Students tap into election vibe

Teacher pleased with students' participation in democratic process

Now that the voting is over, the cabinet chosen and the prime minister sworn in, I would like to share the most exciting result of this election for me — the youth engagement.

As the teacher-librarian at École Secondaire W.L. Seaton Secondary School, I have witnessed the apathy of teens during many previous election cycles. However, as with all of Canada, this one was different.

Weeks before the Oct. 19 federal election, there was a buzz in our hallways.

Students were discussing and researching the different parties and their platforms. They were talking about our local candidates. They were taking online polls to see where they stood personally and they were having heated discussions with their peers and parents.

Hundreds of students voluntarily came out to watch our mock debate. Intelligent, thought-provoking questions were asked about the economy, refugees and the environment.

Students held a mock vote and during a one-hour period, almost 600 students voluntarily marked a ballot (incidentally, the results were fairly evenly split).

Oct. 20, the day after the election, was filled with discussion and continued debate. As a parent, a teacher and a Canadian, I am optimistic about our great country’s future.

I know we have passionate, informed young citizens who will actively participate in future elections and exercise their democratic right to vote.

Julia Mawhinney,

Teacher-Librarian,

W.L. Seaton Secondary School