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Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “citizenship

Summer Reflections – How Did We Get Here?

Posted on July 4, 2018

This year especially, summer couldn’t come soon enough.? And not because we endured a long, hard, unpredictable winter – which we certainly did.?No, it’s something more, something almost intangible – a sense that things aren’t great collectively.?Individually we might feel a certain sense of normalcy, but when it comes to our position in the broader world – our sense of hope, promise, dignity, respect, the ability to make change – we aren’t as sure where we stand. This week our family has been volunteering at a kid’s autism camp, as we do every year.? You could sense the careful disenchantment, the lack of optimism, the worry over our shared state of affairs in most conversations, coffee shops, and idle chatter.? Much of it was…

Is An Ethical Economy No Longer Possible?

Posted on June 26, 2018

Soon enough we’ll be entering into an economic period where we’ll be informed that we can no longer afford those things we believe important.? Climate change, poverty, affordable housing, mental health, effective employment, post-secondary education, investments in home-grown businesses – these cost too much, we will be informed, and to create a competitive economy we must learn to let such aspirations ?go.? Which is kind of funny, since Canada has more wealth running through than at any time in our history. These aren’t merely aspirational desires but fundamental necessities for any modern society to flourish and to be told we can no longer afford them is both a lie and an insult.?These are investments – down payments on our present capacity and our future…

The Fight to Vote

Posted on June 9, 2018

It’s Election Day in Ontario and many remain as confused as ever as to the choice they must make.? Too many have said that they’re not heading to the ballot box this year because elections themselves no longer provide the outcomes people hope for.? There’s a lot of truth to this, and should be acknowledged. The problem is that, while elections increasingly frustrate us, there is as yet no clear alternative to someone heading into a private area, marking their choice, and then living with the result.? There are numerous ideas of how to rank ballots or prioritize them, but there is still no substitute for the act of a private citizen voting. Sometimes votes aren’t about choices at all, but a choice.? There…

It All Comes Down To Us

Posted on June 3, 2018

And, so, it has come down to us – citizens – just as it always has.?An election isn’t just about winners and losers; it’s also a kind of scheduled checkup on the health of our democracy.? So far, the vital signs aren’t good. To be sure, there are indications that people remain committed to the political process and its importance to how we carve out our future together.? But not as many of them, and not nearly with the sense of confidence required to restore the optimism that was once part and parcel of our daily lives. Something about this particular provincial election is deeply unsettling.? It’s hardly a secret, as people all over the province express a deep sense of disquiet over the…

Putting the Social Back Into Social Media

Posted on April 10, 2018

Two weeks ago, many Londoners were asking whether the time had come to get off Facebook altogether. Individuals who have blithely used the platform for years were fearing for their privacy, security and politics. Yet the implications for communities are as insidious, and perhaps even more destructive, as for individuals. Victoria’s mayor, Lisa Helps, in a blog titled “Why I’m quitting Facebook,” decided the time had come for her because: “Facebook peddles in outrage . . . It has become a toxic echo chamber where people who have anything positive to say are often in defense mode against negativity and anger. Continuous reinforcement of existing beliefs tends to entrench those beliefs more deeply, while also making them more extreme and resistant to contrary facts.”…

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