Since the first day of school, the federal election campaign has been front and centre of every Torah Academy of Ottawa (TAO) student’s attention. In their general studies and French classes, TAO students have learned about the voting process and our democratic, parliamentary system of government. Older students researched individual candidates and developed parties and platforms of their own.
This activity reached its climax on Friday, October 16, as the student body voted in realistic polling stations as part of Student Vote 2015. Student Vote is sponsored by CIVIX and is a parallel election for students under voting age. Its purpose is to provide young Canadians with an opportunity to experience the voting process build the habits of informed and engaged citizenship
For the Student Vote election, TAO’s older students took on the roles of deputy returning officers and poll clerks, and organized a vote using authentic election materials. Identical to the official election process, TAO’s students had the opportunity to vote for the candidates running in Torah Academy’s local riding (Ottawa West—Nepean). The ballots were tabulated in school and reported to CIVIX. CIVIX in turn tallied and verified all the Student Vote results from across Canada and publicly released them on election night and shared them with media for broadcast and publication. While TAO’s students bucked the national trend and overwhelmingly supported Conservative Party candidate Abdul Abdi, they fully accept the will of the people and are excited to see and learn about how Justin Trudeau will go about forming a new Liberal majority government.