Choosing Our Mascot
SIMULATION – STEP-BY-STEP
Explain to the group that they will conduct an ELECTION to choose a mascot. They will have the opportunity to VOTE IN SECRET for the candidate of their choice, either Charlie the Raven, Desneiges the Polar Bear, Max the Walrus, Neevee the Caribou or Sam the Grey Wolf.
Guide the children in discovering the basic principles of a real election:
- A. What is an election?
It is an exercise which allows a group to choose a person as its representative.
Examples: election of a member of Parliament to represent a group of Canadians; election of a class president to represent students.
- B. What does voting mean?
Voting means choosing.
Note: You may mention that there would be no election if there were only one candidate.
- C. Who has the right to vote in a federal election?
People who are:
- i) 18 years of age or older; and
- ii) Canadian citizens.
Moreover, those persons' names have to be on the voters list in order to exercise their right to vote.
- D. What is a candidate?
- A person running for office, like a person who wants to be elected as a member of Parliament.
- E. Why do I vote in secret?
Because my vote is my personal choice.
I have the right to make this choice:
- i) by myself;
- ii) without the assistance of others; and
- iii) without having to tell my friends.
Note: You may explain that it is to avoid hurting our friends' feelings that we do not tell for whom we voted or so that no one can influence our vote.
- F. How is my vote kept secret?
- i) By using little pieces of paper, called ballot papers, that are identical.
- ii) The mark the voters make in the circle is the same for everybody: an "X".
- A check mark is also accepted.
- iii) The voting screen (a hiding place) allows me to vote in private.
- iv) The ballot papers are all dropped into the same sealed ballot box and mixed together.
No ballot can be set apart, so nobody can tell who voted for whom.
A person with a visual disability can vote in secret by using a template (available on request).The ballot paper is folded first, opened and placed inside the template in such a way that the first circle on the ballot is aligned with the first hole on the template. The elector is then informed of the order in which the candidates' names appear.
While the election campaign is meant to introduce the five candidates to the children, it must help build their enthusiasm, arouse their curiosity and, above all, be fun. This kit contains a poster for each candidate and a copy of each candidate's campaign speech. Five children may wave the posters while you or five participants read the speeches. Have the group listen to and participate in the short animated campaign songs of the candidates. The words of these songs and accompanying gestures are also included. To be effective, this role-playing activity must involve all the children.
When the five speeches and songs are over, explain that the campaign is now over and that the group must now remain quiet until the end of voting. Children may work on their activity booklets while waiting to vote or after they vote.