Rossland Summit School students voted in the Student Vote BC 2017 on Monday.

Students elect NDP government in provincial voting project

B.C. students elected an NDP majority with a Green Party opposition in the Student Vote BC 2017.

B.C. students elected an NDP majority with a Green Party opposition in the Student Vote BC 2017.

More than 170,000 B.C. elementary and high school students participated in the student vote, with 1092 schools, representing all 87 electoral districts, reporting election results.

The results of the Student Vote show the BC NDP counting 60 seats, the BC Green Party counting 14 and the BC Liberal Party counting 12. The students also elected one independent candidate.

Rossland students at Rossland Summit School (RSS) and L’École des Sept-sommets participated in the provincial Student Vote, as did 14 other schools in Kootenay West.

Local students elected NDP incumbent Katrine Conroy with 46.59 per cent of the vote, while Sam Tory, BC Green Party candidate received 32.16 per cent of the vote, and Jim Postnikoff, BC Liberal Party candidate, received 21.25 per cent of the vote.

CIVIX, the non-partisan charity that organized the Student Vote, also released statistics by school.

RSS students voted for Troy with 55.07 per cent of the vote, and gave Conroy 33.45 per cent and Postnikoff 11.49 per cent.

Sept-sommets students voted for Conroy with 57.14 per cent, and gave Troy and Postnikoff an equal number of votes at 21.43 per cent each.

RSS students voted Monday morning, after learning about the election.

“My class learned all about the party platforms, voting history in Canada and their rights and responsibilities as citizens. They also attended an all-candidates forum,” explained Nicola Kuhn, a Grade 7 and 8 teacher at RSS.

Stanley Humphries Secondary School hosted the forum, which was also attended by students from J.L Crowe Secondary School in Trail. Students asked questions about the environment, funding for hospitals and schools and youth mental health.

Kuhn’s students then designed grade-appropriate lesson plans and went around the school teaching to each of the other classes.

Reflecting on what they learned, one student from a Grade 4 and 5 class said, “Voting is important to show you are a citizen.”

A German exchange student in Kuhn’s class was surprised by how different politics in Canada are from Germany.

Another student from the Grade 7 and 8 class said, “It is important to look deep into the party’s platform and not just listen to the sound bites.”

Kindergartners at RSS also had a chance to vote, though they didn’t participate in the official Student Vote.

“The kindergartners and the K-1 class, they went through the whole voting process with us, except we didn’t introduce the political parties,” explained Kuhn. “They voted on dragons, unicorns and fairies.”

One kindergartner summarized the big takeaway for their classmates, “We can only vote for one thing.”