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OPINION: On Politics, Democracy and Voting – From A Grade 6 Student

Chilliwack, BC – Christopher Lister is well known in education circles for his students being politically and socially aware. He teaches at Strathcona Elementary School and formally Central Elementary Community School.
FVN will be publishing various editorials and opinions from his students.
Be prepared, these kids know what they are saying !
 STK_Election Student Vote 2
Paige is new to Strathcona and is a Grade 6 student:
Abraham Lincoln defined democracy as “government of the people, by the people, for the people”.
To most kids, democracy is just a word. One that means nothing special.  But not to all. This eleven year old believes that if a kid is taught the differences between a democracy,  an oligarchy,  and a dictatorship, hopefully most will prefer democracy and cherish the fact that, that is how our fine country is run. But most don’t really care.
What reason do we have for learning about it? Why should we care? We should care because if our country is to stay strong, all people MUST care. The adults with rights to vote should vote, and the kids should know how to make educated suggestions to those adults. Because later in life those very same kids will have those very same rights, and deserve to be able to use them.
Canada’s problem is that too many adults toss aside their right to vote. They don’t care about government or who runs it as long as their own lives go on as normal. But the thing is that, if adults want that to happen, then they have to play their part in making that happen.
If they are happy with the way the government’s being run, they have to vote to keep that government in power. If they don’t vote and then don’t get their way, it’s partly their own fault for not fighting for what they believe in.
Our Democratic country can’t afford for the coming generations to be raised in these kinds of apathetic environments. We need our children to grow up informed  decision makers. Free thinkers. Our children need to vote. They all need to know that living in a democracy is a privilege not given to all people.
There are many countries suffering in the environments that dictatorship and oligarchy produce. They live under laws that they have no power to change. We are lucky. We have to know how to thrive in this privilege, fight for it. So that there will never come a day when Canadians lose it.
As long as every generation fights for the betterment of humanity, the betterment of all life on Earth, our future generations will thrive in Canada’s democracy.
That is the Canada that we all want to live in. That we all want our children to live in.
But what we want does NOT just magically appear because we want it badly enough. We must work for it, fight for it, vote for it.
And luckily, every vote counts. That’s democracy. Tell your kid.
Paige Thomas
October 15th 2015

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