National Newswatch

The Bend of History

May 17 2019 — Glen Pearson — It’s tough to blame him.  In its own way it seemed kind of inevitable. Francis Fukuyama was little known to the outside world in 1989, but his star was rising within the American State Department.  And his timing was perfect when he published The End of History and the Last Man six months prior to […]

Be Careful What You Wish For.

Apr 30 2019 — Glen Pearson — Is it true?  Is a Blue Conservative wave sweeping Canada as in so much of the rest of the world?  Andrew Cohen provided some clues in his Ottawa Citizen article when he wrote that, provincially, five provinces led by Liberals or NDP have been defeated by Conservatives in the last three years.  Jason Kenney’s win […]

The Past Was Never That Simple

Apr 23 2019 — Glen Pearson — It frequently gets agitating listening to someone say that times were so much simpler in the old days.  It’s a kind of naïve way of both dismissing the past and providing excuses for the inactions of the present.  The world has always been on the verge of some calamity or another, but the fragile years […]

Where Did Compassionate Conservatism Go in Our Politics?

Apr 16 2019 — Glen Pearson — I encounter Conservative friends and associates every day. Aware that we all have different leanings, we nevertheless roll up our sleeves and get to work building our community, our world. So many of the London Food Bank’s volunteers, donors and clients are conservative in temperament and in political leaning and they help the organization to […]

Are We Losing the Plot?

Apr 2 2019 — Glen Pearson — Is the affluent west running the danger of losing its own narrative?  It would seem likely, given that some of its most powerful examples are in the process of domestic immolations that threaten the very kind of internationalism they were trying to construct over the last few decades. Britain, America, France, Germany and Canada, with […]

Is Effectively Governing a Nation State Still Possible?

Mar 20 2019 — Glen Pearson — It’s not just Brexit, the riots in France or the growing divisions in America.  Everywhere, crisis after crisis erupts and we’re left to wonder if politics in general, and governing specifically, are losing their ability to hold the respective centers together in what were normally stable nation states. This isn’t some wild prediction.  An entire […]

When Politics Turns on Itself

Mar 13 2019 — Glen Pearson — The Trudeau government’s SNC-Lavalin controversy is a goldmine of sorts.  For opposition parties and hyper-partisans, it has proved a gift from the gods, great enough to effectively move polling numbers and turning the next federal election into something of a free-for-all. For the media, the intricate mix between elected representatives and senior bureaucrats and the […]

Where’s Lincoln When You Need Him?

Feb 12 2019 — Glen Pearson — As research polls go, it was pretty remarkable.  The Pew Research Centre poll released recently tells of a more frightening and insecure world with American in it.  That’s revealing, since the United States has been central to the economic, military, trade and intellectual global frameworks since the Second World War. A look at the numbers […]

Despondency in Davos

Jan 29 2019 — Glen Pearson — As global economic summits go, it was a bit of a dud.  For the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland, indications came early that not all was well when Britain’s Theresa May and France’s Macron declined to appear.  And then President Trump opted to scrap the entire American contingent.  It wasn’t out of lack of […]

A View of Life Without Government

Jan 25 2019 — Glen Pearson — They pop up on our screens with such regularity that they eventually lose their impact on us.  Worse, they can turn us smug.  Canadians are just as good at holding opinions as any other nation – a democratic necessity – and complaining about our lot is part of who we are. Nevertheless, when we read […]

A 2019 Wish – Real Democracy

Dec 31 2018 — Glen Pearson — If democracy is rife with anything, it’s opinions.  Social media has only added to that intensity.  Studies reveal that citizens not only hold more opinions but that they are increasingly reticent to change them.  That’s why we’ve been hearing so much in recent years about how it’s growing increasingly impossible to change the minds of […]

Will the World See Canada the Same in 2019?

Dec 18 2018 — Glen Pearson — It’s in the DNA of our democracy that we complain about it all the time, frequently hearkening back to supposedly better times, and castigating our politicians simply because they’re the easiest to target. As we close out 2018, it’s important to remember that certain phrases gained traction in the past twelve months that signal our […]

Decency Makes a Comeback

Dec 5 2018 — Glen Pearson — They say he was from another era, another point in time when respect mattered, humility was a virtue and decency was effective.  They also follow these observations by noting that such times are gone forever, relegated to history, never to be resurrected. But maybe that’s not right. The tributes that poured in following the passing […]

Parliament’s Lessons Spread Out

Dec 4 2018 — Glen Pearson — It was an honour last evening to be asked to offer the benediction at the official swearing in of our new City Council and to place the official chain of office around the neck of incoming mayor Ed Holder.  Similar formalities are going on across Ontario.  Two things remained with me following the ceremony – […]

Populism Isn’t What We Think

Nov 20 2018 — Glen Pearson — You might consider Donald Trump or Viktor Orban, Hungary’s anti-press prime minister or even Steve Bannon as populists, but that would be incorrect.  They have become modern aberrations of what was once a noble concept.  Populism has a rich and effective heritage that has driven our democracies and our politics to be more accountable and […]