THE YOUTH VOTE 1996-1997
The Youth Vote 1996-1997
In the aftermath of École Polytechnique de Montréal shooting, in 1989, during which 14 female students were shot dead, and 20 injured, a dozen of ordinary citizens refused to stay quiet. They formed an assocation with two names. One in French, TROP, was the acronym of Travail de Réflexion pour des Ondes Pacifiques. It also had an English name, PEACE, acronym for Positive Entertainment Alternatives for Children Everywhere. Soon after its creation, TROP/PEACE launched an genuine educational program to sharpen youth critical jjudgement to help them understand the danger of consuming media violence. It was called the Youth Vote. Starting in 1991-1992, with a new video every year, the Youth Vote began teaching children and adolescents the difference between Toxic programs and Positive progams. The following year, productions to be judged by students included music videos, film videos, video games and ads. Each year, new productions were nominated for the titles of Most Toxic and Most Positive productions of the year. Thanks to well known comedian René Caron, the Optimist Clubs liked the idea, adopted as a formal program, and carried the material to implement it to their local schools. Optimist Clubs have always consider themselves as Friends of Youth. When schools finished voting, results were sent to decision makers in Québec and Canada, and also to the CRTC and local media. If children can watch TV and play video games, isn't it normal to ask them to express their judgement on what they saw? The Youth Vote became popular across Canada in 2000-2001, thanks to partnership between Teachers Unions in Québec (CEQ) and the Canadian Teachers Federation (CTF).