Leela Aheer, candidate for the United Conservative Party (UCP) won the majority vote with 106 votes out of 277 during the East Lake School Student Vote on April 15.
“It was an opportunity for students to get involved in the process of democracy, take part, and vote just like their parents get to,” said East Lake School Teacher Christina Van Den Eynden.
Leading up to the provincial election, students researched the party’s platforms, watched forums, and closely followed the candidate’s campaigns.
A lot of the research the students conducted revolved around the candidate’s education platforms, how the candidates are going to solve the over-crowding issues within Chestermere schools, and the policies surrounding the LGBTQ2SA+.
“That was a deciding vote for a lot of them. They don’t want teachers to call home and tell their parents if they are in that club,” Van Den Eynden said.
She added because voter turnout is lower and lower each year, the Student Vote is a way of getting young people excited to vote when they are old enough.
“They can see how the process works, they can see how it’s important to educate yourself as a voter, so you know the actual platforms of the party. It’s preparing them as adults,” she said.
Overall the Student Vote is received by students how the general public receives the election.
Some students are excited, engaged and want to learn more about the parties, and then other students aren’t as involved.
Grade six student Bryce Mullen was having troubling deciding whom she wanted to vote for during the Student Vote.
“The leaders are planning on doing stuff to Alberta that I don’t personally like,” Mullen said.
However, while learning about the different parties and their platforms, Mullen was able to find a candidate who fit her beliefs and values the best.
“When you vote you pick who represents you, and if they make good decisions for your town. If we all vote for the right Premier, then we’ll have a good Alberta, but if we don’t then we might have a bad Alberta,” Mullen said.
Mullen’s classmate Manreet Sekhon also did a lot of research about the different candidates and their policies before making her decision.
“I’ve been doing a lot of research on what the different candidates want to do to our community and why I should vote for them,” Sekhon said.
While Sekhon’s classmate Kaden Van Den Eynden also researched the running candidates by attending the All Candidates Forum.
“I went to the All Candidates Forum and listened to every answer from the candidates. It was cool,” Kaden said.
He added, “It’s important people vote because then they choose who runs the province and if it’s going to be good or bad.”