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On Thursday a third of Seaford’s Upper Sixth will vote for the first time. In preparation for the General Election, Seaford held a Mock Election.
Alison Thomas, who teaches Politics & History organised the Mock Election, introduced Seaford’s candidates and urged students to vote on the basis of the policies that meant something to them. She explained that we normally have elections every five years and she explained the reasons behind the ‘quirky’ snap election on Thursday.
All five candidates volunteered because they are keenly interested in politics, Sophia Johnson commenting: ‘Politics is so important because it affects everything.’ Archie Mayes (Conservative), Tommy Hodson (Independent), Sophia Johnson (Green Party), Freddie Hall (Liberal Democrat Party) & Marcus Fairweather (Labour Party) all had friends who worked with them on their campaigns. They presented their manifestos in assemblies and ran their campaign around the campus. All gave their views on their key policies covering the very important issues of climate change, Brexit, the economy, public spending, crime, education, the NHS and immigration.
Alison concluded the assembly: “In our constituency of Arundel and the South Downs the turnout at the last election was very high at 74.5%, let’s mirror this in our Mock Election. One of the most important things to remember with politics is to respect the opinions of others. Even if it’s a tough decision go and vote because people fought and died to have the right to vote and your opinion counts. It is important, it is relevant; the result of the election decides how much tax we pay, the quality of education for a generation, it decides everything.”
On Tuesday whilst voting at the Mock Election Freddie Valmas (from Hindhead), who has birthday in February, said: “As Ms Thomas said yesterday, elections are usually held in May or June every five years and because of the snap election I won’t get the chance to have my say and make a difference. I think voting is a very exciting thing to do.”
Rupert Blackwell (from Liphook) added: “I’ve just missed out on the chance to vote by just four days, my brother is voting and is so excited about it. To just miss out is heart breaking as I want the chance to make a difference. I think the NHS is a critical issue at the moment as we are all so dependent on it.”
Beth Sunderland (from Loxwood) spoke about university fees and said: “I think it’s going to get harder for people to pay of their students loans because the cost of living is going up, especially when you consider the cost of owning your own home for our generation. I’m going into the police force so my fees will be paid but I don’t think it’s fair that other people should pay.”
Caelen Stanton (from Bognor) is excited to cast his first vote on Thursday, he said: “I was nearly swayed by the Labour candidate, he was very persuasive. I was really impressed with the bravery of all of the students who presented. I was nearly swayed by the arguments against privatising the NHS. I’m excited to vote for the first time on Thursday, it’s nice to know my vote will count for something and my vote will have an impact on the running of the country.”
Janet Medlam works at Seaford and helped the students to run the Mock Election. She reflected and said that: “It’s been far more interesting discussing the election with the students than anything on TV at the moment. They speak from the heart and I’ve enjoyed talking to them. For the first time in my life I don’t know who I will vote for and this has made for an interesting discussion with the students. I will vote, because women have fought hard for the right, but I’m finding it hard to put my trust and faith in the leaders of all parties at the moment.”
Headmaster John Green said: “The enthusiasm for our Mock Election shows that Seaford College students really understand the importance of exercising their right to vote and want to make a difference to society. A huge well done to all of the candidates who were brave enough to stand up and present in assembly and to their campaign teams for their hard work and support. A number of people in the audience were swayed by the presentations, which is a credit to the skill of the presenters. There has been a real buzz around Seaford over the last few days and a lot of very important issues are being discussed.”
- Mock Election