Wallace High School held its very own election last week, with Lower Sixth students forming three national political parties and running extensive election campaigns.
The mock election, brainchild of Politics and History teacher Mrs Julie Dumigan, was organised by the History and Politics Department with the assistance of former pupil and trainee teacher Neil Armstrong.
Head of Department Dr Carol Fulton explained, ” Our three party leaders , Marc Jamison, Keith Lunn and Peter Coleman, are all studying Government and Politics at AS level. The Wallace Mock election gave them and their campaign team the opportunity to put the theory of their studies into practice. They took up the challenge enthusiastically , with the leaders and their tams researching, canvassing and speech writng. It alos gave the whole school community a chance to participate actively in citizenship, offering a flavour of the democratic process and decision making which will help prepare them for later life.
The mock election stringently folowed the principles of the general election with the three political parties speaking at hustings held during morning assemblies. Election day itself proved very busy with the school library becoming an official pollinng station . Sixth year students acted as polling officials, with identification in the form of library cards and bus passes essential beofre ballot papers were issued. An incredible 70 % turnout signalled the degree of interest in the election within the school community.”
The Labour Party, led by Deputy Head Boy Keith Lunn, emerged victorious in what proved a closely run contest. He commented, “All the particiapnts really enjoyed taking part in the Mock election. Political rivalry was handled in a good natured fashion.” Liberal democrat Leader Marc Jamison added, “We were delighted to come in second place, overturning the traditional third place held by the party on a national basis.” Conservative leader Peter Coleman concluded, “We’d like to thank our teachers for their hard work and also the pupils and staff who took the time to read our policiies and vote .”
Dr Fulton laughed, “I’m glad to say that all elements of mainstream elections were present – over the top advertising, misinformation and a high level of spin!”
Last modified: May 14, 2005