Students turn pollsters

  • May. 4, 2011 6:00 a.m.

ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News

A group of PCHS students have learned firsthand the political opinions of Ponoka residents.

With the help of teacher Brady Teeling, the grade 9 social AP class took to the streets of Ponoka and administered a survey to over 120 Ponoka residents.

Their results, although they accurately match the riding’s results from the previous election, yielded some interesting information.

The 25 plus students broke into six groups and set up in various locations in the town in order to get an accurate and balanced reading of the town’s political views. They set up at Subway, the IGA, the livestock market, the post office and random places around downtown.

The questions asked were sex, age, party of choice, party leader of choice, majority or minority; and whether or not the political advertising affected their views.

The results were roughly 79% Conservative, 4% Liberal, 11% NDP and a slightly surprising 5% Green party vote.

“It’s amazing that we can make people think about politics,” said Maddison Pearman, a student in the class, referring to how their presence at the livestock auction started a large political discussion.

Through their survey, the group experienced a few interesting situations, including party fanatics ranting and raving; and a peculiar incident that involved a woman’s pants falling down.

The group discovered through doing the survey that Ponoka residents, with the odd exception, are passionate and very informed on politics, said Pearman.

Another interesting piece of information gathered was the fact that political advertising – which costs the parties millions every election – had very little effect on political views.

“People just thought it was a waste of time and money,” said Mathew Osborn, another student in the grade 9 class, referring to the 76% who said that advertising had absolutely no effect on their political choice.

The four students interviewed say that, although they are too young to vote now, they do plan on being involved and voting in future elections.