By Michael Boriero
While many Canadians eligible to vote in the 2021 Federal Election cast their ballots at polling stations across the country, elementary and high school students were also able to take part in a mock election run by Student Vote Canada.
Student Vote is a program created by CIVIX, a non-partisan registered charity dedicated to building the skills and habits of active and informed citizenship among school-aged youth, and more than 700,000 students participated in this year’s election.
There were several schools in the Eastern Townships involved in the program, including Knowlton Academy, which saw the Green Party win the Brome-Missisquoi riding with 20 votes. The Conservative Party finished in a close second with 18 votes.
Meanwhile, the New Democratic Party (NDP) rounded out the top three with 14 votes. Matthew Quesnelle, better known as Mr. Q at Knowlton Academy, helped run the student election at the school, and according to the teacher, students were eager to pick a leader.
“We had a total of 63 student votes out of 100, so it was a pretty good turnout. Students got a piece of candy if they voted, so we enticed them a little bit, but we wanted them to take part in the democratic process,” said Quesnelle.
But while the school went Green in Brome-Missisquoi, most Canadian students voted Liberal and NDP. Student Vote received ballots from all 338 federal electoral districts, and a total of 740,515 votes were reported from 5,478 schools.
The students gave the Liberal Party a minority government with 117 seats and 24 per cent of the popular vote, while the NDP received 107 seats and 29 per cent of the popular vote to form the official opposition. The Conservative Party finished with 91 seats.
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