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Jonathan K. Cardinal '08, of Ogdensburg, NY, has completed a five-week Canadian Parliamentary Internship Program, working in the office of Canadian Parliament. Cardinal, a graduate of Ogdensburg Free Academy, is president of the St. Lawrence student government association, the Thelomathesian Society.

Each year between 25 and 35 U.S. students serve as interns in the Canadian Parliament. Cardinal states, "I interned in the Canadian House of Commons, with Dawn Black, a member of Parliament from New Westminster-Coquitlam, which is in the Vancouver area of British Columbia. She is the Defense and Peace Advocacy Critic for the New Democratic Party, so her office has been very busy with recent developments in Canadian counter-terrorism, the country's commitments in Afghanistan and to ending the genocide in Sudan."

He continues, "While interning, one of my responsibilities included briefing Ms. Black each day on news stories, particularly those relevant to national defense issues. I also was involved in in-depth research and the compilation of talking points based on the findings of that research. Additionally, I assisted in responding to constituent correspondence. I especially valued this latter task, since back home, I often am the one writing a letter to my representatives. It was nice to have the opportunity to draft responses to a variety of personal and policy concerns."

A government major, Cardinal is president of the SLU Democrats. He has participated in Model United Nations, Habitat for Humanity, the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and Circle K, a service organization. Cardinal also recently participated in a course that brought students to inner-city Los Angeles to train students in anti-bullying measures, which they then demonstrated in local schools.

He states, "Even though Canada and the United States have two very different political cultures, we certainly have thoughtful and sincere allies in our friends to the North. Through working alongside politicians and their aides, I am fully reassured that politics is a genuine avenue for the creation of a better world."

Posted: June 28, 2006

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