Federal election 2015: P.E.I. student vote returns same result as actual election
Students have 'same capacity to engage in the issues and to make informed decisions' about voting
The apples don't fall far from the tree? Students at 37 schools on P.E.I. taking part in a voting program returned results that reflected the actual election results — voting in four Liberal MPs.
"Most of the time, the results of the student vote accurately reflect the outcome on election nights," said Emily Barrette, Student Vote project manager at CIVIX Canada in Toronto, a national group whose mandate is to build the skills and habits of citizenship among young Canadians.
We firmly believe that they have, when given the chance, the same capacity to engage in the issues and to make informed decisions as adults.- Emily Barrette, CIVIX project manager
And Barrette said it was the same case nationally, as students who voted with CIVIX elected a Liberal majority government.
"In the Atlantic provinces all but one seat went Liberal. And so it was neat for us on election night to see how closely the student vote mirrored the results that came in last night," she said.
About 6,500 Island school-age children took part in the CIVIX student vote for this election.
Instead of studying about democracy, with the Student Vote program kids experience it first-hand with pertinent issues in real time. The program is designed to get students interested in the political system, so they will actually vote when they are old enough.
"Really, we're trying to build the habit of voting," said Barrette.
And she says, this proves kids are more capable than they get credit for.
"We firmly believe that [students] have, when given the chance, the same capacity to engage in the issues and to make informed decisions as adults," she said.
"For many students, it's the first time they really sit down and think about our political system, what it means to live in a democracy and have the right to vote and even where they align on the political spectrum," said Barrette.
with files from Angela Walker