Chris Blattman

Politics is child’s play

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A recent TIA podcast reminded me of one of my favorite documentaries of all time: Please Vote for Me.

It documents the first election in China… in a primary school.

Turns out, everything we ever thought most vile about politics–the smear campaign, the patron-client relationship, the vote buy–can be reinvented by adorable third graders in about 48 hours. It’s in our DNA, folks.

A preview is here:

As I wrote in a long ago post: I laughed. I cried. I despaired the fate of humanity.

Buy the video here. It can be live streamed on Netflix. It is on YouTube here.

2 Responses

  1. A nice counterpoint to this is the recent TAL episode on “Kid Politics.” It profiles a heavily stage-managed decision-making process at the Reagan Presidential Library, and a surprisingly un-stage-managed decision-making process at a “Free School” in Brooklyn. They are reminders that, before despairing for humanity, we should despair for our institutions.

  2. This documentary is incredible… I recently used it to start off discussions for a conference on Liberalism & Global Governance – and it fitted that role perfectly.

    If you don’t have netflix (like some of us Europeans) you can stream it in full-length on vimeo:

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