Tag: Voting

Picture Parade Two Hundred and Sixty-Four

And it’s all about getting the vote out!

Hannah Ingram tweeted this photo of leaders from opposing parties going head-to-head in Ramsbottom

oooo

Rocco enjoyed his trip to the polls in Tameside, Greater Manchester

oooo

Phoebe was interested to see local democracy in action in Chorlton, Manchester

oooo

This Shar Pei named Prune accompanied his owner Edward in Ipswich

oooo

Hermione and Hagrid’s owner was exercising their democratic right – and their four-legged friends

oooo

Buddy was happy to accompany his human Haley to the polls in Portsmouth

oooo

Blueberry McScruffin the sprocker exercised her democratic right in Whitley Bay.

oooo

Ava the Dachshund looked pensive as she waited to hear the outcome of her owner’s vote

oooo

Poppy in north London proved all creatures great and small could take their owners to vote.

oooo

The BBC’s assistant political editor Norman Smith’s dog had plans for a game of fetch after the poll

All taken courtesy of the BBC.

In Defence of Politics.

A guest post from Chris Snuggs.

Regular readers of Learning from Dogs will know that Chris often pops up on these pages. Most recently with Now this is a dog! and before that with Reflections on pain and peace.

I first met Chris many years ago when he was working for a French educational college with the name of ISUGA, based in Quimper, France. As a result of being introduced to Chris, I had the very good fortune of becoming a guest teacher at ISUGA.

Classroom picture taken at ISUGA.
Classroom picture taken at ISUGA.

Anyway, Chris has his own blog Nemo Insular Est. If the title doesn’t immediately say very much to you, try Chris’ sub-title: Truth, Justice, Sanity & Brotherhood.

Thus it is with great pleasure I offer this guest post from Chris.

oooOOOooo

In Defence of “Politics”

by Chris Snuggs.

The most depressing thing I ever heard at school was: “I’m not interested in politics.” Even at the age of 10, this seemed to me bizarre, for politics is at the heart of everything. It decides what we can eat, how much money we have, what sort of shelter we have, health, education, defence, what it takes to get locked up, EVERYTHING – including in the USA of course gun control …….

“Politics” completely arranges the environment of our existence, within which we can be individuals and lead some kind of “private life”, but nothing can function in a civilised manner without politics.

There is only one circumstance I can imagine when the statement: “I’m not interested in politics.” might possibly be justified, and that is if you lived in a society where everything was perfect: no injustice, hunger, or discomfort; excellent health, education, shelter and sustenance in a peaceful environment with nothing to worry about ….

There remains a niggling doubt about whether such a society would be just a teensy bit boring. However, the point is, has there ever been one? Does anyone KNOW one? Are they accepting immigrants?

If we accept that politics decides everything, then there are certain conclusions to be drawn. If it is so fundamentally important, is it not then legitimate to oblige everyone to vote, as they do in Australia for example? Then again, is it acceptable that we so easily tolerate as “democracy” elections where only 30% of eligible voters actually vote? And is it acceptable that the teaching of “politics” and all it involves holds such little place in our schools?

I would say “NO!!” And in fact, the study of politics involves so many branches of knowledge. You can’t (or shouldn’t) be taught “politics” without teaching psychology. Why is X saying that? What are his motivations? What is the psychology of voting groups. Or without studying logic, so as to recognize false arguments, of which there is no lack. You need to study what evidence is, since a political policy should be based on evidence, not fantasy or demagoguery.

In fact, just as politics decides everything then a study of politics involves just about every branch of knowledge, too. You cannot vote sensibly for party X which wants to build zillions of windfarms or go full-steam ahead on shale-fracking if you don’t have a reasonable understanding of the science, and of course environmental consequences. You can’t sensibly vote for or against grammar schools without a sound knowledge of the social and psychological rationale behind them or indeed of their history. The same applies to religion of course, and almost any other area you care to mention.

No, politics as a subject of study, discussion and involvement is vastly undervalued in our society. And the fact that politicians are often venal and incompetent liars is not a reason to be LESS interested in politics but a compelling reason to be MORE involved!! If you don’t get informed and involved, the politicians will do it THEIR way, and you have to ask yourself one final question: Do you REALLY trust them to do it in YOUR interests?

oooOOOooo

(Sorry about the late delivery!)