As we gear up for the presidential election in the United States, EDD is also getting itself involved in politics…of a different sort. This week we elected new Ministers and other officials at the center. As I’ve mentioned before, the center is run completely by the boys. These elected officials make sure every thing runs smoothly and take care of problems as they arise. They even have the authority to critique or even fire the staff. Being elected is a prized position and I was not surprised that more than half of the boys threw their hat in the ring to become a candidate. It is also a huge responsibility and an excellent way for the boys to use the skills they have learned in school and at the center in a practical way. That is why these elections are so important, not only for the boys, but for the organization of Les Enfants de Dieu itself. The elections are yearly, so I feel very fortunate to have been able to see the process of the old leadership handing off power to the new one.
I will try my best to explain what I’ve observed over these past two weeks. Here’s your Politics 101: Les Enfants de Dieu. Elections at EDD start with nominations. Last week, any boy who wanted a position stood up during a meeting, said his name and his desired position. That list was written down and yesterday all the candidates were asked to line up in front of their peers for what I like to call, “the judgment” where all the boys have a chance to say why a person is not worthy to run for a position. Some boys were accused of: having bad manners, refusing to do chores, or stealing. I can’t help but draw a parallel to how we roast our presidential candidates back in the United States, digging up their faults, secrets, and mistakes.
|All the initial candidates|
If there is a question of whether or not a boy deserves to run for office, it is put to a vote and the rest of the boys decide if their faults are too great or if they want to keep him as a candidate. In a few cases, the boys fought to have someone stay in the running despite his faults because they believed he would be a good leader. After this processes was finished, about half the boys were forced to sit down. The remaining boys were the candidates for office and moved on to the next stage: voting.
Once it was time to vote, the candidates for each ministry lined up and their supporters lined up behind them. The boy with the most votes becomes the Minister of that department. The boy with the second highest number of votes becomes the Director General. The boy with the third highest number of votes becomes the Technician. These are the three positions for Ministry (except for Ministry of the Environment which only has two for some reason…)
|Candidates lining up for a vote|
|The boys vote for the person they feel |
would make the best leader
The eight different Ministries are as follows:
Ministry of Home Affairs
Ministry of Social Affairs
Ministry of Health
Ministry of Agriculture
Ministry of Environment
Ministry of Sport
Ministry of Education
Ministry of Administration
So, as the year comes to a close and some of the boys travel home for Christmas holiday, the old ministers are hanging up their hats and the newly elected ones are itching to return and put them on.