Monday, June 7, 2010

One Man, One Vote

We were sitting at the dinner table this evening when the phone rang. It has been ringing a lot these days, as the local and state-wide elections are tomorrow. We've stopped answering our phone, instead letting all calls go to the answering machine and only picking up when we recognize the voice on the other end.

So the phone rang, we let the machine get it, and after a pause a crackly voice comes on the line, introducing itself and hoping that it wasn't bothering us. "You are! I'm making a list of all the people who call us and I'm not going to vote for them" growled Brian. "Is that a stranger?" asked Jack. Brian explained that yes, it was a stranger and they were calling to get our vote in the election. And then we were off to the races.

"What's a vote?"
"What's an election?"
"Why do the strangers want our vote?"

"Remember in church how you talked about everyone having a vote?"

Blank stares.

"When you vote for someone it means you are choosing them. The person who gets chosen the most wins"

Blank stares.

"Voting is how we choose our leaders."

Blank stares.

"OK, let's pretend. Let's pretend one person in our family is going to go to Ice Cream Street to get ice cream for everyone."

"Is this for real?" asks Cate

"No, it's pretend. Who should go to Ice Cream Street?"

"Auntie Kate!"
"I want to go! I never get to go to Ice Cream Street!"

"Cathryn. I said this was pretend. And I meant someone who is here right now: Cate, Ava, Jack, Mommy or Daddy. Anyone who wants to go raise their hand."

They all want to go. No surprises here.

"Okay, but only ONE person can go. How do we choose? Here's how: we vote. Everyone who wants Ava to be the person to go, raise their hand (Ava and Jack raise their hands). Everyone who wants Jack to go, raise their hand (Jack raises his hand). You can only vote once, buddy"

"Unless you're from Chicago" says Daddy.

"Everyone who wants Cate to go raise their hand" (no raises their hand, not even Cate)

"You know, you can vote for yourself sweetie"

"I want to vote for you and me to go together mommy!"

"That's sweet, but that's not a choice." (Although I suppose the ones who really change the world are the ones who see the options that haven't been offered)

"OK, so Ava has 2 votes so she wins. Ava gets to go to Ice Cream Street. See how that works?"

"I never get to go to Ice Cream Street! You never let me do anything! I hate voting!"

"I vote that Cate should get a time out" says Ava.

I guess 1 out of 3 isn't bad.


Anonymous said...

Ahhhhhh democracy at it's finest! I came from a family of six (kids that is) and so did Michael....I remember negotiations and learning. My girlfriend was just reminding me the other day about when she was taking her three kids to school (not triplets) and the politicians were sign waving. The kids asked what they were doing, and she told them that the sign wavers were running for office....well......there was silence and then the youngest piped up and clearly proclaimed....Mom there is nobody running, they are standing still and waving! Just vote!!!!!


WendyBird said...

I'm way behind on checking my blog list, but yours is ALWAYS first! So glad you will be posting more :-) Your blog is way more interesting than mine, LOL
This is late, but go ahead and dye your hair, life is better blond, even if it is "Nice and Easy" blond :-) Seriously, do you really think I'm still a natural blond??? I mean, other than my brain...