The purpose: For participants to realize their personal attitudes and skills towards voting and deciding who to vote for. So that they can stay away from manipulation
President candidate 1: Religious, Engineer, Symphatic, and fun, 55 years old and is from an established party
President candidate 2: Not religious, Graduated from a top-tier university, has a masters in politics and public administration, very serious manners, and has an ego, 32 years old, is a compromise candidate
Voter 1: University graduate and unemployed; sticks to one candidate despite everything
Voter 2: Professor in a university; doesn't engage much in the discussions
Voter 3: Stay-at-home mom; doesn't express her ideas openly
Voter 4: Nurse; will decide based on what is promised
Voter 5: teacher; wants everyone to be happy
Voter 6: semi-literate; will decide based on what is promised
Voter 7: business leader; rich; politically active; constantly changes opinions
Voter 8: civil servant; supports the winning side
Voter 9: community leader; will put community's needs first
Voter 10: engineer; non-believer
Voter 11: childhood friend of the first candidate
Voter 12: local vendor
Voter 13: farmer; doesn't have time to deal with politics
Voter 14: religious minority; scared that the new government will take away rights
Voter 15: high school student; first-time voter
Voter 16: undecisive voter who is confused
Voter 17: be yourself
Voter 18: new citizen; doesn't know much about the country's history
Voter 19: party member of the first candidate: isn't really supportive of the candidate themselves
The activity starts by telling the participants that a new voting term is approaching and that we have 2 candidates among us. Then, the facilitator hands out the roles to the participants. The facilitator asks the participants to raise their hands if they are uncomfortable with the role they got. If not, the process continues, if there is an uncomfortable participant, the facilitator talks to understand the situation and changes the role card.
Then, the facilitator puts on a piece of calm music and starts asking the participants to imagine themselves in this role. To do this, the facilitator asks everyone to focus on one point in the room or close their eyes and listen. After 10 seconds, the facilitator asks everyone to start imagining these people on the cards;
- to give them names
- to think about the house they live in
- their daily routine
- if they have kids, how old, and what is their names
- what is their favorite piece of clothing
- if they are married, was this a choice
After these questions, the facilitator waits for another 10 seconds and turns off the music. Then, the facilitator asks the candidates to stand up, come to the center, and wave to the public.
One of the facilitators takes the candidates, shake their hands, and takes them out of the room. Outside of the room, the facilitator gives them a pen, a paper, and 5 minutes. At this time, they prepare their candidacy speech based on their role.
In the main room, the other facilitator explains the voting process.
- 1st time: Vote, as soon as the candidates enter the room (before they start speaking)
- 2nd time: They speak for the first time, introduce themselves, and you vote
- 3rd time: After the q&a session with the public
The first two voting sessions happen, the public votes two times, and these votes are kept by the facilitators separately.
The candidates leave after the second round of voting. They prepare their policies, overall ruling strategies, and the possible questions the public will ask. They have 15 minutes to prepare.
In the main room, this time, the public talks about the candidates based on their roles and tries to prepare a set of questions to ask. They may try to create questions to make a specific candidate look good. They also discuss among themselves to convince other voters.
When the candidates join the main room, they wave to the public to commence the q&a session. The candidate who started first in the previous session goes second. The public first asks individual questions to one of the candidates when individual questions are over, they can ask the same question to both candidates.
After the session, the public votes again. The votes are kept by the facilitators.
The facilitator announces the votes for each session and gives the candidate the presidential key.
The facilitator invites everyone to the circle and does a shaking ritual to get out of the role.
Debriefing starts, and each question should be answered by both the public and the candidates to get a fuller picture: Possible debriefing questions
-Can you tell me the steps of this exercise, what happened?
-How did it start, and when did it end?
-How did you feel in different stages (Referencing the 3 voting times and the discussion/preparation by the candidates)?
-What were your strategies for your campaign?
-How would these feelings differ if you had the opposite role?
-Have you ever changed your vote? Why?
-Did anyone keep the same vote and didn't change?
-What did you realize about the other people in the public? How did they act in the discussion?
-What did you realize in the other candidate while you were preparing?
-Were you satisfied with your behavior?
-were you satisfied with the outcome? If not, how would you change it?
-Do you want to change anything in your behavior?
Role Cards (for president candidates and the public)
A microphone (a mock microphone out of cardboards work just fine)
Voting cards (each person from the public gets to vote 3 times)
Depending on how detailed you want to make this you can have wigs, makeup, blazer jackets, ties as customs.