Next generation of Alberta voters weigh in on election campaign

Today’s youth are tomorrow’s voters; Danina Falkenberg meets a couple of high school kids who will be voting in a mock student vote for the Alberta election and find out what they think of politics today.

By Danina Falkenberg

Some Alberta high school students are taking part in a student vote, and while they aren’t old enough to vote yet, they are learning about the election process.

CityNews spoke with a pair of high school students from Central Memorial High School in Calgary days before Monday’s provincial election.

“I listen to the news every single day on the way to school because I have a grandparent, and I don’t like listening to music. I like hearing what is happening,” Kaitlyn said.

While it may not think of someone Kaitlyn’s age listening to the news, this student is taking an interest in politics and is even volunteering at a polling station on Alberta’s election day.

“I also think it’s very interesting that this year there have been a lot of commercials and signs about different parties like talking bad about the other parties, and in my opinion, it’s not quite the way to go in politics,” Kaitlyn explained.

“I think you should be … expressing your views and what you want to do with the province.”

Kaitlyn and Kate have both learned curriculum focused on democracy in Canada and Alberta, and the whole school will take part in a mock student vote for the Alberta election.

The student vote is run by CIVIX, an organization that works towards strengthening democracy.

“We often see that the student vote results closely mirror the general election in their races, sometimes we’ll see a little bit of a difference in the popular vote vs the actual winners,” said Ruth Matthew, community relations manager with CIVIX.

Related Stories:

“Sometimes, I would chalk that up to the students more willing to listen to the platforms policies and the promises of the other candidates and not being as taken by strategic voting as say the adults might be.”

Kate is a grade 12 student who thinks the mock student vote is important because it shows how easy it is to vote.

“The most important thing I’ve learned is probably about voter apathy,” Kate told CityNews.

“How voting affects you as an individual, how it affects your rights, your freedoms. How it affects your mindset based on how the democracy in your country is formed, and just how lucky we are to live in a place where we have the right to vote for someone that reflects our values best,”

These students will still be 17 on May 29, Alberta’s election day so the official ballot box will be out of reach for them this time, but they will be set for a future of practicing their democratic right to vote in Canada.

“I think looking at the provincial election now, it’s such a monumental shift, and that just makes it so much more important to go out and vote for what you think we need in society,” Kate said.

“I think I pay more attention to it because I’m thinking about it because I turn 18 very soon. So, I’m thinking about who I’m going to vote for and what I want the future of our province to be,” Kaitlyn shared.

Albertans eligible to vote head to the polls on Monday.

Top Stories

Top Stories

Most Watched Today