Student Vote at North Woods would have seen NDP win
BY DENNY SCOTT
As voters across the province headed to the polls last Thursday, students at North Woods Elementary School were heading to their own polls to participate in the province’s Student Vote Ontario program.
The students in Marcy Bachert’s class cast their ballots for the province’s political parties, leading to a very different political landscape than the one their parents created.
While Huron-Bruce’s incumbent MPP Lisa Thompson claimed a decisive victory in the riding, capturing more than half the votes cast, the students in Bachert’s class at North Woods gave the win to the New Democratic Party with 39 per cent of the vote (nine votes), followed by Thompson’s Progressive Conservative Party at 30 per cent (seven votes), the New Blue Party at 13 per cent (three votes) and the Green Party at four per cent (one vote).
Across the province, 29 per cent of student votes went to the NDP totalling 75 seats, while 22 per cent of votes went to the Liberals for 28 seats. The Progressive Conservatives captured 17 seats with 19 per cent of the vote, while the Green Party captured 16 per cent of the vote. That differs drastically from the results of the provincial election that saw the Progressive Conservatives claim a majority victory with 83 seats, followed by the NDP with 31 and the Liberals with eight. The Green Party holds one seat and one independent candidate was elected to Queen’s Park.
Students were surprised with the outcome of the provincial election when contrasted with their own, according to Bachert, as the younger voters were surprised more people didn’t choose liberal candidates. The class felt the NDP won in their classroom because of the promises that would benefit Huron and Bruce Counties, but were surprised the New Blue captured as many votes as it did, as it was a new party.
When asked what led to the differences between the student election and the provincial one, students felt their classmates who had presented for the NDP and the New Blue provided more information than those who represented the other parties. They also felt that parental influence played a role in the outcomes.
The students also felt that the PC Party captured the provincial win because incumbent parties and representatives carry some weight when it comes time to cast votes.