So, I’ve been hanging out with my nephew for the better part of today. At one point, whilst we were driving past his school, I mentioned that his school was the location in which we have to vote at for the upcoming federal election.
He said ‘Ah, that’s cool. On election day we’re having a mock vote at our school to see who the kids would elect!’
Thinking that sounded like a really cool idea, I pressed him for more information.
He said that every Wednesday, the local representative of each party comes to his school to speak at the assembly and allow the kids to ask them questions. Then on election day, taking the information they’ve been given, they’re going to have a mock vote within the kids at their school to see who the kids believe should be elected.
Firstly, KUDOS TO THIS SCHOOL. I think this is an amazing activity for kids to do and amazing way to make the next generation interested in politics and have them care about voting. (He just goes to a regular public school. The teachers just decided this was an initiative they wanted to take for the kids)
When I asked him who was left to come and speak he said the Liberal Party Representative and the Green Party Representative. So then I asked, based on what he’s already heard from the Representatives and what he knows form the news and from his parents (as I’m honestly not sure where my brother falls on the political spectrum… we have some wildly different beliefs in life), who would he vote for on election day?
He said ‘My first inclination when this started was to vote Conservative because they say they’re going to cut taxes a whole bunch which means I’d have more money which means I could buy more stuff!”
I laughed. I said ‘Good train of thought kiddo.”
Then he said “Yeah, but I’ve been thinking lately…”
“What have you been thinking?” I asked him.
“I’ve been thinking they might be lying about that. In which case, it’s not really going to benefit me to vote for him. I don’t like liars.”
“Why do you think they’re lying?” I asked.
“Well, their leader lied about being an Insurance Broker. And then we found out he lied about where he went to school… which is such a stupid thing to lie about because it’s school, HEELLO? And if he can lie about such stupid and small things like work and school, I really don’t know if they’re telling us the truth about anything.”
Thinking that was an incredibly mature answer to hear from a ten year old, I told him I was proud of him for considering all of the options and for taking an interest in politics.
“I’m just glad we’re not as screwed as the people in the States though. I mean, whoever gets elected, it can’t get as bad as it does down there,” he said.
“You know about American Politics, too?” I asked him.
“Yeah,” he said. “I pay attention to the news and what people say about it.”
“What’s your thoughts on American politics?” I asked him.
“Well, there’s this kid at school named Justin. Justin is really mean to all of the kids in our grade and below us. He’s taller than all of us so he tries to intimidate everyone. He’ll take your lunch money and then tell you that you have to thank him for taking it or he’ll punch you.But then he’s totally fake nice as soon as a teacher walks around. “
Confused as to why he was telling me about a kid at school, but also worried my nephew is being punched by a bigger kid I asked, “Does Justin hit you, B?”
He said “Oh, no. Justin hasn’t hit me. I just think… like… he’s mean to everyone and some people choose to be friends with him not because they like him but because they think if they’re friends with him then he’ll be less mean to them. But the rest of us, we didn’t do anything wrong and we suffer his wrath anyway. Just because we wound up in the same school as him.”
“Uh huh, so how come your telling me about Justin?” I asked.
“Well, the way I see it, Justin is a kid version of Donald Trump.”
And there you have it friends. If my ten year old nephew can understand politics this well, and be forming thoughtful, rational opinions based on what he’s been told and what he’s seen, then adults should have no excuse whatsoever as to being uninformed.
It’s more important than ever to go out and vote. Please, please, please, whatever your views are, get informed and go vote on Oct 21.