This week, you have a chance to become a part of my fabulous life in China. No, sorry I’m not offering a free vacation to Thailand (unless you are Kyle Huus) but you CAN participate in my public speech class’s Political Party Elections!
For the past two weeks, my students have been presenting campaign projects in class. For this assignment, each group was asked to create a political party. This party could rally around a group of people (like laborers), an issue (like poverty), or a value/belief/ideal (like communism). After picking a party name, each group was asked to then present a party platform speech, create a party flag and slogan, and then write a party song/anthem to perform in front of the class.
I stole this lesson plan from another foreign teacher named Renata, an australian woman with ten years experience living and teaching in China. As of now, neither of us have been apprehended by the Chinese government for this little democracy stunt so I guess my token party member student (we have one in every class) didn’t rat me out as a revolutionary…yet.
The presentations turned out great and it was awesome to see the kids actually talking about things they care about. With majors like language, I think a lot of kids don’t often get a chance to express their views or opinions and rarely get the opportunity to learn about things they are truly interested in. I thought this assignment gave everyone a much needed break from grammar and vocabulary to focus on things beyond the world of the “ABC’s” and “I and before E’s.”
We finished all the presentations today but I wasn’t sure how to decide on an election winner. If I let the class vote, I just figured everyone would vote for their own party. So instead I thought I would have some experienced democracy buffs (aka YOU AMERICANS) vote on the winner of the 2011 Fake People’s Republic of China Political Party Elections!
Unfortunately, I was not able to film the presentations, so you will have to base your vote solely on the political party names and my brief description of each party’s platform.
Here are the candidates:
Women’s Party – This party hopes to establish equality but not privilege for the all women across China including equal access to education, jobs, and political power. According to this party, “Women are like the sun and have the ability to light your way. But women can also take this light away and easily bring darkness into your life.”
Animal Protection Party – Animals are dying throughout the world and need protection and love from human beings. It’s in our power to help animals and like Yao Ming says in his new anti-shark fin campaign, “No sale, no killing,” and instead, why not “More caring, more warmth.”
Children’s Security Party – Children face many problems in modern China today. Just recently, 21 children were killed in a car accident when there 9 person bus packed with 64 children crashed into another vehicle. Other children face the prospect of being left behind with elderly grandparents in rural villages as their jobless parents migrate to cities to search for work. And like other countries, children in China also face the dangers of being kidnapped and sold by human traffickers. This party hopes to protect children and improve their lives here in China. “Children’s security is in your hands!”
Elementary Education Party – This party wants to end the idea of the infamous “Asian F” aka the “A-.” Chinese kids face incredible pressures in education, often taking classes 6 or 7 days a week. What’s more, Chinese students (and their teachers) must cope with inadequate facilities and a lack of proper resources. Not only is the Chinese education system difficult for the students, but it also fails to foster creative development. Students are only taught to pass tests, not how to think, explore, or discover. This party hopes to better the educational system in China by providing greater funding to schools and cultivating creative, independent, and excited students! All this, they believe, will help China’s national development in the future.
Secret Circle – “Where there is evil, there is Secret Circle. Where there is Secret Circle, there is love.” This Japanese Anime-loving group believes that its members have the power to do anything. They promise to punish evil and appreciate good. As their party song explains, all the world needs is “a little love.”
Post-Graduate Party – College students experience a lot of worrying and anxiety while working away at their studies. The Post-Graduate Party hopes to provide support and encouragement to fellow college students. The members of this group want all college students to have someone to share experiences with while he or she prepares for the future. The process should be enjoyable, not overwhelming. “Everyone in, everyone wins.”
3R’s Party – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. This environmental protection party hopes to renew our precious world and seek to make it sustainable for future generations. The members hope to pass legislation to create a comprehensive recycling system which will not only promote a culture of RRR, but will also pass concrete laws like the appliance recycling law to help make that sustainable environment possible. As their party anthem goes, we need to “stop ruining and start rebuilding!”
Hair Protection Party – Do you want strong, beautiful, and healthy hair? Well the girls in this party do! And they want you to have a gorgeous head of hair as well. This party hopes to educate women about hair protection and hopefully prevent hair damage in future generations of Chinese women. “Protect hair; Keep healthy!”
Canteen Management Committee – “No one wants to have diarrhea after eating!” These party members are fed up with getting the runs from the university canteen (aka cafeteria – Don’t ask me, it’s British lingo I guess). That’s why they are fighting today for sanitation, health, and new management in the Anhui University eatery. No more waiting in line only to be left with unpalatable options! No more sprinting to the squatty potties after the potato and peppers! No more “heartbreak canteen!” No more dia! No more dia! (Hoo-rah!)
No Child Left Association – As the Children’s Security Party mentioned before, many Chinese children face the prospect of being left behind by their migrant worker parents. This phenomenon leaves these children alone to face future psychological problems, learning difficulties, life issues, and social care shortages. We need to provide hope for these abandoned youngsters and the members of this party want to call us all to action. “Crops can be replanted but a childhood never returns.”
Fashion Party : A political party after my own heart 🙂
AFH (All For Him) Party – Apparently if women need their own party then I guess men should have their own party, too. At lead that’s what these ten boys believe. AND they were brave enough to make this claim in front of a classroom of 80 women! But, these boys don’t want privilege, of course. They just want protection of their rights. Self-determination, self-independence, and some (?) gender equality – is that so much to ask for? Men face so many pressures in the world – feminist social movements, economic pressures, family pressures, and even emotional pressures! The AFH Party hopes to provide resources for men to deal with these problems, such as male-only psychology clinics, job opportunities, and the Anti-Henpecked Husband Organization to protect married men from “unreasonable demands.” Men have rights but they also have duties. This party wants to encourage both. AFH – “All for men, for all men!”
That’s all of them. Cast your Chinese ballots today!
And remember, like Paris Hilton and P. Diddy say, “Vote of Die!”