Delta students voted for a Liberal government.
Students at Delta’s public and private schools, including 26 public secondary and elementary schools, took part in a parallel federal voting process known as Student Vote, a nationwide initiative that saw almost every federal electoral district participate. It’s aimed at teaching students about elections and the voting process firsthand to build the habits of an informed and engaged citizenship.
Civics and social studies classes studied campaign platforms and literature, with every student in the participating schools getting a chance, if they wanted, to cast a ballot, which were identical to what their parents would see on election day.
Delta Secondary saw a strong turnout last Thursday and Friday as students selected a representative from among the four candidates in the newly reconfigured riding of Delta.
Those results combined with the numbers district-wide saw the majority vote for Carla Qualtrough to be Delta’s next MP and her Liberals to form the next government.
Scott Wilkinson, 16, said the exercise was valuable in helping him understand the political process and how to vote. He said he admits he has a bit of a left-wing bias and that it was unfortunate NDP Leader Tom Mulcair had dropped in the polls.
“I think that coalition between the NDP and Liberals would be historically significant and I would love to see that happen” he said.
Mitch Robinson, also 16, said he learned a lot from the Student Vote initiative.
“I’m learning a lot more about politics because politics is something that I’m interested in. It might be a field that I will go into. All the stuff we learned in this civics class, it’s fun,” he said.
Robinson, who drew a few scoffs from his friends standing close by, said he thought Conservative Leader Stephen Harper was the logical choice.
“Mulcair doesn’t know what he’s talking about and (Liberal Leader Justin) Trudeau is promising big deficits in the next few years for a plan that may or may not work,” he added.
Civics teacher John Powell said this year’s election campaign drew a lot of interest from students. He said many of his students are political and with some very definite ideologies.
Powell noted the result of the 2013 provincial election, interestingly, would have had a much different outcome if Delta public schools had decided as the student vote had the NDP winning a majority, although independent Vicki Huntington held onto her Delta South seat.
Also taking part in the vote at DSS last week was an exchange student from China, someone Powell said may never get the chance to experience taking part in a process that could result in a government losing and voluntarily stepping down.