This is the fifth edition of Student Vote Alberta, according to CIVIX.
Nearly 200,000 voters students from 1,383 Alberta schools participated in the Student Vote program on Fridaywhich gives a voice to young people who are not yet old enough to vote, according to the non-partisan organization CIVIX whose goal is to develop democratic engagement among young people.
More than 76% of elementary and secondary schools in Alberta participated in the exercise this year.
At École Joseph-Moreau in Edmonton, future voters chose their candidates, among other things, on the basis of the political offer of the parties in terms of elections. education, economy and environment.
At 15, 9th grade student Alexandre Charrois argues that it is important to have political opinions when you are young and especially the courage to express them.
His choice, as well as those of his classmates, in one of the five voting booths set up in the school library, was influenced by more than one factor.
My parents are very fond of this candidate, explains Alexandre Charrois, and I followed this person's electoral campaign. I always found [she] had important political views, the values, the ways money is going to be distributed in the economy.
From left to right: students Pierce Bentz, Elie Aouad, Alexandre Charrois and Marie-Noa Kouadou, from grade 9 to Joseph-Moreau School in Edmonton. They took part in Student Vote Alberta 2023 on May 26
His classmate, Marie-Noa Kouadou, 15, has been vocal about education funding and the place candidates place on environmental issues.
I pushed myself on the environment too because it's our choices now that will affect our choices later.
This parallel election with young people under the age of 18 allows them to learn about the democratic system, underlines Dana Cotnareanu, director of French programming at CIVIX.
Students with participated come out with a lot of emotions.
I felt that … I did something that did not affect society enough in a sense, but which gave an idea of how our generation thinks, says amazed, Marie-Noa Kouadou.
Claudine Tardif, grade 9 social studies teacher at École Joseph-Moreau.
< p class="e-p">I think it's very good because in some countries there is no democracy, so we have the opportunity to be able to make choices for our leaders, adds his comrade Pierce Bentz.
The social studies teacher at École Joseph-Moreau, Claudine Tardif, prepared these students to simulate their civic duty. It was pretty easy, she says, because a course in politics is part of the year-round curriculum.
It's really more Canada in terms of all its political institutions, explains Claudine Tardif. Since this year we are in a provincial election, I really tried to make them see the similarities, but also the differences between the two levels of government.
The The Student Vote program is in its fifth year in Alberta and has seen its highest attendance this year according to CIVIX's Director of Francophone Programming, Dana Cotnareanu.
The students therefore vote for real candidates.
The program encourages young people to become good citizens, active, engaged and informed citizens who will get into the habit of voting once they turn 18.
Young people are first allowed to learn more about elections, about our democratic system, about the parties, the candidates in their riding and at the end of the program to vote for the candidates who are running in the riding of their school. .
The students therefore vote for the real candidates. Schools and students receive educational resources from CIVIX to help them prepare to vote, including voting booths and ballots.
Each edition of Vote student, a website is dedicated specifically to the current election, says Dana Cotnareanu. Alberta Student Vote 2023 results will be compiled and released after the official polls close on May 29.