Teens weigh in on U.S. election

'I think (Obama) speaks for the younger generation'

SYLVIE PAILLARD / Kamloops Daily News
November 6, 2012 01:00 AM

Westsyde Secondary social studies students Adam McKay and Dayna Brown weighed the merits of U.S. presidential candidates while Americans voted.

As the Obama vs. Romney battle raged south of the border, high school students in Kamloops took the opportunity to study what's at stake.

And they came up with a few opinions of their own.

At Westsyde Secondary, a Grade 11 social studies poll showed that 82 per cent of the classroom would vote for the Democratic U.S. presidential incumbent Barack Obama.

The students had a knack for boiling issues down to what's right in front of them.

Seventeen-year-old Dayna Brown thought Republican candidate Mitt Romney's desire to limit Chinese imports could hurt families living on a tight budget.

"So many things are made in China," she said. "I pick up my mug and it says 'Made in China' underneath. If we took all that away, we couldn't afford to buy those things."

Sixteen-year-old Adam McKay was keenly aware of the close economic relationship the U.S. has with Canada and the impact an American president could have on the country's northern neighbour.

"We're trade partners with the United States so a depression there could shut factories, which does affect Canada's economy," he said.

He wasn't sure which candidate would have a more positive economic impact. But he said he supports Obama, as do the majority of his circle of friends.

A few students in the South Kamloops Secondary speech and debate class took the opportunity to weigh the merits of each candidate after reviewing two of the presidential debates.

Students overwhelmingly supported Obama, with exception of one who stood up for Romney.

Grade 11 student Caitlin Orteza argued that Romney was the better candidate for fiscal reasons.

"He knows a lot about business and he's pragmatic," said the 15-year-old. "And Canada and the United States, their economy goes hand-in-hand, they do a lot of commerce together."

She said she believes Obama's approach to boosting the economy would take too long.

Grade 12 student Lane Barsi, on the other hand, argued for Obama.
"I think he speaks for the younger generation and what we think about the world and what our future should be," said Lane.

The 17-year-old said it was interesting to hear his classmate's perspective - the Austrian exchange student said the European opinion on Obama changed for the worse when Osama bin Laden was killed during a Navy Seal mission in Pakistan, rather than captured and put through a legal system.

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