The big goal of this mystery is to get young people more aware of and interested in politics and the 2015 UK general election. It has been created with support from Newcastle University in order to achieve this.
There is considerable evidence that the number and percentage of the population who actually vote in elections is falling. Pundits variously blame apathy, distrust of politicians, the death of big ideas in politics and the decline of local government (to which people may feel more connected). However, democracies only have legitimacy if people vote, or at the very least, deliberately spoil their ballot papers.
Generally, more older people (the grey vote) vote in elections and in the last 5 years the incomes of older people have not been reduced nearly as much as young people. If young people don’t vote, they are much more likely to be ignored by politicians and lose out.
The question that the pupils should address in this mystery is NOT ‘Who would YOU vote for?’ but ‘Who do you think Grace should vote for? And why?’
It is hoped that many students will be sufficiently interested to do some research of their own on the parties’ policies. You may want to direct this yourself.
The information provided is intended to be reasonably balanced and some of it may not be entirely accurate as much of it is what friends and relatives are telling Grace, and each other. You should stress to your students that they should focus on the slips that say something about the character and values of Grace, and this should help them make their decision.
The intended learning outcomes are:
1. To understand some basic points about the policies and track records of major political parties in England.
2. To listen carefully to other people in their group and to other groups.
3. To make a reasoned decision (using evidence) about how Grace will vote.
4. To critique other groups’ decisions (using evidence) and defend their own decision as appropriate.
5. To explore more detail of the election policies of any of the political parties.