Column: Election routine instilled at a young age

Students attending K-12 schools in Canada have the opportunity to participate in mock elections and have their votes tallied.

Students attending K-12 schools in Canada have the opportunity to participate in mock elections and have their votes tallied in a larger student vote tally.

The program has been going on for several years and in our district many schools participated in the student elections this week.

On Thursday morning I watched as students at Marie Sharpe elementary participated.

They registered to vote and then were given an official ballot marked “Student Vote” that listed all seven Cariboo-Prince George riding candidates.

To mark the candidate of their choice, the students went behind an official Elections Canada cardboard screen.

Then as student officials observed them, the voters dropped their ballots in one of two officially marked election boxes.

Principal Calvin Dubray said he’s run the election program in schools for eight years.

He likes the idea because it is a good way to familiarize students with the process.

All vote results have to be sent in online by Friday, Oct. 16.

I agree with Mr. Dubray.

It is a great way to introduce students to voting.

When I was growing up my parents never told me who they voted for, but our home was not void of political discussions. There were always plenty of debates.

Throughout the years our children have asked me who I was voting for and before I began working at a newspaper I would tell them without hesitating.

Now I keep that a secret because I believe that I am supposed to be neutral if I am covering politics.

Last month our 22-year-old son attended the all-candidates forum at TRU with me and said it was interesting.

He also told his dad and I we should watch CBC’s Peter Mansbridge’s one-on-one interviews with the federal leaders because he’d learned a lot from viewing them.

While the pages of this edition of the Weekend Advisor are rolling off the presses Thursday night I am hoping many of us are attending the all-candidates forum at the Pioneer Complex.

It will be the first time all seven of the candidates in our riding will have been together in Williams Lake.

By this time next week, I’ll have either Tracy Calogheros, Sheldon Clare, Gordon Campbell, Adam De Kroon, Trent Derrick, Todd Doherty or Richard Jaques on my list of contacts as our new MP.

Judging from the promises made during the campaign, I am hoping to hear from our new MP on a regular basis.

Monica Lamb-Yorski is a staff writer with the Tribune/Weekend Advisor.

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