Monday, August 9, 2010

Last Plebiscite Resulted in No Ban

In the early 1990s, Nain residents cast their vote in a plebiscite similar to the one that will be held a week from now.

We did some digging through the Nain Inuit Community Government’s records from the time the last plebiscite was held.

According to the minutes of a meeting of the former Town Council of Nain, the last plebiscite was held on November 19, 1991.

The idea of a plebiscite was recommended to the council following the violent deaths of two of the community’s residents.

The council at the time tabled a motion to hold a plebiscite that would get the community’s input on what, if anything, they would like to see happen with alcohol in the community.

The motion was passed unanimously.

The question presented through the plebiscite was stated:

“In relation to the consumption of alcohol and homebrew in Nain, what do you want done about the situation?”

The three options presented to the community were:

- A total ban
- More limitations; or
- No change.

365 residents cast their vote out of an eligible 649 voters.

The results were:

- 106 in favor of a total ban
- 108 in favor of adding more limitations; and
- 149 called for no change.
That’s 29 percent in favor of a ban, 30 percent requesting more limitations and 41 percent of the voters calling for no change.

Two of the ballots cast were declared spoiled.

The council decided they needed a majority vote to give them a clear direction of what needed to be done.

Since none of the options had gathered 50 percent plus one of the votes, the council decided to take no further action.

Nain residents will be given two options in the upcoming plebiscite: yes or no to a dry community.

Voting will take place on August 16.

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