Houston students split on who should be next Member of Parliament

Students in Grade 4 to Grade 12 participated in parallel federal election

Students at two schools in Houston, in a parallel student vote to the Oct. 21 federal election, chose actual winner New Democrat Taylor Bachrach to be their Member of Parliament for Skeena – Bulkley Valley while their voting counterparts at two other schools chose different candidates.

The parallel vote called Student Vote Canada 2019, a national non-partisan effort conducted at thousands of schools across the country, had students at Silverthorne and Twain Sullivan both choosing Bachrach.

Students at Houston Secondary School, however, chose Conservative candidate Claire Rattee while students at Houston Christian School decided Rod Taylor from the Christian Heritage Party should be the Member of Parliament for the riding.

At Silverthorne, Rattee ran second behind Bachrach with Mike Sawyer from the Green party coming in third, Jody Craven from the People’s Party of Canada running fourth, Liberal Dave Birdi in fifth and Rod Taylor from the Christian Heritage Party in sixth spot. No one voted for independents Merv Ritchie and Danny Nunes.

Running behind Bachrach at Twain Sullivan were Rattee in second, Birdi in third, Taylor in fourth, Nunes in fifth and Sawyer in sixth. No one voted for Craven or Ritchie.

At Houston Secondary, Bachrach ran second to Rattee with Birdi in third, Sawyer in fourth, Taylor in fifth, Nunes in sixth and Craven in seventh spot. No votes were case for Ritchie.

Rod Taylor’s first place finish at Houston Christian School was followed by Rattee in second, Craven in third, Bachrach in fourth and Sawyer in fifth. No votes were cast for Ritchie, Nunes or Birdi.

Across the Skeena – Bulkley Valley riding, students from Grade 4 to Grade 12 in 59 schools participated in the parallel vote.

The results mirrored those of the actual election with Bachrach winning and Rattee coming in second. Sawyer ran third in the student vote compared to fourth in the real one. Taylor from the Christian Heritage Party registered fourth in the student vote and fifth in the real election.

Birdi slipped to fifth in the student vote while finishing third in the actual one. Craven finished sixth in each vote with Nunes and Ritchie finishing seventh and eighth in each vote.

Nationally, students followed the actual vote by choosing the Liberals to form a minority government but, in a distinct comparison to the actual election, students chose the New Democratic Party to be the official opposition. The Conservatives ran third in the student vote compared to second in the real one. The Green party ran fourth in the student vote compared to being the last party to elect MPs in the real election.

Student Vote Canada 2019 was organized by CIVIX which bills itself as a “non-partisan, national registered charity dedicated to building the skills and habits of active and engaged citizenship among young Canadians.”

Elections Canada, the non-partisan agency which runs federal elections, was a sponsor of the student vote.

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