- a democracy where it’s easier to think of reasons to step up and get engaged, than it is to think of reasons to stay home,
- a political system where we judge new ideas based on where those ideas could take us, rather than where they came from, or who came up with them,
- a Nova Scotia where the citizenry is alive, where democracy isn’t just something we have, but something we do – a culture – where each of us feels a sense of responsibility to those around us.
Too often, citizens, members of the public service, and even elected officials feel like the issues they care about are getting dealt with in a black box instead of in the public square. People are staying home, and losing faith in the virtue of citizenship.
At Springtide, we believe there’s a better way.
We created the Springtide Collective to ask tough questions and stimulate public conversations about the state of our democratic culture, and provide thoughtful insight into how our democratic institutions and processes can work better for people.
Where Springtide Fits
Other community groups exist to advocate for and organize around important policy issues – like health, education, or the environment. Springtide’s role is complementary and foundational to these groups. We are a steward for a healthy and vibrant democracy and will work towards a political system that is reflective of its people, and designed to make decisions in their best interest.
Springtide is dedicated to bridging the gap between Nova Scotians and our democratic institutions and imagining ways of doing politics differently. We do this through education, research and public engagement.
EDUCATION: WE MAKE IT EASY TO LEARN ABOUT POLITICS
We make YouTube videos, web-tools and infographics that put politics in simple images and plain language. We also provide regular educational programming and workshops that are open to public registration, or can deliver a custom designed program for a group or organization.
RESEARCH: WE CAPTURE UNIQUE INSIGHTS THROUGH OUR RESEARCH
Recently we assessed the impact a variety of voting systems would on Nova Scotian politics and public policy in our Better Choices report. Last year we researched youth political opinion and civic literacy among voting aged youth just before the provincial election. Our next research project, Off-Script, is the first-ever series of exit interviews with former Nova Scotia MLAs. Exit interviews are a critical organizational learning tool for most workplaces, but in one of the most influential workplaces in Nova Scotia, our provincial legislature, they’ve never been done.
We can’t do it alone
We’ve done projects that we’re proud of, but our vision is much bigger and we’ve barely scratched the surface. The world is changing, and we need your help to make sure that our democracy changes with it.
We hope you will consider supporting our work. By doing so, you’ll be making our democracy better.
We're often asked... why the name Springtide?
A Springtide is a set of extreme tides, the most extreme tides in the lunar cycle. 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. The role Springtide's play in the coastal ecosystem is the role we envision our organization playing in the Nova Scotian political ecosystem.