ELECTION 2015: Chilliwack students given lesson in democracy

Chilliwack middle school one of several across Canada set up with mock polling stations this week

The library at Chilliwack middle school was a beehive of activity over lunch breaks this week, as students milled in and out to practice democracy.

The school was one of many across Canada to set up polling stations for mock student elections, through the help of an organization called CIVIX. That group reached out to Humanities teacher Pedro Zullo to get the ball rolling, and he paired up the federal elections with lessons in Canadian civics.

In class, his students learned about rights and responsibilities, the Charter, and the parliamentary democracy system in place in Canada. At lunch, they went to the polls to vote for which party they believe would best represent them.

Zullo expected a good majority of his own students to show up at the polls, but he was pleased on Wednesday to see big numbers showing up to vote.

In total, 557 students would have the chance this week to vote, at CMS alone. Across Canada, 600,000 students in elementary and high school schools are being given the chance to test drive the voting process.

The library looked very similar to a real voting station. Three volunteer students, from the school’s leadership program, helped students register with the help of a school list. They were sent to the three Elections Canada voting booths to mark their choice, and then shown how to drop their ballot in the box.

Now, like the rest of Canada, the students will have to wait until all the polls close on the real election day, Oct. 19, to hear the results.

While large numbers of adults hit the advance polls over the weekend, leading to reports of frustrated workers and voters alike, the mood in the school library was nothing short of boisterous.

As they lined up and mingled, they chatted about who they would be voting for, and how to vote. They worried they didn’t have the right identification, and they weren’t all sure how to use the ballots, the booths or the boxes.

Zullo mingled around the booth, patiently herding the young voters to the proper areas. As each voter dropped their choice in the box, they received non-partisan but very patriotic Canada flags and buttons.

By Friday at the end of the lunch break, their votes will be cast. The results will be tallied by volunteers who have taken an oath to keep the results a secret. While the votes will not be used in the federal election (you must be 18 to vote in Canada), the results are kept confidential as to not sway voters on election day.

The mock elections are seen as a teaching opportunity, but also could offer a glimpse into the minds of future voters.

Sienne Mothus was one of the volunteer workers on Wednesday, and she was looking forward to casting her first ever ballot.

“I think it’s a good idea to get ready to vote,” she said. “It gives you more feelings of responsibility.”

jpeters@theprogress.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police lights
Chilliwack RCMP plan December campaign against impaired drivers

Police remind motorists that cannabis and prescription drugs can also affect driving ability

Kevin Davey with Heritage Village long-term care facility holds a bag open as Lucyanne Carruthers of Panago Pizza in Sardis stacks some of the 35 pizzas to be given to the seniors’ residence on Friday, Dec. 4, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Pizzeria owner continues to bring free lunches to Chilliwack seniors in long-term care

Even during COVID, Lucyanne Carruthers of Panago has been giving pizza lunches to Heritage Village

Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress file)
Chilliwack mother upset about son’s alleged suicide attempt after hospital discharge

Rhonda Clough said 34-year-old son suffering with bipolar disorder should have been kept in hospital

Downtown Chilliwack BIA executive director Kyle Williams promoting the buy local ‘Shopportunity’ program that launched mere days ago. (Screenshot)
Downtown Chilliwack Business Improvement Association parts ways with Kyle Williams

BIA president Ruth Maccan said the association ‘will have a new look in 2021’

An anonymous person has decorated a tree and posted a sign encouraging others to do the same on the Teapot Hill Trail, and Bill Wojtun shared the idea on Facebook. (Facebook photo)
Could Cultus Lake’s Teapot Hill become Holiday Hill this Christmas?

An anonymous person is encouraging people to decorate trees on the local trail

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Dec. 6 to 12

Mountain Day, Dewey Decimal System Day and Lard Day are all coming up this week

Demonstrators, organized by the Public Fishery Alliance, outside the downtown Vancouver offices of Fisheries and Oceans Canada July 6 demand the marking of all hatchery chinook to allow for a sustainable public fishery while wild stocks recover. (Public Fishery Alliance Facebook photo)
Angry B.C. anglers see petition tabled in House of Commons

Salmon fishers demand better access to the healthy stocks in the public fishery

(Hotel Zed/Flytographer)
B.C. hotel grants couple 18 years of free stays after making baby on Valentines Day

Hotel Zed has announced a Kelowna couple has received free Valentines Day stays for next 18 years

Farmers raise slogans during a protest on a highway at the Delhi-Haryana state border, India, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the diplomatic scolding Canada’s envoy to India received on Friday for his recent comments in support of protesting Indian farmers. Tens of thousands of farmers have descended upon the borders of New Delhi to protest new farming laws that they say will open them to corporate exploitation. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Manish Swarup
Trudeau brushes off India’s criticism for standing with farmers in anti-Modi protests

The High Commission of India in Ottawa had no comment when contacted Friday

Montreal Alouettes’ Michael Sam is set to make his pro football debut as he warms up before the first half of a CFL game against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Friday, Aug. 7, 2015. Sam became the first publicly gay player to be drafted in the NFL. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes after being released by St. Louis, but abruptly left after playing one game. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Study finds Canada a ‘laggard’ on homophobia in sports

Among females, 44 per cent of Canadians who’ve come out to teammates reported being victimized

Nurse Kath Olmstead prepares a shot as the world’s biggest study of a possible COVID-19 vaccine, developed by the National Institutes of Health and Moderna Inc., gets underway Monday, July 27, 2020, in Binghamton, N.Y. U.S. biotech firm Moderna says its vaccine is showing signs of producing lasting immunity to COVID-19, and that it will have as many as many as 125 million doses available by the end of March. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Hans Pennink
Canada orders more COVID vaccines, refines advice on first doses as cases reach 400K

Canada recorded its 300,000th case of COVID-19 on Nov. 16

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Apartments are seen lit up in downtown Vancouver as people are encouraged to stay home during the global COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday, Dec. 3, 2020. British Columbia’s deputy provincial health officer says provincewide data show the most important area B.C. must tackle in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic is health inequity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marissa Tiel
Age, income among top factors affecting well-being during pandemic, B.C. survey shows

Among respondents earning $20,000 a year or less, more than 41 per cent reported concern about food insecurity

Grand Chief Doug Kelly, representing the Sto:lo Tribal Council, is one of five signatories on an op-ed issued Dec. 4, 2020 in response to Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond’s report: In Plain Sight Addressing Indigenous-specific Racism and Discrimination in B.C. Healthcare. (Submitted)
OP-ED: Fraser Health and Indigenous leaders respond to report on racism in healthcare

‘We remain committed to real change, ending racism in our system’

Most Read