Valley Students Discuss Democracy

first_imgOne-hundred Annapolis Valley students wearing D250: Make Your Mark T-shirts participated in a mock election in Berwick today, Feb. 29, before discussing issues of concern to youth. The Valley session, the first of eight youth meetings to be held across the province, is a Democracy 250 initiative supported by VOX:Point of Youth, the Department of Education, the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board and Elections Nova Scotia. Democracy 250 co-chair John Hamm said the objective of the sessions is to get more young people involved in their communities and voting. “Less than 25 per cent of young adults under 25 are turning out to vote at any given time. It is a disturbing statistic that we want to bring attention to and, hopefully, reverse,” said Dr. Hamm. “Older Nova Scotians need to better understand the reasons why so many young people, who are otherwise very concerned and vocal about issues of the day, aren’t voting,” said fellow co-chair Russell MacLellan. The students also watched a series of ads featuring D250 Youth Ambassadors, previewed Rant for Democracy, a thought-provoking video on youth voter turnout, and took part in a question and answer session with the Democracy 250 co-chairs. Videographers were on hand to film the session, which will be included in a mini-documentary on youth and democracy. The documentary, along with a report that summarizes findings on each of the youth town hall sessions, will be shared with Nova Scotia’s party leaders in the fall. Deborah Pellerin, youth program co-ordinator with the Department of Education with responsibility for VOX:Point of Youth, welcomed Democracy 250’s efforts to get more youth engaged in their communities and participating in the electoral process. “By working closely with youth organizations, Democracy 250 is doing more than just giving young people a chance to vent their frustrations, it is giving them an opportunity to hopefully change things for the better,” said Ms. Pellerin. Democracy 250, is a year-long celebration of the 250th anniversary of the birth of parliamentary democracy in Canada. For more information, visit the Democracy 250 website at www.Democracy250.calast_img