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Right to Vote

How important is it to feel like your voice is being listened to? Learn how it feels to be left out of a vote that matters to you and recognize that this happens to many people in various parts of the world.

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Plan

  • What materials will you need for this adventure?  
  • How can we decide on matters that are important to us, that will be used in a vote?  
  • What topics will you vote on? Topics could include what meals you will eat at your next camp, how you will form teams for another activity, or whether you will meet outside every second week. 
  • How will you decide on who will vote and who will not for each? Brainstorm a few ways to decide. Maybe only members of a certain Lair or Patrol can vote for an issue, or only people with laces on their shoes. Do not choose things that will hurt anyone’s feelings, like their weight or skin colour. 

Do

  • Select a range of topics to vote on. It works best if these are real issues that you are interested in or will impact on you. Label two small containers with ‘Yes’ and No’. 
  • Give each person a counter and invite them to vote on each issue in turn.  
  • Make a count for each vote and then redistribute the counters.  
  • For a couple of the votes, exclude some people from voting based on what you brainstormed from earlier. For example, you can’t vote if you are wearing green/have a missing tooth, etc. Keep a note of these, as you will refer to them later. 

Review

  • After the voting, take a chance to talk about how everyone felt about being left out of a vote which they cared about.  
  • Are there any groups who are excluded from voting now? In the past? The UN Convention of the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), Article 12, states that children have the right to participate in decision-making processes that may be relevant in their lives. Do they feel that there are opportunities for their voices to be listened to? At school? In the community? Elsewhere? 

Materials

  • Bins/Small containers 
  • Counters (bingo or counting chips, or small paper card for each participant for voting) 

Keep it Simple

  • Shorten the activity by only allowing one or two people to make all the decisions about various things. The person leading the activity may appoint a small group of people to make all the choices for the group. After this exercise, ask how this made everyone else feel. Why does it important to listen to each other and value other’s opinions?  

Take it Further

  • Take it further and check out the link provided. Lead into deeper discussions about voting in Canada and discuss the fact that women did not always have the right to vote. How does this make you feel? Furthermore, discuss the importance of voting once you are old enough. Why is it important to exercise our right to vote?  
  • Additionally, if timing aligns follow an election in Canada or elsewhere in the world. Track who the candidates are, what the issues are and the results. Do you notice any trends in the results?