Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mock Election

I mentioned to the kids this morning that Carol's children are participating in a mock election at their house. (She is the mom behind SizzleBop! I subscribe to emails from her website.) The girls immediately pounced on the idea and persisted in asking questions until I consented to help them have an election at our house. They each have a doll or stuffy running for President and Vice-President. Here are the ground rules:

1. This election is theoretical only. Any Presidential position an inanimate object has in this house is purely ceremonial and imaginary.

2. Positions are limited by the Constitution of the United States (but our household 'nation' will be thought of as nation, state and city, all three). As in real life, the Constitution is open to interpretation.

3. The election will take place by secret ballot on November 4th. Each real person living in our house will have one vote. In the event of a tie, there will be a run-off election one day later.

4. There will be a time for speeches, debates and question-and-answer sessions prior to the election (date and time TBA). Each candidate will also be given equal cyber-time on Mom's blog.

5. The winning candidates will be given the title of Mr./Miss/Mrs. President and Mr./Miss/Mrs. Vice-President and will have a ceremonial (non-voting) seat at family councils. (We hold family councils very infrequently, so I don't know how much of an honor this will be. Still.)

6. Mom's help will be freely given to each candidate who asks.

Here are the issues (the kids thought of these themselves-- I helped with categories):

1. How to deal with the black cat (he comes into our yard and scares Thumper), snakes, mice, and other critters in the neighborhood (foreign relations)

2. Incentives for having short-term saving (the economy)

3. Keeping the house clean, chore assignments, gardening and landscaping, redoing the walls in the girl's bathroom (infrastructure)

4. Name-calling, put downs, personal remarks (hate speech limits on free speech).

5. Telecommunication-- should Triss have her own cell phone? (infrastructure)

6. Regulating time per day on computer (health)

7. Individual school time with mom-- should it be increased? (education)

I can already see a couple of issues that could possibly interfere with personal liberties. This should be interesting.

In true girl-fashion, Cornflower and Mariel began by making sure their candidates' wardrobes were sufficiently presidential, and then decorated physical platforms (boxes) for them to stand on. (Triss got right down to building her party's platform of ideas and nailing down positions on issues.)

I'm so glad I received this idea from Carol at SizzleBop! This looks like welcome diversion from the actual Presidential election. We are ready for that one to be over.

Some links:

Republican democracy

What is a party platform?

Holding a mock Presidential election

U.S. Constitution

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