Kira Chisholm, a third-year student from Fredericton, was recognized for her recent paper on NB Electoral Reform as the 2017 winner of the IPAC Fredericton Student Paper Award.

Once every academic year, the IPAC Fredericton Regional Group will solicit and judge entries for the best paper written by a registered (at time of application) full or part-time student of a post-secondary institution located in New Brunswick who is from or is living within the regional group’s geographical region. The award for best paper is open to students enrolled in any field of undergraduate and graduate studies.

The goal of the award is to encourage students with an interest in public service to make a contribution to the field of public administration by providing their critical and analytical work in any area related to public policy, administration and management of government.

Chisholm was nominated for the award by Political Science professor Dr. Tom Bateman.

“I wrote the essay for Dr. Bateman’s Contemporary Issues in Canadian Politics class, and he had us read the NB Commission on Electoral Reform Discussion Paper, and encouraged us to make a recommendation to the commission,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm is currently completing double honours in English and Political Science and an active member of the St. Thomas University theatre community.

Understanding Electoral Reform

“I find that with this particular issue there are a lot of assumptions about the implications of electoral reform, and I wanted to try and understand the mentality behind each proposed system and why there seems to be such discontent with the current system,” said Chisholm.

“Kira’s paper is a model undergraduate paper. Kira questions the consensus in favor of electoral reform, and fills out her argument with pointed evidence, sharp, direct writing, and admirable balance. The best arguments consider contrary evidence and respond. Her paper does that. It was a pleasure to read,” added Bateman.

“I never would have submitted the paper to the commission or to the IPAC competition without Dr. Bateman’s encouragement. It felt really good to win the award, this is something I never would have expected and something I’m really very proud of,” said Chisholm.