Who said kids don’t have a mind of their own?
Dunsmuir Middle School students are taking part in a mock vote on Oct. 17, before the federal vote takes place for Canadians on Election Day, Oct. 21.
“When I was younger, I didn’t really understand what I was voting for, so I just copied my parents,” says Aby Broback-Lowe, a Grade 8 student. “As I’ve gotten older, I’m starting to question what I believe in and what’s most important to me. I’m beginning to understand why we do things the way we do.”
Broback-Lowe is one of many Grade 6 to 8 students who will decide which candidate they want to vote for.
“A lot of our teachers have talked to us over the past few weeks about the candidates in our local ridings,” says Sara Edmundson, another Grade 8 student. “But the point is to research and understand how this voting process works for ourselves.”
Dunsmuir Middle School isn’t the only school holding a mock vote. Across Canada, more than one million students will be voting too. In order to avoid any sway in the polls, the mock vote results will not be revealed to the public until election night. For the students at Dunsmuir, they found out their results on Oct. 18.
“The whole concept of this vote is to get our students engaged to become lifelong voters,” says Grade 8 Dunsmuir teacher Norm Curtis.
He encourages lively debates in his class and has assigned his students a project to list five rights they believe Canadians should have and compare those with five responsibilities.
“This is something that’s real to them. If we can get them interested now, we hope that they will be politically active in the future so they can claim their stake in democracy.”