Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/393/4457
Standing for socialism at Blackheath High
I recently stood for the Socialist Party in the mock elections in my school, Blackheath High. It was an extremely interesting election, with lots of propaganda, debates and a few arguments but it all turned out very well.
The election rules were roughly the same as those outside. You had to be selected by people in your party, in order to vote you had to register and each party was allowed to put up their own posters to outline their policies. Each party was also allowed an assembly to speak to the whole school in person and convince them. Except for the Tories - no one would volunteer to stand for them. The teacher organising the elections had to persuade a 6th former to stand for the Conservatives.
We campaigned for about a month, putting posters up, handing out leaflets, singing in corridors, stuff like that. We also had an assembly where I gave a speech about the Socialist Party and Sarah Sachs-Eldridge came in to give a speech too. We were the only ones where the party outside the school actually came in and got involved.
The election took place on 5 May and the results came out on 6 May. The Socialist Party came last in line with 6% of the vote. I think that the main reason for this was that in high school an election is seen as a popularity contest and not as a political thing.
Labour, who won, threw out free chocolate bars during their assembly. It is more like which people you like best rather than which parties you most agree with. Many people I met did agree with the Socialist Party but they just didnít have enough hope that it would actually work in a capitalist world and they couldnít see things changing.
Throughout the election, my main aim was to tell people about socialism and how it could come about. I think I did achieve this and I convinced those who wanted to be convinced that socialism is the one power that will work.
In The Socialist 19 May 2005: