About Why I Vote

Project description:

In the last federal election, a stunning 41 percent of eligible voters – or 5,382,130 Canadians – abstained from voting.

Official turnout for the 40th federal general election held in 2008 was an  all-time low of 58.8% for 2008. The participation in 2011 is comparable to the turnout seen in other elections since 2000, but much lower than participation prior to 1993, when turnout typically varied between 70% and 80%. Ref: http://www42.statcan.gc.ca/smr08/2011/smr08_152_2011-eng.htm

The purpose of our “Why I Vote” project is to have students appreciate the importance of voting in a democratic society such as Canada’s by having students interview and record the thoughts and insights of their parents and grandparents.

Many Canadians have come to Canada from difficult situations in their home countries. One of the things that new Canadians cherish most is the opportunity to have their voices heard by voting freely in democratic elections.

Voting is something that many Canadians appear to be taking for granted in recent elections.

It is my hope that by having my students participate in our “Why I Vote” project, they will come to develop a greater appreciation for the responsibility that comes with Canadian citizenship.

It is my hope to have our project culminate with our school hosting a Canadian Citizenship ceremony at he end of the school year.

Partner community organization(s) and contact name(s):
Parents and grandparents of my Social Studies students.

Outcomes / Goals:
-Students will learn to appreciate the importance of voting as a fundamental part of a democratic society as expressed by their own parents and grandparents

Project Timeline:
-December 2012: The project will begin
-December 2013: A Website blog will be established at www.whyivote.ca
-January – February 2013: Students will document parents’ and grandparents’ reflections in response to the project title, “Why I Vote?” and have these reflections posted on our www.whyivote.ca Website blog
-if time permits, students will invite other guests to our project such as other teachers, local business and municipal leaders such as Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi to also participate.
-June 7th, 2012 Springbank Middle School hosts a Canadian Citizenship ceremony and share these videos


This project was conceived of by Canadian teacher Bill Belsey. Mr. Belsey’s Social Studies students at RancheView School were invited to participate in and contribute to this project.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canadian Teachers’ Federation through an Imagine Action grant.

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