Students have their say in federal election

Mount Douglas students among those from across country taking part in mock federal election

Mount Douglas secondary students Gabby Smith

Alex Volchek did nothing in recent weeks to hide her excitement and passion as an organizer for Mount Douglas secondary’s student vote. But for all the positive energy Volchek eschewed, she was feeling a distinct lack of reciprocal energy by her fellow students in the ability to partake in and learn the electoral process, even if it was only a “mock election.”

Safe to say, the Grade 10 student was happily surprised to see more than 250 student voters had come through the Mount Doug library by lunchtime during Friday’s national student vote, a total of 444.

“I really didn’t think we’d have this many people coming in, it’s been platoons of [students], especially to see them still coming at lunchtime, this is their own time,” said Volchek. “It’s important, it’s our future, we all have to vote, nothing will change if we don’t.”

Most of the student organizers for the Mount Doug student vote came from Carrie-Ann Taylor’s Grade 10 social studies class.

Students take on the role of deputy returning officers and poll clerks, and cast ballots for the official election candidates. The results are tabulated nationally and by riding, and shared with media for broadcast and publication.

The students were even bound to secrecy as the vote was held Friday with the results released following Monday’s election.

Studentvote.ca provides the mock election model and collates the results nationally. It also supplies classrooms with slides and other educational material.

“We wanted to have all four candidates for Saanich Gulf Islands come in [to Mount Doug] but unfortunately couldn’t get them all together,” Taylor said.

“Regardless, this is going to be really powerful because the students can see how their school voted and how other schools voted. The next generation of voters are seeing how each other is voting and just as important, the parties will see what the youth are voting for and what issues are important.”

Mount Douglas (182, 41 per cent) and Reynolds (293, 50 per cent) both elected the Green Party’s Elizabeth May in their mock elections. May led all student votes in the riding with 2,761 (52.73 per cent), ahead of Liberal Tim Kane (1,120), NDP Alicia Cormier (618), Conservative Robert Boyd (613) and Libertarian candidate Meghan Jess Porter (a Mount Douglas grad) with 124. Studentvote.ca collected more than 850,000 votes across Canada, electing 223 Liberal candidates, 69 Conservative, 40 NDP and four Green Party including Frances Litman.

See the full results at studentvote.ca,