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REF NO.: 148

SUBJECT: Town Hall will let Memorial University student voters question candidates
DATE: Jan. 13, 2006

On January 19, Memorial University political science students will have a chance to ask the questions that matter most to them when the Political Science Department hosts a town hall with candidates running for election in St. John’s East.

Part of the third-year course Parties and Elections in Canada, the town hall was put together by course instructor Alex Marland as a way to give his students firsthand experience with electoral campaigning. “For many, this is their first exposure to a federal campaign. They feel very removed from the process,” Dr. Marland says.

Participants will include NDP candidate Mike Kehoe and Green Party candidate Stephen Harris.

Dr. Marland notes students have a different perspective on elections than older voters. In addition to a particular interest in certain issues–financing post-secondary education and the job market, for example–they have more questions about the electoral process, how to go about making their choice and casting their ballot.

They also have a greater sense of disconnection. “When students listen to election campaigning, they tend to feel that people are talking over them, not to them. There are not a lot of young politicians, or even politicians who really talk to students,” Dr. Marland says.

In addition to the students in his political science course, Dr. Marland is inviting all interested MUN students, as well as media, to attend the event on Thursday, Jan. 19 from 5:30 to 6:55 p.m. in the Science Building, room SN 2036 on Memorial’s St. John’s campus.

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