On Wednesday, Oct. 9 and Thursday, Oct. 10, Johnston Heights students participated in the student vote. This event invites students throughout Canada to participate in a mock federal election, almost a mirror image of the actual federal election taking place on Oct. 21. It is run by Elections Canada and provides students with the opportunity to experience voting firsthand.

Ms. McSkimming believes that the student vote will increase in the future the voting turnout which is usually quite low amongst young people.  From 38% in 2011 to 57% in 2015.

It’s helping for the habit that young people have a voice.

The engagement level of students varied during this activity but more appealing leaders like Justin Trudeau or Jagmeet Singh resonated more with students. Issues like climate change speaks more to youth.

Grade 9 students Khloe G. and Kalina M. say that participating in the student vote and doing all the work leading to it is definitely educational. It seemed to them that a lot of attention was given to money issues, which leads to everything being more geared towards adults. Issues like climate change is one that students would want to hear more about and hope that political parties would address.

Ms. Robinson is of the opinion that if legal voting age would go from 18 to 16 years old, like the Scotland referendum on independence in 2014, it would potentially change the results of elections or at least the way political parties plan to address issues that matter to youth. Currently she rates the students interest in Student Vote as medium.

Other students liked the activity, stating the vote was professionally ran. It was quick and efficient, and it was easier than they had initially thought.

Finally, Kevin N. grade 9, was able to argue that he enjoyed the election campaign. Especially the affordability issues that were discussed.

I like the Canadian electoral system because it seems more stable. In my country, Italy, we have had many elections in the last few years because parties cannot work together to form government.

Alessia A, grade 12, international student, Johnston Heights

“Student Vote has a positive impact on student knowledge and understanding of Canadian politics and elections as well as future voting intentions.”

“Student Vote Canada 2019.” Student Vote Canada 2019, 2019, studentvote.ca/canada/.