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The Middle: Tribalism is Toxic

Being an unthinking, kneejerk partisan just means you're unthinking and kneejerk

Please allow me to introduce myself, I’m a blunt woman with opinions.

In my 30 years in media, not once have I ever taken a job where I’m told what to think/write/say – so be confident that all opinion expressed here are unabashedly my own.

When invited to pen a weekly column at The Orca I was, at first, very flattered to be included in this group of fine journalists…then I quickly made it clear: I would write my word, my way, with my views.

Clearly the powers that be agreed, or you would not be reading this.

Recently, while a guest on The Charles Adler Show, I was told that I’m “one of those rare broadcasters who is honest and authentic” - so honest that I “will say the truth - even when it’s not something folks want to hear.”

I was struck speechless (rare) because that is, to me, the highest of praise.  (Don’t even get me started on what it meant coming from someone the ilk of Charles!)

Once given time to think about what Charles said, it dawned on me that it does pretty much sum me up. I’m lots of research and no political leaning – if you ask my view, you will get it.

The Middle will be my voice, not anyone’s agenda.

I love discussion, engaged and knowledge-based debate.  Sharing informed perspectives is very much lost in our global political climate, I would like to help change that.  Here is step one.

Tribalism is toxic.  Living in silos where you only engage with people who share your political leanings is flawed.

Politically speaking, I’m a unicorn.  I always vote, but I’m not a “staunch” anything. I’m not defined by the red Liberal/blue Conservative/orange NDP or…Green.

In this column you will find, not an expert on politics or policy, but rather a citizen who always does due diligence on the politician, listens to debates (and spin) and then decides on who I support.

There are going to be many eyeballs on The Orca, looking to label it, pigeonhole it, into “it’s Conservative” or “it’s backed by so-and-so therefore it’s going to be:  ______”

If you have that mindset, then gloss right by my columns. It’s called “The Middle” not because it (ordinarily) drops on Wednesdays, it’s called “The Middle” because that’s where I stand – firmly.  That’s where I would like our conversation to go.

Let’s find middle ground, common ground, a place to acknowledge all perspectives and arguments on policies and planning.

Let’s talk. Let’s engage. My opinions come with zero caveats.  You are welcome to respond to any, and all, of them. I promise you I will read them (well, except the trolls)

Moving forward, each Wednesday, I will wrap The Middle with feedback from you, and my reply.

See you next week.

Jody Vance is a born and raised Vancouverite who has spent 30 years in both local and national media. The first woman in the history of Canadian TV to host her own sports show in primetime, since 2011 she’s been working in both TV and radio covering news and current affairs.