Somewhere in suburbia a few Sundays out from a Federal Election, a dad and his two primary school kids (6 and 11) are going for a walk:
6yo: So who are you going to vote for Dad?
11yo: That’s private
11: It’s like going to the toilet. They have booths like in a public toilet.
11: So no one can see who you voted for
6: Oh. In case you voted for the baddies
Dad: It’s not about goodies and baddies
11: Nan says it is
6: Nan goes for Collingwood
Dad: It’s not like football. The winner of the election has to govern the whole country. It’s a huge responsibility.
6: Like Lunch Order Duty
11: No, silly. Way bigger.
6: Oh, like Grade 1D Planet Captain?
11: Yeah. Like that. As if soft plastics recycling is going to fix Climate Change.
6: I ate Toby’s muesli bar so we could put an extra wrapper in
Dad: Every bit helps
11: But what if it’s not enough, Dad? We looked at this in integrated studies and neither big party is doing enough to reduce emissions.
6: Toby’s having a big party
11: Not that sort of party. It means group of politicians, people we choose to be the bosses of the whole country. There’s 2 big parties, Labor and Liberal, and lots of smaller parties.
6: Like the Greens!
Dad: How do you know about them?
6: Grandpa has a t shirt. And a bumper sticker on his electronic car. It says THE GREENS.
11: Nan hates the Greens
6: She said they should be called the Reds. I agree!
11: You don’t know what you’re talking about
6: Yes I do. Red is way better than green.
Dad: See, it’s not about teams or colours. Hating one party or having a bumper sticker for them, makes it like football
6: I like football.
Dad: So do I. But getting a ball through sticks and making decisions that affect everyone everywhere, you can’t compare them. Politics isn’t the same as sport.
11: The media makes it look like sport – our class compared a sport report and a politics report and they were quite similar
Dad: Yeah, I guess so. Some media can make it into goodies and baddies, like barracking for a team.
6: So which party is the baddies?
11: It depends which website you read
Dad: You stick to that for now
6: But I want to vote!
11: Me too. Old people in suits sit around arguing while my planet-
6: It’s not just YOUR planet
Dad: It’s both your planet, and yes you kids will be around long after the politicians of today are gone. So I try to vote *for* you.
6: You’ll vote for me? So I get to be the boss of the whole country?
11: You’d be a shit prime minister
Dad: Oi, language.
6: That’s unfair. Grandpa said we’ve had 3 shit priminsters, and no one told him off
11: Nan did, she said they were way better than the bloody ones before that
Dad: Well I’ll tell them both off
11: It won’t make them behave any better. They’re like the old people in Canberra, just arguing all the time, not agreeing on ways to fix our problems.
6: I would vote for you
Dad: You know, I think I would too.
6: (whispering) but you would have to not tell ANYONE