650 V O L . 7 9 P A R T 5 S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 THE ADVOCATE
funding1 and our request for photographs and statements from readers in
response. The profound impact of the earliest images we received is
recorded elsewhere in this journal, but they are entirely consistent with
what Ms. Giardini told us in the context of the above excerpt of Mr. Jackson’s
To me, among other manifest virtues, the Advocate is the most obvious,
constant and reliable way to ensure all lawyers in B.C. are connected. I
think that this should be part of its mission, as I assume is already the
case. … The Advocate connects lawyers, helps ensure lawyers understand
and work with each other, and know and trust each other.
We are hard-pressed to improve upon such observations.
In the meantime, we have reached such a bizarre phase both within and
without the profession. Polarized camps have formed that distrust and
blame one another for all manner of “wrongs” in the world. Opponents are
cast as enemies. Sober, principled voices are characterized as “fringe elements”,
and no one is to be trusted. A single ill-conceived (or downright
irresponsible) tweet can now bring down a career. (In a recent case, the
executive director of the BC Civil Liberties Association resigned over a fourword
tweet characterized by opposing sides as “a metaphor” or “a call to violence”.)
Such outcomes should not be surprising in the context of a digital
world that invites instant interaction, instant gratification and instant
demise, all without care or thought concerning the human beings involved.
In such a world, you are simply either “pro-Advocate” or “anti-Advocate”, for
example, and there is no real analysis of the issues.
The Advocate counters such extremism by inviting members of the profession
to participate; they can advance and articulate their positions in a
longer format. We also invite readers to pause, slow down and actually
review the written word—and, more importantly, the ideas conveyed. We
provide the level playing field in which the free exchange of ideas can take
place. We publish content and invite readers to respond either positively or
negatively to what they have read. We eschew being branded as belonging
to any particular camp. Readers should be left guessing what our own political
persuasions might be. Having said that, we are devoted to the exchange
of carefully reasoned and principled ideas. That means that positions and
statements need something substantive to back them up. We are, after all,
members of a profession that cherishes (and indeed requires) evidence that
can withstand scrutiny. What this level of depth affords the reader is connection—
to the subject matter, to the author, to the ideas themselves and
ultimately to one another sharing in the experience of reading the Advocate.
The very nature of the common law, and the adversarial system through
which it evolves, necessitates a well-read and learned profession (and