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 WE'RE UP TO
THREE MINUTE CITIZEN
Springtide has created 10 videos explaining democracy 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
PURPOSE AND DIRECTION
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.
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
We empower Nova Scotians to be masters of our own democracy
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.
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.
The Board and Collaborators at the Springtide Collective are young professionals and students working and living across Nova Scotia who imagine new and better ways of doing politics and are passionate about creating a more democratic Nova Scotia.
We are inviting Nova Scotians of all backgrounds who share these concerns to join us.
President & Founder
Illustrator, Three Minute Citizen
Graphic design & communications