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students voting

Posted By: pat kidd on October 31, 2004
Initially the title of your article brought my "Community Action" course requirement to mind. I was curious as to the reactions you received, your course of action and of course the doability and legality. Although the 'action' is different the problems might be similar.

I applaud the action of requiring students to register and trusting in their integrity to carry through with the action of voting. Often, arguments given by students and adults of all ages against voting are specious and arise from the lack of experience with the voting system. Like anything else, something put off, becomes harder and harder to fac.

Politics and political action, as well as Community Action, have been part of my courses since I started teaching (1962), no matter the subject or level.

I began this practice with my first year in teaching with a grade three class, and have continued the practice with my high school and junior high school students. Even though most could not vote themselves, after creating their own parties and proceeding through the whole electoral process, we embraced the existing parties in Canada. After learning about the different parties, the students brought home current information to their parents, most of whom welcomed it.

Many students became personally involved with the party of their choice, even at the elementary level: stuffing envelopes, dropping pamphlets, serving as scrutineers and literally dragging parents who proclaimed that they would not vote, to the polls saying: "Then you'll vote my way". There is no assurance that the parents voted as the students directed, however, it might be safe to assume that many did.

"If you don't get out and vote, you can't complain," was often the mantra the students used to encourage political action.

Correct me if I am wrong but I believe that Plato that said something to the affect that --If you are too smart to get involved in politics you are destined to be ruled by people 'dumber' than you.
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 students voting by pat kidd on October 31, 2004
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