Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nunavut election results

Yesterday was voting day for the territorial elections here in Nunavut. A lot of people have been busy setting up, campaigning, and making sure voters were registered to vote. You can see the results for all of the constituencies here, but here in Cambridge Bay, Keith Peterson was re-elected as MLA. He has been the MLA here for the past eight years, and rumour has it that in preparation for voting day, he personally visited the homes of every single registered voter. That's a lot of visiting.

In other constituencies, Premier Eva Aariak lost her seat in her Iqaluit riding, (source: CBC) Two of the constituencies have tied results. Former premier Paul Okalik has been re-elected. Only 6 of the 22 MLAs were re-elected.

As I've mentioned before, I wasn't eligible to vote this year, but it was very interesting to watch the electoral process. A lot of folks were enthusiastic about elections. Last week, workers were standing outside in the -20°C weather, holding signs to remind people to register to vote. You could see their breath turning into steam in the cold as they talked to each passerby. That's determination.

Most impressively, Cambridge Bay had a 101.6% voter turnout rate, which is unbelievable. It means that more people showed up to vote than were originally registered on the list. You just don't see those kinds of numbers in other elections. Can you imagine if we saw that kind of voter turnout rate in the federal elections? Or this kind of enthusiasm?

A lot of my friends weren't eligible to vote this election because they didn't meet the 12-month residency requirement or were not Canadian citizens, but they also appreciated being able to witness the process. My friend C. told me that she really enjoyed watching it all unfold. She grew up in Myanmar (Burma) when there weren't any elections. Since moving to North America, she hasn't been able to vote, but she says it's still neat to see how it happens.