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Parliament and the Talking Dog

This week the questions started with Boris, Brexit, and elections in the U.K.  It was a shocker. My lecture was planned. Little was happening in the news that I thought students would want to discuss, and for once, they did their homework. 


Boris really?  Boris and elections and how do they hold elections?  Can they just hold one?  No set terms, set election dates? I tried to explain it all and thought I was doing pretty good job of it, until one brave student said, “I still don’t get it.”  They were interested, trying,  but the concept is so different they were struggling.  A quick internet search turned up “UK election: A guide for non-Brits" from  BBC News.  The video of a talking dog worked.  It was simple and perfect for a classroom discussion.



While the talking dog explained elections.  Students needed more on Snap Elections and the Newsy video below answered those questions.




Students were interested and those two videos only increased that interest.  There are limits on campaign financing, paper ballots and a 25 day election cycle.  It’s fascinating stuff, and students loved the short election cycle.  The appeal of less commercials, fewer robocalls and fewer debates was exciting.  That excitement generated more questions.  Explaining how parliament works is hard to comprehend when our political system is so different.  Videos were working so anther quick search yielded UK Parliament’s cartoon descriptions of how government works.  Each video is less than two minutes and simply explains how government works. 







While the class didn’t follow my plan, students did follow directions.  They were interested, learned and happy to talk about elections. 


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