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Yukon's Greens hope to boost the youth vote

Monday's territorial election looks like it might be a close one, meaning every vote will count. The Yukon Green Party is encouraging young people to get informed, and get to the ballot box.

Every vote counts, says Green Party leader Frank de Jong, whose party hopes for a breakthrough

'If you get a chance this week, ask a young Yukoner - especially a first-time voter - their opinion,' said Green Party leader Frank de Jong (Pelly-Nisutlin). (Frank de Jong )

The Yukon Green Party is appealing to young people this election, to get informed and vote.

The party is running five candidates, all of whom face uphill battles in their ridings. In 2011, the party's two candidates won less than 1 per cent of the popular vote. Winning a seat this time would be a major breakthrough. 

Green leader Frank de Jong (running in Pelly-Nisutlin) hopes to see more young people involved in the electoral process this year. He's encouraging them to talk to their parents and learn the issues.

"Young people are sort of shocked — 'I'm actually 18 now and I can vote!' — and then they have to think of, 'who am I going to vote for' or, 'am I going to vote at all,'" said de Jong.

He says many young people also wonder if their vote will make a difference.

"If people knew every vote counted, more people — especially young people — may participate," he said.  

"Young voters should know how our electoral system works," he said. "For example, even if 66 per cent of Yukoners vote for a carbon tax, vote splitting may mean a party that receives as little as 34 per cent [support] may win the election and block it," he said.

He wants first-time voters to do some research ahead of Monday's election, attend debates, and listen to what candidates are saying. He's also asking older voters to engage young people.

"If you get a chance this week, ask a young Yukoner — especially a first time voter — their opinion," he said. 

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