We're just passed the halfway mark in this marathon election campaign, and people across the country are starting to think a little harder about politics and parties. For those eligible to vote in the Nunavut Federal Election, we have a pretty daunting task: choose THE ONE PERSON who will represent the territory as our only Member of Parliament. To help Nunavummiut get ready for October 19th, we've compiled a short guide to participating in the 2015 Nunavut Federal Election. Have a read, and leave any other suggestions in the comments!
1. Get to know your MP hopefuls.
Who do you really think should hold Nunavut's one MP seat? Take some time to learn about your potential representatives, and their respective parties, before casting your vote. Here is where you can find out more information for each candidate, in alphabetical order:
Leona Aglukkaq, Conservative Party Candidate and Current Member of Parliament
The Honourable Leona Aglukkaq has the most information available online of any Nunavut MP candidate. A quick Google search will give you scores of articles and summaries written about and by the incumbent MP. You can also learn more about Ms. Aglukkaq via her official contact information below.
Jack Anawak, New Democratic Party Candidate
Former Liberal-MP Jack Anawak has a strong online presence and sharp branding, which is characteristic of the NDP's marketing strategy as a whole. We also recently interviewed Mr. Anawak - his only interview since being named NDP candidate.
Spencer Rocchi, Green Party Candidate
Spencer Rocchi is definitely the odd one out in this race, and he's the first one to admit that he doesn't have a chance at winning. What Mr. Rocchi really wants to do is get people thinking and learning about the Green Party platform. Check out the links below to see what he has to say.
Hunter Tootoo, Liberal Party Candidate
In an interview with the blog (again, the only interview since being named MP candidate), Hunter Tootoo mentioned that he has his cell phone number listed publicly, which, up here, kind of makes up for his less-active or non-existent social media accounts.
2. So you think you can vote? You should double-check.
Thanks to recent changes to the Fair Elections Act, Elections Canada is now able to target voter turnout with its own campaigns, and this includes a partnership with Facebook that encourages users to ensure that they are registered well before election day.
If you're interested in voting in this federal election, you should:
- If you're not registered yet, you can do that online.
- Find out how to vote, and choose to either vote on election day or an selected advance voting days.
- Figure out what you'll need to vote. This is especially important if you don't have a drivers license, passport, or other standard government-issued ID.
- Read the Elections Canada frequently asked questions in case this list-within-a-list missed any key information.
For more information, follow Elections Canada on Twitter.
3. Participate in the upcoming public debate.
Not in Iqaluit? No worries. You can ask a question via Twitter using the #NTS15 hashtag.
This is a great opportunity for Nunavummiut to get their voices heard (kind of) directly by the candidates. Finding True North will be present for this conversation as well, so stay tuned for our post-debate summary!
4. Follow responses to Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami's 2015 Federal Election Questionnaire.
ITK recently posted a 2015 Federal Election Questionnaire that has been circulated to each of the Federal Parties. The questionnaire includes eight Inuit-specific questions on everything from the findings from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to cost of living in Northern communities. The questions are direct, deliberate, and a fantastic representation of the issues and concerns of Inuit all over the country.
5. Follow responses to the Government of Nunavut's Open Letter Request.
The GN recently sent an open letter to the Federal Party leaders that calls on them to outline their vision for Canada's Arctic. The letter outlines six priority areas for the GN - economic development, infrastructure, housing, devolution, culture, and climate change - and targeted policy questions for each theme.
The territorial government is hoping the answers to this letter will provide clear information to support Nunavummiut in making an informed decision come election day. In the accompanying News Release, Premier Peter Taptuna stated that, “Nunavummiut and all Canadians living in the North deserve to know how the next federal government plans to address the unique challenges facing Canada’s Arctic communities."
Currently, the GN doesn't have a set way for candidates to respond, though they are expecting a few may respond to the questions via the media.
6. Consider the stance of each candidate and their respective party on major election issues.
Especially those that relate to Nunavut, which include, but are not limited to:
- Investigating missing and murdered Indigenous women
- Improving food security
- Enhancing the Nutrition North Canada program
- Focusing on suicide prevention
- Better supporting Inuit organizations
Note that this information isn't readily available from all parties; in an election year especially, this silence speaks volumes.
7. Follow FTN’s election coverage.
We've been interviewing MP candidates, summarizing Party Leader visits, and providing other election commentary for nearly a year now. Check out our elxn42 tag for all federal election-related blog posts - including upcoming analyses and interviews.
Have any tips or suggestions for participating in the 2015 Nunavut Federal Election? Let us know in the comments!