Saturday, 28 January 2017

"Please Vote for Me": a primary school election in China.


What a TERRIFIC show! Well done!

(By BBC "Storyville Global": about a Chinese Primary School election for Class Monitor, in China's mid west mega-city of Wuhan).

Bright, alive, happy, sometimes naughty, lovely, likable primary school kids in Wuhan (home of my in-laws) fighting an election to be Class Monitor. And their interaction with their teachers and parents. They even have a debate in front of their rowdy and engaged classmates.

Really moving and interesting. So different from what I guess most in the west would think of Chinese schooling: rigid, authoritarian, blindly obedient. None of that.

Of course when they're adults these kids can't vote for their country's leader. Bummer. But grass roots voting like this must -- one hopes-- work through the system in some way. We see in Russia what happens if shift to democracy is too quick. You end up losing it. The basis of civic society needs to be planted first. And that's what's happening in "Please Vote for Me". At least I hope so.

Anyway, my warmest congratulations to the BBC for making this show.

Peter Forsythe
Hong Kong
(Overseas student in China of the 70s)