Tuesday, November 6, 2012

What about voting?

In light of the national elections, thought I'd have a little fun.

We had to decide which of two Betta fish to keep, and
which one to give to the other preschool class -
Red Fish or Blue Fish?

So, we took a vote.


The Blue Fish won by one single vote.
Clearly, we have a divided electorate.
The Red Fish would be given to our neighbors.

The divided electorate was not happy.

Several children spoke up when we got the Red Fish ready for its trip next door....


"No, Ms. Ingram, I said we keep the Red Fish."

"Yes, I know that you voted for the Red Fish, but more children voted for the Blue Fish.  We will keep the Blue Fish."

"No, Ms. Ingram, I said we keep the Red Fish.  Not the Blue Fish."


These voters were unable to see past themselves.
These voters have no appreciation or understanding of another point of view.



Perhaps the naming of our Blue Fish would go better?

"Let's brainstorm some names for our class fish...."

The nominations poured in...

Hero.
Flo fish.
Nemo.
Blue One.
Dinosaur.
Pirate.
Sharkie.
Pablo.
Clifford.
Princess.
Fish.
Pillow.

On and on, as many names as there were students.
Yikes, how was this going to work? 

These voters were unable to see past themselves.
These voters have no appreciation or understanding of the other point of view.

"Let's vote..."

I had children vote with their bodies,
with me calling out each nomination one by one,
asking the children to stand when they wanted to vote for the called name, and then
move to the other side of the room,
making their votes visually clear to one and all, and
ensuring that every child only voted once.

Several children were upset that they could not vote again.  Or change their vote.

As you might expect, most fish names got one single vote.


In the end, Sharkie received three votes and won the naming contest.  And yet, upon reflection, had I unwittingly mislead or confused the voters?  Was there lack of clarity in the procedure for voting?  Were the voting rules unanimously understood?

"Are you voting for Sharkie?"
"I want Clifford."
"I haven't called Clifford yet.  I just called 'Sharkie' and you stood up, which means you are voting for Sharkie.  If you want Clifford, you need to sit down right now."

The voter throws herself down onto the floor in tears.  "I want Clifford!"


It can be very hard when your candidate does not appear to be doing very well.
It is particularly hard when your candidate loses.

These voters were unable to see past themselves.
These voters have no appreciation or understanding of the other point of view.

It remains to be seen,
how will Sharkie the Blue Fish be accepted by such a divisive populace?




6 comments:

  1. it sounds just like the National Election "talk". Thanks for a fun spin on things.

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  2. Those kids keep you laughing with their "issues." I hope Sharkie survives a long time.

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  3. Cute. I hope Sharkie doesn't crack under the pressure!

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  4. It's a terrific analogy, at least that's how I read it, Maureen. I hope Sharkey is willing to compromise, unlike some congressmen I know. Thanks for this clever writing about the election.

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  5. Hooray for practicing the trying democratic process.

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