devoutly espoused. Some regarded him as a throwback…

The Appearance of Evil

Posted on November 27, 2013

Yesterday we spoke of the distinctions between law and policy and how citizens must develop healthy opposition to both when they are either unjust (law) or ineffective (policy). We shouldn’t just assume that law itself is only interested in rock solid evidence or historical precedent.  There are times when the legal establishment gives a judgment that provides great insight into how we should behave.  This is especially true for office holders and their responsibilities. A few years ago, Supreme Court of Canada justices made some revealing comments concerning how politicians are supposed to behave.  It was about a case in Newfoundland, where a politician put his wife on the payroll and then sought to continue on as though all was normal.  Something like this…

“False Options” – Community Engagement Podcast (26)

Posted on August 9, 2013

Great citizens don’t latch out and grab onto rigid ideologies that bring on political warfare.  Great politicians don’t either.  No one party has all the truth.  Neither does any citizen, or group of citizens.  Yet as we become more impatient with the political structures of our land, we can often reflect the rigidity of hyper-partisan politics.  We must grow as citizens, and to do so will require humility and the admission that we have much to learn if we are to be effective.  Political professionals seek to introduce ideological certainty into politics.  Such things are false options and we require the on-the-ground sense of living and knowledge each citizen requires each day to live productive lives. Just click the audio button below to listen…