Saturday, April 2, 2011

DIY Democracy

We had an election last week!

It was a busy, heady time. Candidates were stating their positions, polling stations were being prepared, and you could feel the electric buzz of democracy in the air. The whole family was invited to vote, children and adults alike…

wait. How could that be?

Well, it could be, because the whole thing was set up by my son.

It was our very own, Do It Yourself Federal Election!

First the family was guided to the section where you picked up your ballot slips.

"What's your name?" my boy asked us, imperiously. He marked us off his list, then handed us a ballot paper, one by one.

Then the Master of Election Cermonies took us off to the polling booths.

"But we don't know who the parties are!" we chorused.

Not a problem. Laid out on the table were the Party names and platforms.

First you had The Puss Party. Who stated:
We are firm believers in monarchy and slaves should have a good sense of discipline and bring LOTS of food. 
Vote 1 The Puss

Then The Doggies Party said:
We strive for peace and green living. 
We look for non-violent solutions to problems and are strong environmentalists.
Vote 1 The Doggies

There was also The Superdoods [not dudes, 'doods'] and Spies Party, who said:
We strive for a future with better protection from !!EVIL!!
We also strongly support The Doggies
Vote 1 The Superdoods and Spies

There was The Chickens Party:
We've had enough of those horrible birds that steal our seeds all the time!! TO WAR!!
Vote 1 The Chickens

And finally, The "Awesomes" Party had a simple picture of a kitten.
Innocent enough?
It would have been, but for the:
*BWA HA HA!!!!!!
at the very bottom of the page!

Hmmm. There were a lot of Party positions to consider! Interesting candidates. Powerful and persuasive arguments. And a bit of sinister rhetoric thrown in for good measure. Got to love that in an election!

So, we all took turns voting. First we scritched our names off the ballot papers, because, as my husband pointed out, you never put your name on a ballot paper.

Then my son explained we could just put a number 1 on our preferred party, or rank them from 1 - 5. Or, if you wanted things to be even more complicated, you could rank each individual party candidate by number as well. Just like in a regular election. It made your head spin.

But we made it through to the other side :)

At which point…
I had to race off to Book Club without knowing who won!

Ah, the suspense!!

Later that night, I crept in, and there, taped to a door, was the verdict.

The Doggies! Now I could sleep, and sleep sweetly, knowing the country's future was settled for the next few years.

What a great election that was. I hope we have another one soon!


We really did have a State election the other day.

For the first time, I brought the kids in with me, to see how it all worked. They watched the whole process and were fascinated. There were things they didn't know and things I didn't know I could explain until I tried!

The next morning, I told the kids who won, and how the government had changed hands for the first time in 16 years. The kids didn't know that the elected people would physically sit in parliament, and what majority seats meant and so on and such. So I explained some more! Boy I sure learned a lot.

And now, our learning is cemented by our very own home-made election!

The result being,

we will now be led for the next few years

by the family dog.



"Go in peace, friends, and may you find many pleasant-scented things
to roll upon!"


  1. OH so sweet and funny at the same time! I seem to be leaning toward the AWESOME party myself, although the CHICKEN party looks pretty darn good too!!! Amazing how much we learn as we are trying to explain to the kiddos! My education has progressed quite nicely these past few years:)

  2. Love this post! I would have voted for The Superdoods and Spies! I hope the doggie can live up to his daunting task. :)

    I love how kids learn don't you? Well of course you do.. huggies from Bama..

  3. yay! I love that kind of learning. Is it not funny how much you learn when you start to explain things?? It forces you to think about it, to make sure you get it's all in there, we just don't really give it a lot of thought.

    The Doggies had my vote as soon as I read their platform!!!! Soooo glad they won!!!! Yippiee!! Long Live the Doggies!!!!

  4. Wonderful! What a simply wonderful family moment. You will remember that always and someday tell your grandchildren about the family election! You son is so clever and creative.........

  5. Thank you, Andrea! (Even though you went for the Chicken party AND that diabolical kitten!) :)

    Thanks for the hugs from Bama, Karen—yes, the Superdoods and Spies were a fine party (made up of the kids' favourite toys, of course!)

    I agree, Long Live the Doggies, Theresa! And yes, I had to really think there for a while—my poor brain :)

    And yeah, Jessica, it was such a sweet moment. I love getting to really go with the kids on their fantastical adventures—you never know where you'll end up!

  6. Nice post! We also took the kids to the polling booths and they sat up and watched the election coverage. Real life learning - that's what I'm talkin' about!!


I love hearing from you! Thank you for your heartfelt, thoughtful responses—they lift me, and give me light.