National Newswatch

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 […]

Traces of War

Nov 13 2018 — Glen Pearson — There was something deeply disturbing developing on a street in Paris this past Sunday, as world leaders came together to respect the fallen of World War One.  They decided to walk together in solidarity down the Champs-Elysee as the church bells rang out at 11 a.m. to mark the moment the war ended in 1918.  […]

Revenge Politics Won the Midterms

Nov 8 2018 — Glen Pearson — Would it be a Blue Wave?  A Red wall?  Ultimately it all became a dog’s breakfast.  There was a little something in it for everybody.  The Democrats got the House, while the Republications strengthened their hold on the Senate.  But we’ll soon discover that there was also a whole lot of nothing for everybody as […]

Use It or Lose It

Oct 30 2018 — Glen Pearson — One of the great things about politics is its ability to bring various facets of an issue together, form perspectives, achieve compromise if possible, and then improve public policy.  At least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. But it’s isn’t.  We’ve watched it unraveling in real time in recent years and the effect of bad […]

Are Elections Still Sufficient?

Oct 22 2018 — Glen Pearson — It’s Election Day across communities in Ontario and one gets the sense that, as democracy is facing growing difficulty around the world, the validity of such contests continues to come into question, as citizens wonder if they truly make much difference.  The repeated calls across the globe for some “strong leader” to overcome the weakness […]