Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Democratic Process.

The recent Scottish Parliamentary elections have figured large in our house. In part because the result was fascinating but mostly because H, as a journalist, was working on it with exceptional focus.

Clearly the girls have been having conversations about this at school and nursery as well as absorbing virtually the only subject of adult conversation for the last month. So it was interesting to hear what they had to say on the subject.

We were walking home from a ceilidh late on Friday night. S was on my shoulders and was interested to see the streetlights coming on.

"Tell me when we see a lamppost, Daddy."


"Because that's voting."

"What's voting?"

"The sign on the lamppost. THAT'S voting."

Looking down the rather smart street we were walking along I could see that all the party logos had been taken down. The only signs on these lampposts were informing us of the fines we would incur were we to allow our non-existent dog to poo on the pavement.

"Do you mean these signs, sweetie?"

"Yes," she said emphatically, "Voting is picking up dog poo in a bag and putting it in the bin."

We were silent a moment whilst we absorbed this pearl. Then L sighed heavily and said in a weary tone, "No it isn't. Voting is when everyone writes down who they want to be in the government on a really big piece of paper and then they post it to the school. The school count up the bits of paper and and whoever gets the most bits gets to be the government."

I was momentarily unsure which version summed up the process best.