The Democracy Book-Principle 9

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Principle 9: All people get to vote in the elections for the lawmakers and for the managers.

Groups of people

In the drawing we see lots and lots of people going to vote. They are going to vote in the election for lawmakers and for managers. Each person hopes his candidate will be elected. The lawmakers need to make laws that are good for people. And managers have to use these laws to manage society. They have to make sure the street lights work in the cities and that the roads are open so farmers can get crops to market. It takes a lot of managing to keep a society operating smoothly. The schools must be kept in good repair and teachers hired. There are the lawmakers and there are those who use the laws
to manage society. These are very important jobs! Who will make the laws and who will manage society? That will be decided at the election!

Some will want their friends to do these things. So they vote to elect their friends. They think their friends will favor them. Others like the army and want the army to handle these two important jobs.  But, the army may not be fair to everyone. Or, if farmers do it they may not make laws that are good for the city people. Who is elected to government positions is very important. In a democracy, elections are a big deal! There is a saying, “Elections are the place where the voice of the people is heard!”

To be fair, ALL voters get to vote on who makes laws and who manages the society. After ALL the votes have been cast we will know who won the election. We will see who was elected by majority vote to make the laws. And we will see who was elected by majority vote to manage the society. Not everyone will be happy with who won the elections. Some candidates will win and some candidates will lose. However, everyone did have a chance to try and talk other people into voting for the person he wanted to win. In a democracy everyone has an equal CHANCE to try to get others to vote for the
one he wants to win. And, in a democracy EVERYONE gets to vote in the elections for lawmakers and managers. Of course, the majority vote wins.


Things went well for the next several days. Neither Petra nor Nadesh had much contact with the three who had voted against them. Those three kept to themselves. Everyone worked during the daytime and had free time at night. That was after the evening meal was finished and, of course, the kitchen cleaned. Nadesh liked it best when they gathered in the yard and played games. He missed his home village, but at least here there were enough children here to play with to make it fun. His favorite game
was hide and seek.

One night while playing hide and seek Edward said Nadesh was cheating! It was hard to see how Edward could call it cheating because it was the same game they had played for a few days now.

What Nadesh usually did was keep hiding until he saw a chance to make it to base before the seeker could count him out. Counting out was done by slapping the object they were using for base 3 times as one yelled out, for example, “one, two, three on Petra.” If the yell was completed before Petra touched the base she was considered “caught.” The goal of course was to not get caught. Tonight Edward was saying Nadesh had to touch the base BEFORE Edward started the yell! This seemed wrong to Nadesh
and he thought Edward was being unfair.

He was about to punch Edward in the nose when Elena appeared from out of nowhere.

“Well, well,” she began, “I see we have a dispute over how the games are to be run. We need to do something to clear up this mess or we’ll have to stop the games all together! Games are for fun, not for making trouble.” Everyone had stopped playing and was  listening to her. She seemed very serious!

“What shall we do?” asked Petra.

“Looks to me like you need some lawmakers and maybe even some managers too,” replied Elena.

“What’s the difference between lawmakers and managers?” someone asked.

Elena seemed ready with the answer. “The lawmakers talk it over among themselves—you know, see what is fair for everyone involved—and then set down some rules or laws. Sometimes kids call them rules, but we can call them laws. After the lawmakers have had plenty of time to discuss what is best, they vote. They have to get a majority of course. Then all players will have to obey these laws.” That seemed clear enough.

“But what do managers do?” someone else asked.

“Oh, that’s easy. They just see to things. They get out whatever is needed for the games, make sure someone is there to be the referee in case of disputes and stuff like that. The lawmakers made the laws but the managers see to it that the laws are actually followed.
They are in charge of keeping things organized.” With that, Elena turned and went back into the house.  It sort of went without saying that there would need to be an election of lawmakers and managers before any more evening games would be played. To be continued....

Activity: “We are going to elect a waste basket manager to manage the waste basket for the rest of the day. His/her job will be to walk around the room every 30 minutes and collect any trash that you may want to throw away.” Lead the children through the process of nominating 2 or 3 candidates. Then ask who should be allowed to vote. It will soon become clear that everyone should be allowed to vote, since the waste basket manager is serving all the students. The point is: If you are involved in an issue or will be affected by it in any way, you get to vote. Then ask about who is affected by who is president or prime minister of the country. You can ask questions about certain groups to make sure the point is understood that all will be affected by national leaders. “What about poor people?” “What about old people?” “What about people out of the country on vacation?” You might conclude with, “In a democracy EVERYONE gets to vote for the lawmakers and the managers.”

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