Who will you vote for?
An election web quest

Introduction

The next president of the United States will probably appoint several Supreme Court justices, not to mention lead America through key policy decisions such as:

  • How will social security be financed (translation-- will there be social security by the time YOU are 65)?
  • How will we make sure everyone had affordable health care?
  • How can we make sure that everyone can afford college?
  • How can we make our planet a safe and healthy place?
  • What should we teach in America's public school?
You can now have a say in who makes these decisions? Will you vote? And if so, how will you choose who to vote for?

Goal

During this class session, you will participate in this web quest activity so that you can learn about:

  • One important issue of the campaign
  • How that issue affects you
  • How the major candidate feel about this issue
Task

1. You have been asked by the Broadside to write an editorial outlining one issue from the upcoming presidential campaign and recommending who your classmates should vote for based on this issue. Here are some web sites where you can find out what the issues are:

2. Once you have decided on your topic, write one paragraph on your issue explaining why it is important to you and one paragraph why it is important to the country. Your paragraphs should mention the websites above and what information you found out from them. E-mail your paragraphs to Sharon using WebCT's e-mail. 

3. Now you will need to find out the positions of the major candidates on the issues. Visit these web sites to find out.

Bush Gore Nader Buchanan
       

4. Now think of how you feel about the issue and what you think is best for the country. Write a paragraph on who you think people should vote for based on this one issue. Remember to support your opinion with facts from the issues web site and statements from the candidate's web site.

5. Now put it all together. Assemble the 

  • paragraph on your issue explaining why it is important to you and one paragraph why it is important to the country.
  • Comparison of the candidates position on this issue (organize this into a paragraph)
  • paragraph on who you think people should vote for based on this one issue. 

  • into your article. When you are finished, post it on the WebCT e-discussions.

6. Homework (oh, boy!): 
  • Read everyone's article and reply to at least 2, either agreeing or disagreeing with the author and stating your reason why. 
  • Take the WebCT election survey to see how the class as a whole feels about these issues and who we think should be president.
Conclusion: What does this activity have to do with University 100?
One of the topics in University 100 is values. College is often a time when your intellectual, social, cultural, and ethical beliefs are challenged. It is a time for you to reflect on your life, how you plan to live it, and what your place in society is. It is also important in college that you think about the reasons for your beliefs. Your ability to support your opinions and to argue your case is one of the most important skills that you will need not only for college but also for your working life. This exercise on the upcoming elections was an opportunity for you to reflect on important and controversial issues, take a stand, and defend it.

Decisions made in this and other elections may also have a significant impact on your life. As an American citizen or resident, it is important for you to be aware of these issues and to exercise your right to participate in the decision-making process, though voting and other forms of participation (letter writing, protesting, etc.). 

Take time to reflect on what you have learned both about the candidates positions and about your beliefs. In the next class, we will have some time to discuss this activity and what we have learned about ourselves and our role in political society.