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ICT: online democracy

There are numerous sites that carry election information, but two that offer something different are Youth Election from education.com and the Online Junior Election from RM and the Parliamentary Education Unit. Both offer under-18s a chance to cast their vote, as well as information about the parliamentary process and the main political parties.

Youth Election offers young visitors the opportunity to vote for the main parties, take part in online debates and contribute to the Kids UK Manifesto. The manifesto allows each child to register three ideas they would put into action if they were in power. The best of these will be published every day in the run-up to the election.

Primary children can take part in the Online Junior Election which will feature three parties: the Tidy Party, which promotes recycling; the Fit Party, which encourages exercise; and the Health Party, which pushes the balanced diet manifesto.

Schools need to register online before downloading resources, which include worksheets, ballot papers, manifestos and logos for children to use to campaign for their party of choice. Election day will be June 14, and participating schools will count their own ballots before submitting the results to the Junior Election site. The winning party will then be expected to implement its policies for at least a day.

Junior Election is part of the Explore Parliament site, which also features information on the parliamentary process and an extremely useful glossary.

Weblinks www.education.com www.explore.parliament.uk www.itsourworld.org.uk

A longer version of this feature appears in this week's Friday magazine

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