Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Federal Election #42 2015

Here we are again! Too many ignore the importance of an election. Whether it is Federal, provincial/territorial or municipal, government political work affects our lives.

Election campaigns are complex
Teachers are wise to take this opportunity to explore this important facet of Canadian Politics. Students can collect articles, campaign pamphlets, view debates, and generally exploit this phenomenon that lends itself to literacy and integrated unit opportunities. You need not have a great deal of experience or be a political animal, the older students (Gr. 4 and above) can have a grand time. My Gr. 8’s, back in 2006, found a lot of excitement in following what proved to be a minority government.

Critical Thinking Skills

We debated platforms, talked about issues, spoke of local candidates and party leaders. There
was a buzz. We learned not to believe everything we read. In the time since, however, there are much more information out there than before.  In my classrooms we compared and contrasted what we read, saw on TV and heard on radio. My classroom walls were filled with articles that students would rush in to show me.

It was interesting comparing the difference between Municipal ( and Regional), Provincial and Federal mandates and issues. It is the Municipal elections that have a profound effect on citizens in terms of your region and local taxes, but a Federal election is a prime opportunity for separating out the various levels of government and determining their mandate and effect upon Canadians as a whole. Once the election was over we were not finished. Then we compared the candidates between 2004 - 2006. Wikipedia was a great source, as long as we were not looking for much more than data.

Another aspect of this current election is the effect that applications like Twitter and Facebook have on election fever.

Learning Activities

1. CheckTo begin: a) Create a title page and a table of contents. Create a KWL chartKWL
 b) View this Powerpoint introduction to voting in Canada, an overview - based on the book:Canada Votes.
Can you add any information to your chart now? Do you have any more questions?
c) Here are some photos of my bulletin boards: these are the resources we have used in the classroom.
2. L.A.a) Visit the Political party names and logos page on Election Canada's website to find the registered political parties.
b) What is the platform of the various parties?c) Compare the issues using comparison charts like these for 2006.
3. L.A. VOCABULARYSpelling activity sheet | My Wordsearch Puzzle | My Crossword Puzzle | Glossary of special terms.

ballot box
Prime Minister
Governor General
polling station
political party

electoral officer
returning officer
electoral reform
campaign manager
polling agencies
Leader of the Opposition
House of Commons
b) CBC.ca/dictionary of vocabulary words.
c) Elections Canada has information in other languages, as well.
c) Here are some vocabulary words you should know:
d) What do you think should be done to resolve these issues. If you were a candidate what would your platform be like?
e) What do you think about the various slogans candidates are using?
f) Which of the issues concern you?
e.g. Education, Poverty, the economy, First Nations, Equality for families, Day Care, Definition of marriage, Immigration Policy, Free Trade, Health Care, , Low voter turnout, low percentage of young voters, the environment, gun violence, corruption in government, Senate Reform, fixed election policy made into law, first past the post.
4. Matha) How many women vs. men sat in Parliament in 2006?
b) i) What is the gender ratio of candidates (this is 2006 info) running in this election? Equal Voice is trying to increase the numbers of female candidates.
ii) What about the ethnic ratio of candidates? Does it vary by province, territory or rinding?

5. Matha) What was the voting results (by party) in the last Federal Election in your riding, by province or in Canada? Visit the map of election 2006 results.
b) This is the Parliamentary seating chart for the 41st parliament. Students can label this seating chart and colour code it by party affiliation. Then can compare and contrast the 2006 results.
2006 Seats in the House
Seating Govt

6. Math a) Look at the graphs that examine polls, created by CBC news. Another great site has been created at WLU (2008) looks at various polls. Very thoughful site. It looks at the inconsistency of polls. Dr. Kay questions the lack of systematic approach by pollsters.
b) Compare the Globe & Mail interactive graph results dating from 2000 to 1867. Originally the two parties in Canada were the Tories and the Liberals. Which results indicated that other parties were involved and winning seats and in which years?
c)Write 250 words about the expenses in the 2000 election.
d) Wikipedia also has polling data. At this site you can compare graphs from various polling agencies.
i) Write 5 questions a peer should be able to answer based on these graphs.topii)What do impact you think the "undecided" electors make? Check the polls, compare the events by looking at the enwspaper editorials on these topics.
e) Facts and Figures about Canada and voters. This page includes historical facts and a timeline.
f) Election 2004 Results in Nepean-Carleton by the 611 individual polling stations, by Southern Ontario,
g) percentage of votes by party for 2000 & 2004, (all in .pdf format) from the larger document on the Elections Canada web site.

7. a) Many newspapers, and other media, have been printing polling information.
b) i)Do you think that this information is reliable or accurate? ii) Do you think it has a direct effect on the election, rather than reporting news? iii) Does taking a poll change the election results?
d) Newspapers are owned by an increasingly smaller number of people. Compare coverage by various news sources.
e) Why do you think that the 2008 Election was called?

 f) Election features
b) Try Toronto StarmacleansCTV
Globe&Mail for election news.
Use this organizer5 W's for your note taking.

b) Do you know which rules apply to the Media on Election Day? Media at the Polls
8. MathResearch on the Election:
You should be aware of the candidates in your riding. Go to Elections Canada and put in your postal code.
A) Elector information:Election Process
Am I on the list of electors?
What information do you have on the election?
Where is my local returning office?

B) The voting process:
Where do I vote?
Is there level access at my polling station?
When is my polling station open on election day?
When can I vote in advance?
How do I vote by special ballot?
Our bulletin board!

C) Candidates
Who are the candidates in my electoral district?
What are people saying about the gender ratio and the predicted number of women in cabinet?
Equal Voice says that few women are running in winnable ridings. Write an essay or present a logical argument on your findings.
CTV shows where the party leaders are travelling.
Logical Argument
What has been happening during the election campaign? Create a timeline of the process.

h) In which ridings were there VERY CLOSE class? e. g. Parry Sound-Muskoka (2006).
D) Research a history of democracy.
D) Write a 5-paragraph essay on one topic or aspect of the election. It could be a biography, it could be about the slogans, corruption, comparing the platforms of the different candidates, compare voting practices in other countries.
9. History:
b) "Voting in Canada: How a Privilege Became a Right" -CBC Documentary on Equity Issues in the Canadian electoral process. How minority groups won the right to vote across history.Math
c) CBC Canada archives about previous elections. Great videotapes!
d) History of Federal Ridings since 1867. (Government of Canada)
 10. Matha) Explore different levels of government.
b) Here are some more research questions about Canada's House of Commons:i) What were the standings in the House of Commons?House of Commons
ii) Who sits where in the House?
iii) Where are our parliament buildings?
iv) Can you name this: building?
11. a) artCollect some editorial cartoons (CBC has some on-line) for the past month, available on-line. Check for the targets of various cartoons. Is there an evidence of bias for or against particular parties by various media outlets? 

b) Check out the editorial cartoons, the editorials, letters to the editor and look for bias on the part of reporters and individual newspapers.
12. Checka) On-line quizzes: Canada Election Quiz;  Maclean's Quiz

13.  Elections Canada Resources: Young Voters | Learning Resources

14.  Student Vote In 1971 22% of 15 - 19 year olds had jobs (Macleans, 2006). People aged 23 to 29 who won't vote: 14%. According to Elections Canada, percentage of 18-24 year olds who actually voted in 2000: 25%. In 2001 it was 13% of teens who worked full-time. What do you think about having 16 - 18 year olds vote? Is it the right thing to do? Do you think they will vote thoughtfully? Will they vote properly? Will they vote at all? What is the percentage of voters by province and territory?

Quick Links Here is  web page. This includes a PDF Teacher's Guide.DemocracyProject

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