The story of building citizens starts now

August 2nd, 2015 by CIVIX

Canada’s 42nd general election has begun and Canadians will go to the polls to elect our next federal government on October 19.

This will be the longest, most expensive and viciously fought election campaign in Canada’s history – and it all starts with the Conservatives, NDP and Liberals in a three way race.

For those that follow politics, it doesn’t get more exciting than this. For those that don’t, there might finally be something to care about.

The team at CIVIX has been preparing for this day for more than a year and we stand ready to deliver our farthest reaching and most effective Student Vote program yet.

I write today because I want you to be a part of one of the most important stories that will be coming out of the next 11 weeks: the story of 600,000 students under the voting age becoming engaged in the election and building the habits of active and informed citizenship.

For 12 years and 26 elections, our team has been very comfortable keeping our heads down focused solely on delivering our best at work. That’s our style. But, this election, we’re going to occasionally raise our heads to speak with our friends and donors to share the inspiration we feel when organizing a Student Vote, and to open ourselves to the encouragement and support that you can offer us as we work towards our ambitious goals. We need it.

Here’s how Student Vote is starting this campaign:

– Nearly 3,000 schools have registered for Student Vote as of today, representing approximately 20% of all schools in Canada. We’ve already reached 70% of our total registrations of the 2011 election. Our end goal is 6,000 schools registering and receiving materials from Student Vote and 600,000 students casting a Student Vote ballot.

– By the end of September, CIVIX will have trained 800 teachers with the aim of improving their ability to deliver Student Vote in their classrooms this fall. Over 400 teachers will have been trained cumulatively in BC, Ontario and Quebec, and another 400 will be trained in Calgary and Edmonton. We hope to establish a precedent in Calgary and Edmonton with more than 70% of all schools in a major urban centre participating in Student Vote.

– CIVIX is trying something new this campaign: engaging directly with students. We’re finalizing the design of a Student Vote Council for high school students across Canada. The goal is to give students a voice throughout the campaign, and actively collect and share content from their election experience. It’s a gamble, but a fun and important one to take.

We’re chasing a dream this campaign. The dream is that kids inspire this election.

By late September, thousands of schools across Canada will be motivating their students to pay attention to the election. Hundreds of schools will bring in local election candidates for meet-and-greets with their students, or even school-wide candidate forums.

Kids as young as ten years old will be causing their families to watch the leaders’ debates and challenging their parents to vote. At Thanksgiving dinner, families will be inspired or shamed into voting by the knowledge and opinions of the election that their kids bring home to the dinner table.

During National Student Vote Week, October 13th to 16th, more than half a million students under the voting age will cast their Student Vote ballot for local election candidates with their peers acting as Deputy Returning Officers and Poll Clerks.

The first complete riding-by-riding results available on election night will be the Student Vote results, and they almost always predict the winner.

This is going to be an incredible 78 days.

We’ll be in touch soon. Remember, the first debate is on Thursday night.

Taylor

P.S. – We chuckle when we get confused for a government agency. We’re not. CIVIX is a charity that is powered by real citizens – not folks – that believe in what we do and donate their money for us to do it. We happily provide receipts. More on our partners and donors for this campaign soon!

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