The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “voting

Our City

Posted on October 27, 2014

TODAY WE HEAD TO THE POLLS IN OUR CITY to select a new mayor, councillors, and school board trustees. Some will have no idea who to vote for until the last minute; others have been ready for months. Politics can bring out the best and worst, sometimes both, in our city, and elections can draw a community together for another four years or rip it apart for a painful period of time. But in the end, regardless of the quality of the candidates or the strengths and weaknesses of their platforms, the person who holds the ultimate power today is the voter – all of us. For the briefest moment in time we will be secluded, pencil in hand, and in that isolation will lie…

Mayors: From Ceremony to Change

Posted on October 14, 2014

IF THIS WERE 1918, 1935, OR EVEN 1960, the fact that we would be having a discussion about the importance of mayors would seem somewhat irrelevant. Even big city mayors in places like New York, Chicago, Toronto, or Montreal, though they acted tough, were easily overpowered by higher levels of government. Those were the days when societal problems were huge – massive immigration, poverty, corruption, gangs, over crowding – and it was perceived that the big challenges required big governments. That wasn’t an incorrect assessment, as sweeping changes and resources were introduced from senior levels of government that gave the sense that society could overcome anything. There were railroads, an expanding network of airports, revamped harbours, social programs, corporate legislation, and even putting people…

Showing Up

Posted on October 7, 2014

Last Saturday night I gave a speech, in which I endorsed Matt Brown’s candidacy for mayor of London, Ontario.  Later, a number of people asked if they could acquire a copy.  I had spoken spontaneously and had no written record, so I informed them that I would write down what I could recall of the speech and put it in my blog.  Below is the text of that speech.  Following all the research undertaken in recent weeks on the need for mayors with a new outlook on citizenship, I am only too happy to vote for Matt and the respect for the average citizen which I believe he will bring to politics.   I’m at this rally tonight for Matt Brown because I’m tired.…

Smart Sovereignty

Posted on June 5, 2014

  THOMAS JEFFERSON AND HIS PEERS STOOD ON THE VERGE of an entirely new historical era, but the ultimate question remained: were citizens up to the challenge of enhancing the democratic ideal and of intelligently voting for representatives who best housed their values? Over 200 years later, we look back on those turbulent times and wonder what the big deal was. But that’s only because we have the benefit of hindsight. All that the Founding Fathers of the American Revolution saw when they looked back was a combination of wealth owners and a political elite that basically decided for everyone else how society would function. To decide upon a marked departure and simply “trust the people” approach was a gamble of truly historic proportions and…

Slap-In-The-Face Democracy

Posted on February 11, 2014

  LAST WEEK I WROTE a Huffington Post piece on the new electoral reform legislation rammed through the House of Commons in Ottawa and how it undercut the very kind of democratic reform people say they seek.  Many of those responding stated that this is the kind of political manipulation that turns them off of politics altogether and then closed by saying they wouldn’t be voting in the next election – something which, ironically, Canada’s Chief Electoral Officer, Marc Mayrand, noted when he publicly stated that such legislation could result in “persistent and declining voter turnout.” Countering Mayrand’s warning, Minister Pierre Poilievre said he believed that it was political candidates that would drive up voter turnout, not some government department.  The problem with that,…

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