As you remember, Division 16, 13 and 15 participated in the BC Student Vote for the Municipal Election back in November. Student Vote is a vote that schools participate in where our votes get counted and combined with the votes of other participating schools. We aren’t able to vote in the real election because we aren’t old enough and don’t have the right ID yet. We participated in a vote that was organized by CIVIX, which is funded by Elections Canada.
You can learn more about CIVIX here http://civix.ca/
To prepare for our vote, we had guest speakers come in from parties like the Green Party, Vision Vancouver, and the Public Education Project. Our teacher invited candidates from each party and some came and some didn’t. They explained their platform and talked about their personal journey and how they ended up running. We asked them questions and at the end and made them think. Some of them said our questions were the best they had ever had.
We also studied the different types of government, Canadian government and the responsibilities of each level of Canadian government, like Municipal, Federal and Provincial. We learned that the Provincial government leader is Christy Clark, and that they deal with programs like health care, hydro, education, and the Municipal government deals with things in the city like sewage, schools, parks, animal control and transit.
For part of our study, we completed assignments on our class blog where we had to find a news article that was about a Municipal issue and discuss it, another where we debated local issues like keeping whales in captivity, and we also used the blog to debrief the outcome of the election afterwards.
We also had homework where we discussed issues and party platforms with our families and read newspapers about the candidates. There was lots of discussion. A local paper ran a list of all candidates and their statements and we read each and used a sample ballot to help us plan our vote.
On voting day, we had scrutinizers, we gave out the ballots, we supervised the ballot boxes, we gave out “I voted” stickers, we crossed the names of people who had voted off of the voter list, and we counted the ballots.
In Vancouver, we voted for School Board, Parks Board, Mayor and Council. There were a lot of candidates on each ballot and it took a really long time to vote and to count. We didn’t get the votes counted before the end of the day. On the day of the real election, Jody posted our results on the blog. We talked more about the results when we got back to school on Monday.
We were asked by the organizers of the vote, CIVIX, to have a video starring our school made. We agreed. Two guys came to our school on the day of the vote and videotaped the experience. The video is finally public and so we can share it with you. Please watch it and comment on this blog post! We love feedback!
Just last week, Jody and Peggy were invited to a workshop hosted by the CIVIX people where they showed our video to teachers from across the Province and Jody got to speak about what we did at Dickens. Everybody at the workshop agreed we won the cute award.
At that workshop, Jody learned a lot of new things and now she is very keen to start getting ready for the upcoming Federal election. I feel pretty good about it too.