Friday 9th June 2017
The day after the 2017 General Election
How are you? Recovered from the excitements of counting votes last night? On Elections such as this one your job must be even more exciting than when the leading lady has an affair with Dave from the chorus during an Am Dram production of the Mikado!
Anyhow, just a quick note to say that I took my little ones to the polling station with me again. It’s becoming home from home nowadays we’re there so often! The girls also had an election at school so they lot’s of questions. Well one question really – who to vote for.
The little one wanted to vote UKIP because she likes the colour purple. I suspect UKIP will do well where 3 and 4 year old girls are asked to vote! The women’s party too perhaps assuming they have pink livery!
The big one wanted to make a more informed decision. “Who do you vote for?” she asked me.
“I’ll talk you through it first, let you make your own choice and then I’ll tell you afterwards” I said. She agreed. After all, I don’t want her to simply vote for the same thing as her parents. Her parents are a split household when it comes to voting. We go to the polls to cancel one another out. It’s a ritual. Almost a date! We love it!!
First I told her that politics runs on a continuum, from left wing to right wing.
On the left, everybody pays their money into a big pot in the form of tax and the state then uses that money to buy services for us all. Putting our money together means that we can haggle a better price. It’s like going to the shop and getting a 3 for 2 deal. She likes those!
On the right, we pay hardly any tax and private firms compete to provide services for us all. We can then choose who we want to provide our services. Having different firms competing means that the price stays ‘competitive’ which in theory is low.
I then drew her a little diagram. Here it is!!!
Then we talked about what was important to her, aged 7. She is a member of WWF (animal conservation, not wrestling) and wants to go to university. I also pointed out that she had to go to A&E when she swallowed a pound coin so she might want a decent NHS. She agreed. She doesn’t really care about the rest right now, what with her being 7.
Green party it is then!
She’s super proud of her informed choice. I’m super proud of her informed choice too. Over the years it may change, or it may not, but I hope her ability to make an informed decision on what’s important to her remains the same throughout her life, because that’s why we should all be choosing. Not because your mum and dad voted that way! If your parents threw themselves off a cliff would you do that too?!?!?
I then told her what her parents were voting. She was dismayed we weren’t more concerned about saving Pandas!
Anyway, as much as I know you love to hear about the adventures of me and my children, this is not why I’m writing (really publically on a blog instead of just calling you which would be way easier). When we went to the polling station Ollie and I showed the girls the ballot paper and the box into which it went. I suggested to the presiding officer that he should have a kids corner with some kids ballot papers, some super exciting pencils and a little box that the kids ballots could go into. I’m thinking something covered in glitter to make it a super special experience. That way a small child’s first experience of the polling station won’t be ‘that place where they get told off by their parents.’ Instead it will be a fun place, where they get to vote too. I know from my very important job that inspiring kids when they’re young has a lifelong effect. But not only that – kids who are inspired will nag their parents to go into the polling station too so you may even get a few more adults turning up.
In your position of supreme power, I thought I’d throw that one at you. See if you can’t make that happen! I know you are the queen of glitter glue. You could have a ballot box whipped up faster than I can sing “Three Little Maids!”
That said, you also have 2 kids as well as a massive job. Delegate darling. Delegate!!
But food for thought maybe.
Now I must go. Much to do, like stare at the television in disbelief and look to Facebook for the answer to it all whilst wondering what the hell was the question.
Big love to you and yours.
If you enjoyed this blog you may also enjoy
SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure. She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right. She is also passionate about helping and supporting parents through the early years and lobbying for a better understanding of them and the issues they present. Occasionally she also speaks up for the kids too!