The Rules of a Mock Election

06 April 2010 | 1 comments
Rendcomb School's Tom Margesson shares the rules he followed to guide him to Mock Election victory:
“Politics is for boring old people” – the favourite response from certain individuals in year 7 to the idea of hosting a Mock Election. Why then, in the face of such stubborn criticism would a bunch of sixth form students and two political gurus, in the form of our staff, embark on hosting an Election? Admittedly, many thought it a risk too far; but that would be to forget rule number one of an election: never underestimate your electorate. Everyone is a potential voter: even the cynical year sevens.

It didn’t take long for the school to become immerced in election fever. The routinely campaign bombardments, policy scuffles, and general toils of electioneering became as regular as a maths lesson. There were all manner of propaganda stunts from posters and leaflets to stickers and badges make from milk tops. And as the campaigning ground on, the political guru’s decided to host a mock Question Time, with one making the transformation to our very own David Dimbley. There’s nothing like the piercing eyes of the electorate to unnerve even the strongest of candidates. And as for policy: it takes just seconds to reduces a manifesto to tatters.
Rule number two of an election: Always be prepared. Those who came prepared left unscathed. Those who came unprepared left in turmoil. The men had been separated from the boys.

And so, polling day was looming on the horizon. The final week had begun. Some decided to bribe the electorate, others to use old fashion policy. Some decided to use posters, others a megaphone. All decided they would win.

Rule number three of an election: never become complacent [something Mr Cameron knows all too well]. It all too easy to think you’re the bee’s knees; but for the other candidates, it was the rope they so desperately needed. The chance to grab the final stragglers. The chance to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.

And when the time was up? Democracy worked its magic. The school became a hive of activity. The black boxes appeared; the polling stations opened and the votes came rolling in. Not to mention the atmosphere in the election room. That’s where you could hear nerves, smell fear and taste hope. Any final coercing was futile. You must simply sit tight and wait.

And the final result? Essentially Irrelevant. The age old cliché, “it’s the taking part that count” is really what matters. The fun experienced was memorable, the experiences gained were invaluable and the opportunity offered was fulfilled.

It is the things we don’t do that we remember. I guess then, this was another thing you could forget.

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