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Student voters make their picks

Though not eligible to vote, northern B.C. students have gone with a red/blue split for the two Prince George-area ridings. Nearly 3,000 student ballots from 37 schools in the Cariboo-Prince George riding - including D.P.
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Students at Duchess Park Secondary School take part in the Student Vote 2015. Citizen photo by Brent Braaten Oct 14 2015

Though not eligible to vote, northern B.C. students have gone with a red/blue split for the two Prince George-area ridings.

Nearly 3,000 student ballots from 37 schools in the Cariboo-Prince George riding - including D.P. Todd secondary, Foothills, Malaspina and Quinson elementary and IMSS English language students - selected Liberal Tracy Calogheros as their MP. In Prince George-Peace River-Northern Rockies, more than 4,600 students from 46 schools - including Duchess Park secondary, Blackburn, Giscome and Hart Highlands elementary - picked Conservative Bob Zimmer to return to Ottawa.

Calogheros was mock elected with 35 per cent of the students votes, followed by New Democrat Trent Derrick with nearly 23 per cent of the vote. Conservative Todd Doherty was the third-place pick (20.59 per cent), followed by the Green Party's Richard Jaques (12.45 per cent), Independent Sheldon Clare (4.12 per cent), Christian Heritage Adam De Kroon (3.24 per cent) and the unaffiliated Gordon Campbell (1.75 per cent).

Zimmer was mock elected with 37.45 per cent of the student votes with Liberal Matt Shaw coming in second with nearly 30 per cent of the votes. Green candidate Elizabeth Biggar came in third (14.77 per cent), followed by New Democrat Kathi Dickie (11.65 per cent), Libertarian Todd Keller (4.13 per cent) and Progressive Canadian Barry Blackman (2.3 per cent).

Nationally, the 850,000 students participating in Student Vote 2015 - a parallel election held last week following weeks of students learning about the democratic process from teachers and, in some cases, the candidates themselves - elected a Liberal majority government. The Liberals, took 37.5 per cent of the popular vote and won 223 seats, leaving the Conservatives to form the official Opposition with 69 seats.

Students gave the NDP 40 seats in the House of Commons, the Green Party four seats and the Bloc Quebecois one seat.

"It is astounding that more than 850,000 young Canadians took part in this year's Student Vote from nearly every riding in the country," said Taylor Gunn, president and CEO of CIVIX Canada, in a press release. CIVIX, a charity aimed at building the skills and habits of citizenship among young people, partners with Elections Canada to operate the Student Vote program. "We have nearly doubled the number of schools that took part in the last federal election. These numbers are a reflection of the incredible effort put forth by Canadian educators to ensure that, by using Student Vote in their classrooms, they are building their students into citizens."