Student Vote 2006

Teachers engage students in democratic process

Teachers at more than 500 schools in Alberta are working hard to engage their students in the democratic process during this federal election. Students whose schools are registered in the Student Vote Canada program will learn first-hand how our electoral system works, says ATA President Frank Bruseker.

Led by a teacher team leader, schools that register in Student Vote Canada receive free learning materials and a program outline to use during the upcoming federal election. Through organized events, students learn about federal party platforms and local candidates running in the federal election. "These events are valuable in helping students build critical thinking skills and decision-making skills," says Bruseker.

"The general population will be voting on January 23 and it will be interesting to see how the votes of Alberta’s students compare with those of adults in the province. With increasingly low voter turnout rates, teachers know that it is crucial to instil in students a sense of civic duty and a desire to become active and engaged citizens," says Bruseker. "Introducing them to the voting process now will, hopefully, encourage them to take a lifelong interest in our democratic
system."

How Student Vote works

A specific student election date, or mock federal election date, is chosen and students take over the roles of deputy returning officers and poll clerks and conduct a school wide vote for the federal candidate or party of their choice. Once the ballots are counted, the results are released to the media across Alberta. Bruseker encourages the media to publicize the results.

More information can be found at www.studentvote.ca.

Student Vote is supported in Alberta through leadership and a grant from the ATA and Elections Canada.


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