Every time there is an election, Rick Plato, a Grade 12 political science teacher a CP Allen High School, puts out a challenge to his students: become a candidate and get rewarded on your report card.
“If I can spark them to get involved and see how important it is, it’s well worth it,” said Plato, a man with a fitting last name for political science.
Up until this year, no one had taken Plato up on his challenge. This year, two students have thrown their hats into the political ring.
Neil Green and Chelsea Richardson, both 18, will be running as candidates in the 38th provincial election on June 9.
Green, another fitting last name, will be running as the Green Party candidate in the Bedford-Birch Cove riding; Richardson will be on the ballot for the Greens in the Pictou West riding.
“The reality of them winning is slim-to-none, but they’re getting great experience,” said Plato. “They’re getting involved, meeting people and learning about issues.”
With plenty of open ridings, the Green Party was a logical choice for the two students. The party’s platform also happens to be in-line with the students’ political leanings.
“They both are certainly green,” said Plato.
Richardson had wanted to run in the Bedford-Birch Cove riding, but Green secured the party’s nomination first. So she opted for Pictou West.
Although far from home, Richardson visited the riding and successfully secured the signatures necessary to be on the ballot.
In addition to Green and Richardson, several other students from Plato’s class have joined parties and have become engaged in the political process.
“It’s the most excitement and involvement with any of the groups I’ve had,” said Plato.
Green’s involvement will be taken to the new level on Tuesday morning when he participates in an all-candidates debate at CP Allen.
The debate, which will feature candidates from Bedford-Birch Cove as well as Hammonds Plains-Upper Sackville, will take place in the school gymnasium in front of 200 to 300 students of voting age.
The Bedford Beacon plans to be in attendance.