Just when the U.S. seems to be getting their act together, our government is falling apart at the seams. It seems to me we expect better behaviour from our kindergarten kids than we do from our government representatives. And with that thought, for the benefit of those of you from other countries who are even more confused than we are, I give you the kindergarten version of what’s happening in the leadership of our fine country…

There’s a guy named Stevie who’s been trying to take control of the sandbox for a few years now, but every time there’s a vote, the kindergarten kids only give him less than half of the sand (called a minority) and tell him “you can run the sandbox, but you have to play nice with the other leaders so that you’ll get enough support for the things you want to change.” Well, Stevie doesn’t like this very much, because he really wanted the WHOLE sandbox, so he starts playing the bully by taking the sandtoys away from the other boys and telling them they have to listen to HIS rules because he controls the most sand. Needless to say, the other boys in the other, smaller parts of the sandbox, Stephie (not to be confused with Stevie), Jack, and Gilly aren’t too fond of the way that Stevie is pushing them around. Even though they’re usually too busy fighting with each other to notice, this time they all stop what they’re doing, get together for a little chat with some of the older boys from Grade 5 who used to play in the sandbox, and they decide “hey – if we put our sandbox pieces together, it adds up to a bigger piece than Stevie’s got and then WE could take control.”

Meanwhile, back in Stevie’s corner, he’s getting pretty ticked off at the other boys for not playing the way he wants them to play. First he says “okay then – I’ll give you a FEW toys back if you’ll still let me lead.” Well, that’s not enough to keep them happy – they want ALL of their toys back. And they want him to come up with a plan for getting more sand in the sandbox and not letting any of it leak out around the edges. Stevie gets even more mad, so he tells everybody that the Stephie and Jack are stupid because they’ve made friends with Gilly who’s really just disguising himself as their friend when what he REALLY wants is to take his portion of the sand and build a whole new sandbox somewhere else. But nobody listens to Stevie’s whining, because a few years ago, Stevie did the very same thing – made friends with Gilly to try to take control.

Stevie starts getting really nervous that he’ll lose control of the sandbox, so he runs to the Kindergarten teacher, Ms. J., and says “the other boys – they’re not playing fair! I’M the one who’s supposed to be running this sandbox and they’re trying to take over!” And then, because he knows that Ms. J. will be impressed with big words, he asks her to “prorogue” the sandbox – which in kindergarten-speak just means shut it down for a few weeks until he can figure out how to take charge again.

Ms. J. doesn’t feel like she has much choice (she hasn’t been given a lot of power in the playground), so she agrees and Stevie gets his way. The sandbox is closed and all the boys have to find something else to do for six weeks. Stevie thinks this will be just enough time for the other three boys to remember that they really don’t like each other and don’t want to work together to overthrow him.

The problem is, though, that over in the other side of the sandbox they’re not sure who should take leadership of their new partnership (otherwise known as a coalition), because Stephie owns the bigger piece, but none of the people he shares it with think he’s doing a good enough job of leading it. So Mikey and Bobby start fighting with Stephie because they think they should have dibs on that corner of the sandbox and they start working out a plan to push Stephie out so that eventually they can push Stevie out. It looks like Mikey’s winning, but Bobby gets mad and says “but Mikey didn’t let everybody else vote!”

And meanwhile, all of the other kids in the playground are saying “Hey – what about all of our sand that nobody’s looking after while you guys are fighting? It’s leaking out that big hole in the side of the sandbox (called a “recession”) and nobody seems to be paying attention!”

Stay tuned for the next edition of Kindergarten Wars, Parliament Style.

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