Tuesday 7th September 2010 by C. Freeman
Better youth policies and overseas aid were two of the manifesto pledges of the Plainview party that won this year's student election. Plainview, headed by Kapil Tyagi, polled 142 votes, which equated to nearly 30 per cent of all votes cast.
It is the second year that the project, which involves all the Year 8 tutor groups, has taken place. Each tutor group had to agree on their own leader, formulate manifestos, produce promotional literature and videos and then present their policies in an assembly before voting took place. Voters from Years 7, 8, 9, 12 and all staff were eligible to cast votes in the ballot box and the results were announced by the 'returning officer' in the following day's assembly. There were 505 votes cast and a nearly 90% turnout from the lower school electorate.
Dr Fiona Rowe, who co-ordinated the project, said: 'It went really well because the students really do seem to have enjoyed it. They have produced some incredible videos and speeches. The campaign stalls and display boards have been amazing. They have really put their hearts and souls into this and have got a better understanding of the democratic process. There has been quite a focus on education, Afghanistan, abortion, and some questions on the economy and animal rights.'
Students at the voting booths.
Kapil and his fellow students from 8S adopted a transparency policy that obviously appealed to voters. He said: 'We didn't keep secrets or tell lies; we let the public know what they wanted. Our two main policies were on youth; the future of the country rests in their hands and the overseas aid was to show we are a caring nation. We believe that youth need three things; good education, good health and a focus. We are planning on providing that focus by establishing youth centres across the country where they can partake in activities and courses or just relax.
'A lot of my tutor group were working on the advertising. Everyone was just amazing, Sophie Ellis came up with a great badge, Ryan Panter came up with a great slogan 'your dream a reality' and I worked that into my speech as much as I could. I thought about how I could really sell our party and show the voters that we were the party they want. I think I'd enjoy a career in politics because it's a chance to make a change, at least a little bit, and it would be good fun as well.'