If students were the ones voting in the 2021 federal election, things would look a bit different in the Okanagan.
Student Vote Canada holds mock elections alongside the official elections. According to its website, Student Vote is an “authentic learning program” that provides students with the opportunity to experience the voting process and practice the habits of active and informed citizenship.
In the riding of Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, things wouldn’t look too different as far as the end result goes. Students chose to elect Conservative MP-elect Dan Albas with a total of 900 votes and a significantly reduced 31.44 per cent of the votes, down from the more than 45 per cent he won the riding with the 18-plus vote. Joan Phillip came in second with 733 votes and 27 per cent of the votes, followed by Sarah Eves with 466 votes and 16.28 per cent of the vote.
Kelowna-Lake Country, however, students chose federal NDP candidate Cade Desjarlais as its MP — despite his coming in at third in the real election. Desjarlais won with 707 votes and 34.83 per cent of the votes, followed by Conservative MP-elect Tracy Gray with 552 votes and 27.19 per cent of the votes. Liberal candidate Tim Krupa came in third with 374 votes and 18.42 per cent of the votes.
Schools from across the two ridings participated in the program. Most of the votes in Kelowna-Lake Country came from Dr. Knox Middle School (817 votes), followed by Watson Road Elementary (158 votes).
In Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola, most of the votes came from Constable Neil Bruce Middle School with 694 votes followed closely by K.L.O Middle School with 538 votes.
Nationally, things are quite a bit more muddled. Students Canada-wide would have chosen the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh as prime minister, with the party winning 118 seats and forming a minority government.
Justin Trudeau’s Liberals would have formed the official opposition with 106 seats and the Conservatives would have been relegated to Canada’s third party with 88 seats. The student vote saw the Bloc Québécois fall to just 21 seats and the Green Party get three.