CBC News Federal Election

#

Candidates show students the ropes

Matt CarterMatt Carter is a Ryerson University journalism student. He worked for the Toronto Sun before coming to CBC News Online.


Student Vote
» Tell us your opinion on the voting age.
» More Student Votes articles

At a candidates meeting at Grimsby Secondary School, it was Conservative Dean Allison that Grade 10 student Beth Mosca was watching most intently.

Beth Mosca

"I was really impressed with him. He was very direct in his answers," Mosca said. "When he came into the school he was mingling around and talking to students. He seemed really friendly and open."

Allison joined Liberal candidate Heather Carter and Christian Heritage party candidate Dave Bylsma at the southern Ontario high school on Dec. 14. The candidates, all representing the riding of Niagara West-Glanbrook, gave two-minute speeches and took questions from the students.

RELATED:
Regina high school students have their say
AudioAudio: On Dec. 15, Grade 12 students at Sheldon Williams School got the chance to confront federal election candidates in their riding. The CBC's Brett Bradshaw was there. (Runs 1:03)

"I found the large amount of student participation encouraging," Allison said. "There was a real sense they were interested in what we had to say. We couldn't even get through all the questions they wanted answered."

Mosca, 15, can now use Allison as a role model. She is the Conservative party leader in her school's shadow election, run in conjunction with Student Vote 2006, a broader shadow election in which some 700,000 elementary and high school students across the country will vote.

Mosca has been studying the Conservative party platform, and in the coming weeks will deliver speeches to Grade 10 civics classes and some senior classes in the hopes of convincing students to vote Conservative.

"I'm learning a lot about health care and about taxes. I like how the Conservatives want to put money back in taxpayers' pockets, to let the economy grow on its own," she said. "I like their position on day care. There are a lot of parents who want to stay home with their kids, so I think giving every family their own money to decide what to do with it is really the best way."

Dylan Coletto

Dylan Coletto, 15, has been making similar preparations. Coletto is the school's New Democratic Party leader. "I really do support the NDP. The way that Jack Layton wants to arrange things is just perfect. Like the surplus. He wants to spend it on Kyoto and health care. I think that's right," he said.

During the candidates meeting, students asked questions about post-secondary education, gay marriage and the possibility of lowering the voting age to 16. "Heather Carter talked about getting youth involved in voting, but she never really specified whether she was supportive of [lowering the voting age]," Coletto said. "The only one who really got into it was Dean Allison. He supported it."

Christian Heritage candidate Dave Bylsma hoped to inspire the students, not only to vote, but to consider running as a candidate one day. Bylsma, 35, told the students how he was first inspired to run back in 1993. That summer he travelled the country in a pickup truck, sleeping in farmers' fields as he went.

"I met native Canadians. I met farmers. I met tree planters and businessmen," Bylsma said. "I saw bad things and I saw good things, and I saw that it was a country worth saving. When I got home, the writ had dropped and I decided to run."

Grade 10 student Catherine Robertson, part of the NDP caucus for the shadow election, was inspired by the meeting. "Teenagers aren't very involved in politics. I liked the idea of lowering the voting age. Maybe we'd be more involved or even run. I know I'd like to, now that I know more about it," she said.

RELATED LINKS:
CBC does not endorse and is not responsible for the content of external sites. Links will open in new window.


# # [an error occurred while processing this directive]
ELECTION RESULTSDetails>
1241035129
Total Elected and Leading
CON124036.27%
LIB103030.23%
BQ51010.48%
NDP29017.48%
IND10.52%
OTH005.02%

Riding Profiles

Select a province or territory.

Latest Features

CAMPAIGN CONFIDENTIAL
Identity revealed

REALITY CHECK
» The first throne speech
» A different way to elect our MPs?
» What happened to Paul Martin?

CONSERVATIVE PLANS
What happens now?
»Building consensus
»Tory cabinet possibilities
»Tories then and now

THE BLOGS
» Final thoughts from our election roundtable
» The blog report

POLL SAYS...
Environics survey casts light on result

ELECTION CARTOONS
Photo gallery

WHITHER THE LIBERALS
What's next for Canada's 'natural governing party'

RESULTS ANALYSIS
CBC.ca's Reality Check Team on election day developments

STUDENT VOTES
The results

YOUR SPACE
Your letters on the election

IN PICTURES
A new era

STEPHEN HARPER
Profile

ON THE OTHER HAND
Anthony Westell suggests it may be harder to unite the left than it was to unite the right

MODERN LIVING
Georgie Binks on how Stephen Harper may jump-start the women's movement

POLITICS
Larry Zolf muses on the next Liberal leader

INSIDE MEDIA
Tony Burman on how voters helped shape the CBC�s election coverage

#
             
   
Jobs | Contact Us | Permissions | Help | RSS | Advertise
Terms of Use | Privacy | Ombudsman | CBC: Get the Facts | Other Policies
Copyright © CBC 2015