On Thursday October 20th, the student vote for the ongoing municipal election took place in Nepean high school’s cafeteria run by Ms. Sandapen and Ms. Mason and their students from 9.15 to 11.30 AM. Quoting Ms. Sandapen to explain what exactly the Student Vote is, “The Student Vote is an authentic learning program that provides students with the opportunity to experience the voting process firsthand. It is organized by a non-partisan, national registered charity known as CIVIX and it aims at building the skills and habits of active and informed citizenship among High School students and young Canadians. This year it is providing schools across the Province with the opportunity to register themselves and participate in the Student Vote Program for the Municipal Elections 2022. It also helps Civics and other teachers by providing them with useful teaching materials and resources that they can use in class.”
The vote was a success thanks to the students and teachers who planned, organized and held the event under the heavy pressure and the sheer workload that came along with organizing such an activity. When asked about how the event would have made a bigger impact, Ms. Mason said, “I think that the Student Vote did indeed go very well, but it could’ve been better if there were more students who took part in the voting process, so that a higher percentage of the student population could have taken part in the vote.
Obviously the main question being, why is the Student Vote important? Well once again, quoting Ms. Sandapen, “It is important for students to learn about and participate in the student elections at school level because they are the future voters and they should be encouraged to learn about politics in Canada, the three levels of government, that is Municipal, Provincial and Federal, and the electoral process. It is important to teach and encourage students to research into their choice of candidates and make informed decisions that are not based on personal biases, or influenced by others. Moreover, having students participate in student elections at school helps them to understand that, in a democratic country like Canada, voting is the most effective way to make their voices heard on issues that concern them since they are given the opportunity to participate in a very important decision-making process that affects their life. It also helps them understand that if they do not vote, others will make the decisions for them and the results are not going to be what they are hoping for. Therefore, helping students to understand that important decisions are made everyday by the government on behalf of the citizens of our country, will motivate them to exercise their right to vote in future elections and elect candidates or political parties whose political values align with their own. This might even encourage students to present themselves as a candidate for future elections because they wish to bring a positive change in the country and life of Canadians.” Including a quote from a student who took part in hosting the event, Kyan Perera, “The Student Vote helps students experience voting and it may be a learning experience for them as students will understand that they need to research and listen to the motives of the candidates taking part in the election and think about what they can bring to the table, before voting.”