Mock Elections Offer Political Exposure

Shea Danforth, Staff Writer

Caron Brownlee’s Government and Economics classes are holding mock elections November 5 through 8. Seniors will be sorted into groups based on their political views.

The groups were chosen by having the students fill out questionnaires. What they said in the questionnaires determined which political party they are in, spanning from far left (liberal) to the far right (conservative). Through this, students figure out where they fall on the political spectrum, and are able to form their own campaign as well as party platform.

At the beginning of the project, every student received a packet with instructions on what to do.

Each class was able to form 5 different groups, or parties, with an average of 5 people in each group. Every group had to assign 1 individual to be their candidate to represent them in the election for president. The other 4 members take the roles of vice-president, treasurer, public relations director, and party ideologue. Each of these members has a specific and unique role they have to follow.

According to the packet instructions, each group has to create a party structure, include a platform that represents their party’s philosophy, and then write a position paper that explains it. They must then figure out how they are going to raise money, and make a video commercial to persuade other students to vote for their candidate.

Finally, each group must prepare their candidate for a debate and write campaign speech. They then compile all their information into a portfolio folder.

Brownlee believes this project is a great experience for the students and brings a sense of competition. She also thinks it helps expose students to real world politics. “What shocks them the most is the fact that there are more than just two parties,” she said.

Brownlee is trying to teach the kids that there are more than 2 parties in this country.

According to Government and Economics teacher Paul Verbansky, many students believe that disparity in the voting process is influenced by a more liberal community here at Campolindo. However, Verbansky believes that the conservative groups have just as much of a chance to win as the liberal groups, especially if they run a strong campaign. “In all the years I’ve done the mock election in Government, at least one class has had a conservative party win,” he said.

“If anything, this is the conservatives chance to stand out from the crowd and be unique,” Brownlee explained.

Brownlee also gets a vote in the election. She said, “I vote for the party that convinced me for a voter how I should vote. I don’t vote for my beliefs.” She also said that although the candidate does have a big impact on where the students put there votes, they mainly vote for the party and how well they perform.

Senior Cole Whitley is determined to lead his team to victory. “I know that we are going to win,” he said. Whitley took the role of the candidate in his conservative-based group.

Senior Marina Han, a public relations director for her party, is excited for the elections and hopes to use persuasion and psychology in order to prevail over her opponents. “I look forward to the debate and I will try my best to get my candidate elected,” she said.