The film from last night’s class really puts the term “democracy” into question for me. Is a democratic vote so easily swayed by bribery? I think the point to remember here is that while these are 3rd graders running for hall monitor, there are definite paralells to actual politics. Negative campaigning – pointing out the flaws of opponents, debate sessions, campaign promises, rhetoric (Cheng’s dictator vs. manager speech), and politics behind the scenes were all a part of this process.
Some things I found shocking were: 1. the lack of teacher involvement, particularly during the debates when the children were just naming each other flaws. 2. the overinvolvement of parents – who in the case of the winner, used bribery to win classmates votes. 3. that the result of the vote put the same harsh little boy in charge as previous years when they didn’t have a vote. one would think that if he beat his classmates and pulled their clothes, his classmates wouldn’t reelect him.
Overall I felt this was a very interesting film.