How to get elected
What do you know?

See how much of this you know before you start and then come back to it when you’ve finished the unit to check that you know all the answers.
Do you know what the following words means?
 Sound bite經典句
 Slogan 口號
 Manifesto宣言
 Press release新聞稿
 Canvassing遊說

What will you know?
By the end of this unit you will know

 Techniques that politicians use to get their message across in election campaigns.


The pictures on these two pages show you different ways used by people who want to be elected to get people to listen to their ideas.

Quite often they will make up short catch-phrase that will stick in people’s minds and get a message across quickly. In the 1950s the Conservative prime minister Harold Macmillan famously used the phrase” You’ve never had it so good” to try to persuade voters that they were well off under his government. Television and radio editors often include such short extracts in their broadcasts – when they are called sound bites. Politicians are aware of this and often write short catchy phrases in the hope that they will be used as sound bites. Politicians are aware of this and often write short catchy phrases in the hope that they will be used as sound bites.

在1950年保守黨的首相Harold Macmillan最有名的短句:「絕無僅有」來說服選民在他帶領的的政府下會生活的富足

Posters and press advertisements for political parties often use slogans to get their message across. These slogans are particularly effective and memorable when they use puns (plays on words).
Look at the picture of the Conservative poster with the slogan ‘Four years of Labour and he still hasn’t delivered’. The poster uses an image of Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair which has been manipulated to look as if he is pregnant. The slogan makes a pun on both the word ‘Labour’ (‘giving birth’ and the political party) and the word ‘delivered’ (meaning delivered on his promises and delivered in terms of giving birth).

這張海報把工黨首相Tony Blair製作成懷孕的樣子

Prime Minister Harold Macmillan gives a television interview in 1958.

首相Harold Macmillan 在1958年的電視訪問

A 2001 Conservative pre-election poster.

How do politicians communicate with voters?
An activity to investigate some of the different methods that politicians use to get their message across to voters.


What to do
List the different methods that candidates use to try to get their message across to the public – think of as many as you can. There are clues in the illustrations and photographs in this unit.


Think of some issues that might get people interested during an election and write three slogans that would sum up the issue and get people’s attention. Try to make your slogans short, punchy and memorable – remember they might be used as television sound bites. (Your teacher will suggest some typical issues if you can’t think of any yourself.)


Which of the methods of communicating with voters that you have just written about do you think would be the most effective? Give reasons for your answer.


Holding a mock election campaign
An activity to explore the techniques candidates use to grab voters’ attention and get their message across.

 Divide into groups of four people.
 Select one person to be your candidate (they will make your speech, so choose the person who can sound the most convincing).
 Decide on a name for your party.
 Produce a party manifesto.
 Make copies of your manifesto and give one to each of the other parties.
 Write a press release for a newspaper.
 Produce a party poster.
 Write a speech for you candidate.

How will your work be assessed?
You will be assessed not only on the quality of the work that your group produces but also on the part you play in the group activities.
Your teacher will show you a sheet called ‘Citizenship Strand 3 Self-Assessment’. You will be asked to fill this out at the end of the activity so look at it carefully so that you know what is expected of you.
Here are some guidelines about what your documents need to contain.

Produce a party manifesto
A manifesto is a short booklet that outlines what your party stands for and what it will do.
It needs to contain your main aims as a party so you have to say what you will do about major issues such as the National Health Service(NHS), education, transport, social service, crime, taxes and other issues.
It should have some eye-catching images and/or phrases that sum up your party – you need people to remember what you stand for.

Write a press release for a newspaper
Your press release is like a shortened version of your manifesto. It is something that newspaper can use to turn into a longer article, but it has to be short and to the point. Don’t forget to say why you would be better than other parties and suggest how the other parties would be worse than you.

Produce a party poster
Your poster should be eye-catching and have a memorable image a strong pint about your party (or about your opposition). It shouldn’t have too many words on it because people won’t bother to read lots of writing on a poster.

Write a speech for your candidate
This is the hardest thing to write. The speech has to get your audience’s interest by focusing on things that matter to them. People are more likely to sit up and listen if your speech has a strong, imaginative beginning. Try using techniques such as rhetorical questions (questions asked to make a point, rather than actually needing an answer) or using groups of three words (such as ‘a public transport system that is cheap, clean and reliable’). You need to get across the main ideas of your party but in a way that makes people think ‘Yes, I like what they’re saying, I’ll vote for them.’

Fill out the sheet called ‘Citizenship Strand 3 Self-Assessment’.


The doorstep challenge
An activity to explore political debate in the context of canvassing door-to-door.

What to do
In pairs, write a short scene between a parliamentary candidate and a member of the public that takes place on a doorstep. The candidate wants to find out if the person intends to vote for them, and if not, to persuade them to do so. This is known as canvassing.


You could start it like this.

Candidate: Good morning. My name is ….. and I am the parliamentary candidate for the ….. Party. I wondered if our party could count on your vote or if there are any questions you would like to discuss about our policies.
Householder: Well, I don’t know, that depends on what your policies are. What are the main things you stand for?

The candidate should refer to the manifesto and speech that their group wrote and try to persuade the person in the house to vote for them. Imagine the kind of questions and arguments that the householder might put.
Carry on the conversation, with the householder asking questions about such things as health, education, transport, taxes, etc.
You could act out the scene for your classmates or record or video it.

What to do
Which of these statements about door-to-door canvassing do you agree with and which ones do you disagree with? Explain why.
 It’s the best way to get people to vote for you.
 It means candidates have to be able to think on their feet.
 It lets people know exactly what the party stands for.
 It could be a good way to get people to vote who otherwise might not bother.
 It’s a waste of time as people have usually already decided who they are going to vote for.
 It could be dangerous as people might get violent.
 It’s an invasion of privacy as people shouldn’t be pestered in their homes.


A target-setting activity
Look back at the sheet called ‘Citizenship Strand 3 Self-Assessment’ that you filled out for activity 2. Now decide how you could do better next time you have to take part as a member of a group.
Choose one or more of the following suggestions from each heading and write them on the back of your self-assessment sheet as targets for improvement.
You might not feel confident enough to do all of the suggestions so pick the ones that best fit your own personality, but make it too easy for yourself- set yourself a bit of a challenge.

Talked and listened with confidence
 I will make more contributions when we are discussing things.
 I will say what I think and not be too easily swayed by other people.
 I will suggest things to others in the group.

Asked questions and responded to the views of others
 I will ask at least two questions either of the teacher or someone else in my group.
 I will make sure I say something encouraging to every member of the group.

Took part in the debate and said something in a way that the rest of the class could understand.
 I will make at least one comment in front of the whole class in the discussion.
 I will make at least one comment to my group in group work.
 I will be the one to make the speech or to take a speaking role.

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