The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “wealth

Broken Trust. Broken Future.

Posted on July 21, 2015

THE CITY OF LONDON, ONTARIO, and its inside unionized workers announced over the weekend that they had reached a tentative agreement, subject to the full approval of both groups. Predictably, opinion was deeply split on both sides throughout the community. The loss of trust across many fronts has made this recent labour conflict perhaps a harbinger of difficult days ahead, as more contracts come up for renewal and disillusionment festers. It’s become a kind of open season on public employees across North America. The rationale, most often produced through extreme ideological politics, is that it’s difficult to justify public sector salaries when money is scarce and job security fragile. Behind it all is the belief that only the private sector can create jobs and that…

The Long Road From Charity to Justice

Posted on July 7, 2015

MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. HAD EXACTLY one year left before an assassin’s bullet struck him down and traumatized a nation. He had spent recent months attempting to break through the “indifference barrier” by drawing a direct link between racism to poverty. It wasn’t enough, he would maintain, to seek equal rights for black Americans if they remained mired in poverty. And so on this particular night, April 4, 1967, at New York City’s Riverside Church, he laid it out as he had seen and experienced it: “A true revolution of values will soon cause us to question the fairness and justice of many of our past and present policies. On the one hand we are called to play the Good Samaritan on life’s roadside,…

When Government Disappears

Posted on May 19, 2015

THE SIGNS OF IT ARE EVERYWHERE – university tuitions almost out of reach; poverty both systemic and entrenched; the decline in research almost across the board; significant cuts to foreign aid and diplomatic initiatives; and an increasing sense that Ottawa might as well be situated in some other country. Then there is the emotional damage created when a people no longer look to the future with a robust sense of optimism or to government with any real kind of expectation. This collective decline in optimism is, in every way, as significant as the previously mentioned challenges. Government itself is changing and it’s in the process of disappearing. The so-called “austerity agenda” has crippled numerous regions, including southwestern Ontario, and the much hoped for “austerity…

Can Conscience Save Politics

Posted on May 12, 2015

THIS TILE OF THIS POST ISN’T MERELY A RHETORICAL QUESTION.  If it were, then hope is gone. Vaclav Havel protested against dysfunctional politics for a long time before he eventually became the peoples’ choice as president of Czechoslovakia in 1989. As a playwright and a philosopher prior to his political ascendancy, he asked a penetrating question: “Are we implicit n the system that enslaves us, or are we what we always wanted to believe of ourselves?” Though on the surface it seems that the average citizen believes conscience and politics have become mutually exclusive, it seems more likely that they hold on to the faint hope that in some way, or somehow, the political influence in our country can still bring us back to a…

Say the Word

Posted on April 30, 2015

WE OFTEN ATTEMPT TO DEFINE THE WORLD WE LIVE IN by the use of a word or a phrase. We had the Stone, Iron, Industrial, Information, and now Technological Ages. When society is moving along without too many extremes, the requirement for words isn’t as essential, but when things get out-of-place or rocky we fall back on singular phrases or words to capture our predicament. Aldous Huxley noted in his Brave New World, “Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly. They’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.” Thus we got the “Roaring Twenties,” the “Depression,” the “Era of Civil Rights,” or the universal “Globalization.” Slowly, inexorably, a new term is consistently showing up in conversations and media venues that is…

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