As we were driving back from Little Miss C’s swimming lesson last week she asked me why lost of houses has signs in their front garden and why they were all different colours. With the general election fast approaching she was of course referring to the signs that people put up showing who they were going to vote for and encouraging others to do the same. A couple of years ago she first noticed similar signs for local elections, but now she’s able to articulate her questions and thoughts so much better.
As her school will be used as a polling station on Thursday (meaning she has to go on a school trip that day – which she’s rather looking forward to) I decided to try and explain things to her as well as I could.
I explained the concepts of Parliament and Government to her, and how every area has an MP who represents the people who live in that area in Parliament. I went on to cover how we all vote for who we want to be our MP and that all (I couldn’t face explaining independents to her at that point) people standing belong to a political party (or a team as I called them – the word party just had her asking about presents and cake!) and each team has a colour. The different teams want to run the country in different ways so people choose which one they want to be in charge.
LMC got quite excited when we came on to team colours, but also quite disappointed that there wasn’t a team with pink as their colour. She did also ask me which colour team I was going to vote for and when I responded said “but Mummy, purple is your favourite colour so why aren’t you voting for the purple team?”
Having to explain my views on UKIP’s immigration policy whilst driving a car in rush hour traffic isn’t exactly the easiest thing in the world!
Back on the subject of party colours – it wasn’t always the case that Labour is red and Conservative blue. I came across this fascinating article on the BBC News website earlier today on just that topic. It might be a bit much for LMC’s bedtime story though.
Whatever colour you’re planning to vote for in this week’s General Election doesn’t matter as much as actually going out there and voting. If you don’t vote you really don’t have a right to moan about who does get in to Number 10 later this week.