Columnists

Tide Change publishes submissions from a variety of authors whose work we admire and words we feel are relevant to our readers. Please note that the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to the author’s employer, organization, committee or other group or individual.

Richard at Long point
Richard at Long point
Richard at Long point

About Our New Season of Chronicles

Some years ago a woman asked Stephen Leacock, the Canadian writer and humourist, if writing was difficult. Leacock responded, “Madam, writing is not difficult. You simply jot down the ideas that occur to you. The writing is simplicity itself. It is ‘the occurring’ that is difficult.”
I thought at the beginning of this second season of chronicles I would outline the ideas that have occurred to me. This will give you an idea of where I have come from and where we will be going in this coming season.

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Best friend, best price or best value

If you’re just tuning back in to B.C. politics, you may have missed a great political adaptation of West Side Story this summer, where two rival gangs – the Liberistas and the Unionistas – compete for the affection of B.C. taxpayers on public infrastructure projects.

The musical was loosely based on this summer’s announcement by the B.C. government that key public-sector infrastructure projects will be tied to pay scales, apprenticeship training, job opportunities for under-represented groups and a union card for any worker “within 30 days of starting employment.”

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Introducing Our New Chief Editor!

We are so excited to have Catherine Hedrich lead the editorial direction of Tide Change and build upon its community foundation of collaborative support. As a new resident of the Comox Valley, her outsider’s perspective will undoubtedly bring fresh and useful insights, while setting the stage for the development of a sustainable and interactive communication platform for our community enterprise, beginning with her new column, Community Conversations.

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The Trickle-Up Effect

As a child of the sixties, I remember the significant role regular people played, who mobilized at the grassroots, in changing the course of history. Think Canadian efforts in the Peace Movement, the Women’s Movement, and the Environmental Movement.

Some big names and well-known faces are associated with each movement, but, we now think of as movements would have been nothing but blips on the historical screen without the discontent, the righteous indignation and the lay-their-freedom-on-the-line action of the nameless and faceless many.

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Dark echoes in an era of semi-disclosure

Echo chambers has been popular as a buzz phrase as of late, the idea that we post and share links and opinions that we agree with on social media to others that also agree with them, thereby amplifying their echo.

What happens to those chambers, though, when ‘dark echoes’ infect public debate?

In an era of increasing public distrust, there’s a very real risk that good ideas could fall victim to a failure to disclose. It breeds suspicion.

Some are clamouring for public advocacy groups to disclose their sources of funding – an admirable goal – but they’re eerily silent when it comes to Jim Shephard disclosing his funding sources for his recent first-past-the-post advertising campaign in advance of this fall’s referendum on proportional representation.

Sometimes the connection between a group and its self-interests are obvious: the Fraser Institute or the Canadian Taxpayers Association spring to mind.

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Winning Electoral Reform—more than just rational arguments

If you read the Comox Valley Record, you couldn’t have missed the big money, full page ads attacking the upcoming referendum on electoral reform. In this age of sophisticated, EXPENSIVE bots mining social media to find vulnerabilities in personal perceptions you can bet these ads represent the best hope of big money interests to foster any kind of resentment that might help poison the upcoming referendum.

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