The Springtide Collective is a grassroots, non-partisan public interest group committed to empowering Nova Scotians to be masters of our own democracy. We believe strongly in the power of democracy and the people of Nova Scotia. We think that by combining the two, together we can make this province a better place to call home.

WHAT’S HAPPENING

The Afterparty: a discussion on the future of parliamentary democracy

The Afterparty: a discussion on the future of parliamentary democracy

The footage and recording from our September 17th event, The Afterparty, is now available on YouTube and Soundcloud for those who couldn’t make it. Listen to Elizabeth May, Brent Rathgeber, Graham Steele and Danny Graham as they discuss party discipline, the role of the backbencher, and dissent in Canadian legislatures with event Host Stephanie Domet.

PROJECTS

WHAT WE'RE UP TO

THREE MINUTE CITIZEN

Springtide has created 10 videos explaining democracy in Canada

LATEST: How to Influence Politics in Canada

Click here to see all of the Three Minute Citizen videos on our YouTube Channel!
This project is made possible with the support of the Democracy 250 Youth Engagement Legacy Trust

NOVA SCOTIA YOUTH POLITICAL SURVEYS

The first political surveys of young people in Nova Scotia

Youth political participation has been dropping for decades. Before our surveys, there had been no recent research on political opinion, civic literacy and civic engagement among youth in Nova Scotia. Our first report focused on youth political opinion in advance of the 2013 provincial election. Traditional political opinion surveys and polls target landline telephones, which most young people have replaced with mobile phones that are not generally solicited by pollsters in Atlantic Canada. Our second report measured civic literacy among voting aged Nova Scotians, and revealed some troubling findings about how much young people know about politics. Our surveys are meant to provide community leaders, the media, political parties and ourselves with a better understanding of young people’s political opinions, issue priorities, understandings of the democratic process, and ways of engaging. This project is made possible with support from the Democracy 250 Youth Engagement Legacy Trust.

PURPOSE AND DIRECTION

PROBLEM

Democracy needs a reboot

Around the world citizens are risking their lives to uproot dictators – fighting for the right to participate in a free democracy like ours. As citizens of one of the most respected democracies in the world, we have a responsibility to work to improve democracy so that we may continue to be a model for emerging democracies.

In Canada, however, participation rates in elections are at an all time low, confidence in parliaments and elected officials is dropping, and the people who have been the most engaged and interested in politics, also tend to be the most cynical about the effectiveness of the political process to solve public problems.

At the same time our governments are facing incredible challenges:

  • irreversible climate change,
  • ever-increasing levels of public and private debt,
  • quickly escalating health care costs,
  • income inequality is rising, and
  • today’s youth will be the first generation in many to inherit a planet and quality of life that is a lower quality than that of their parents.

While many groups are working to tackle these issues with direct policy solutions, the Springtide Collective addresses a much more foundational challenge – improving the state of democracy in Nova Scotia by empowering our fellow citizens to fix it.

VISION

We believe in a world where democratic process is an effective way to solve the problems many citizens face, but are incapable of overcoming alone

MISSION

We empower Nova Scotians to be masters of our own democracy 
 

VALUES

WHAT WE BELIEVE

COLLABORATION • Conventional democracy functions at its best when elected representatives can freely deliberate on major decisions. At present, however, it is often reactive and theatrical, assuming that for every proposal there must be an organized opposition. This prevents citizens and our representatives from having collaborative discussions on issues where there is overwhelming public interest in moving forward • EMPATHY • We take an empathetic and non-judgmental approach to working with politicians and with people who don’t vote or participate in politics – recognizing the cause of many of the problems we see in politics to be systemic • FAIR VOTING • In our current electoral system every vote gets counted, but not every vote counts. We envision an electoral system where every vote counts and affects what our

legislatures look like. • OPEN GOVERNMENT • Decisions that happen in secret raise suspicion. Sunlight is one of the best antiseptics known to humankind. Wherever possible, our governments should operate on a principle of openness • EQUALITY BETWEEN GENERATIONS • Intergenerational equity in public process means doing politics in a way that does not privilege current generations at the expense of future ones • EMPOWERMENT • We value processes and tools that empower all citizens to participate in the democratic process • POLITICS BASED ON ISSUES, NOT PARTIES • Parties aren’t the problem, unwavering partisanship is. We imagine a  world where citizens and the issues we face are more important than the partisan dialogue that dominates public debate in legislatures.

ACTION

WHAT WE DO

CHAMPION DEMOCRATIC RENEWAL 
The democratic system can work better for citizens than it does. A better system will naturally draw more participants into the process. We will stimulate and initiate conversations around doing politics differently.

EDUCATE ABOUT DEMOCRACY
When citizens understand the way democracy works, we create a foundation for informed political and democratic action. Our educational initiatives will focus on new media and experiential learning opportunities to create an educated citizenry.

ENGAGE CITIZENS IN THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
We will take a proactive approach and meet citizens where they are in order to encourage and promote political engagement.

 

 

TEAM

People power

The Board and Collaborators at the Springtide Collective are young professionals  working and living across Nova Scotia who are passionate about imagining new and better ways of doing politics and  creating a more democratic Nova Scotia.

We are inviting Nova Scotians of all backgrounds who share these concerns to join us.

CONTACT US

EMAIL info@springtidecollective.ca PHONE 902.237.6275

ADDRESS The Hub Halifax | 2nd floor, 1673 Barrington St. | Halifax, NS B3J 1Z9

springtide-logo-white-TRANS-solo-cropped2spring·tide noun

a set of extreme tides

at high tide, rising waters reach points usually untouched by ocean waves – sometimes powerful enough to move boulders and things previously undisturbed by normal high tides

at low tide, a springtide exposes elements that are usually covered up