National Newswatch

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 […]

The Stuff Nightmares Are Made Of

Oct 11 2018 — Glen Pearson — We have so many causes in our world, so many voices, so many injustices and so many opportunities.  But in the end, it all might come to nothing, for the one great challenge overriding all others continues to remain an outlier. The world has known of the coming climate apocalypse for decades and warnings have […]

Trade of a Different Kind

Oct 1 2018 — Glen Pearson — One could almost hear the collective sigh of relief when news emerged yesterday of a tentative NAFTA deal between the U.S., Mexico and Canada.  Technically, Donald Trump wants it renamed to the “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement – or USMC.”   Credit must be given to the negotiators from all three nations who were at it for a […]

Sunny Ways? It’s Up to Us

Sep 24 2018 — Glen Pearson — A lot has changed in the three years since Justin Trudeau’s government came to power, promising to deliver on the “sunny ways” he promoted during the campaign.  A few big things got in the way – a court ruling on Trans Mountain pipeline, struggles with the provinces, including the Doug Ford victory, carbon pricing troubles, […]

The Danger of “In the Moment” Politics

Sep 17 2018 — Glen Pearson — One thing you can say about politics – it’s forever exciting. For all our complaints about its apparent dysfunction, “gotcha-ism” and ineffectiveness, research is revealing that we are increasingly becoming fascinated with it through the media.  Ironically, it proves the old adage that “effective politics is boring.”  It’s a sure sign that democracy is undergoing […]

Have We Reached our “Best Before Date?”

Sep 6 2018 — Glen Pearson — “It can be safely said that no widely applicable economic models have been developed specifically for the upcoming era.”  Here we go again – another global report on the dangers of climate change and a warning that the world is woefully unprepared for the approaching onslaught.  The problem is that there have been so many […]