Canadian Federal Election: October 14, 2008
Please consider a donation should you wish to use my materials. ©Copyright Jennifer Jilks, 2007.
Here we are in another election! It seems like yesterday that we had the previous Federal election. It is a grand time to be an educator. 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.
I am concerned with the news coverage. I would like to read information and news – not the blog of everyman. It is hard to weed out facts from those who pontificate with little knowledge or expertise behind them. I read every article with a critical eye. I know that reporters have editors and are accountable. When I see the trend towards anyone being allowed to post offensive, biased, racist and sexist comments, I shudder.
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. The wise educator needs to educate her students. In 2005, 2006 and spoke of candidates. 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. Entrepreneurs http://www.nodice.ca/elections/canada/ have taken advantage of the money they can glean from ads on web site. I have chosen not to. This, in and of itself reflects a bias. One web site provides much information by a political science grad and student teacher. It is possible to have interesting discussions about potential bias (or lack thereof) in this Web site.
1. To begin: a) Create a title page and a table of contents. Create a KWL chart.
2. 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) 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?
4. a) How many women vs. men sat in Parliament in 2006?
b) This is the Parliamentary seating chart National Results in 2004, from Wikipedia. They also offer a graph/map of the results. Students can label this seating chart and colour code it by party affiliation. Then can compare and contrast the 2006 results.
6. 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.
e) Facts and Figures about Canada and voters. This page includes historical facts and a timeline.
7. a) Many newspapers, and other media, have been printing polling information.
You should be aware of the candidates in your riding. Go to Elections Canada and put in your postal code. (If you do not remember your postal code put in the school's postal code: K2E 6M7.)
Visit the on-line, user-friendly guide (for Jr./Intermediates) on
voting in Canada hosted by NALD called: "I
CTV shows where the party leaders are travelling.
h) In which ridings were there VERY CLOSE class? e. g. Parry Sound-Muskoka (2006).
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.
11. a) Collect 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? Here is an analysis sheet to compare them.
b) Check out the editorial cartoons, the editorials, letters to the editor and look for bias on the
12. a) On-line quizzes:
i) CBC Election Quiz ii) Can you answer any of the Poll FAQs?
b) Check out Wikipedia information. Write a report based on this information.
d) Read about by-elections.
i) There was one in Ottawa Center in 2004. Answer the "W" questions about this by-election. Who was running? Who was elected. Where was it held? Why was it held? and "So What?"
14. Local information: Ottawa Candidates in Election 2006.
15. out what the bloggers are saying about the election!
a) What do you really think about the reporters who are out following candidates?
17. 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? Here is the percentage of voters by province and territory in 2004.
[ CBC Canada archives | bloggers | Canada Info | Elections Canada | Editorial cartoons | Election Quiz | Globe &Mail Platform Spreadsheet | House of Commons | Learning Resources | "I Can Vote!" | Canada Votes | Political party names and logos | Ottawa Candidates | Young Voters | Learning Resources | Nodice Elections | Wikipedia Polls | Final unit test (in .pdf)
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