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Student vote held in Nunavut

Kathleen Lippa
Northern News Services

Iqaluit (July 19/04) - Schools in Nunavut took part in Student Vote 2004, a Toronto-based program designed to get youth interested in the election process and democracy.

Nasivvik high school in Pond Inlet, Quluaq school in Clyde River and Kugluktuk high school represented a small first-time effort from Nunavut. In Nunavut the vote breakdown was as follows:79 votes for the Liberal party (48 per cent), 53 votes for the Conservatives (32 per cent), 16 votes for the New Democratic Party (10 per cent), 11 votes for the Green Party (seven per cent) and seven votes for the independent candidate.

About 1,100 schools from all provinces and territories participated in Student Vote this year.

Stephanie Christophe, francophone director for the Student Vote program, recognized Nunavut's turnout was small, but hopes interest in the program will grow.

"There was good participation considering it was the end of the year," said Christophe.

Taylor Gunn, the creator of Student Vote, spent a few days in Nunavut in March talking to educators and politicians, trying to drum up awareness and interest in the program.

Schools registered on-line, and received election kits containing ballots and ballot boxes.

On election day, students voted for the candidate in their school's riding.

"The schools had to take the initiative," said Christopher. "We're not imposing this program on the school. You have to really want to participate."