Northern Ireland 13th June 2019

Ann Allan Blog – Democracy Games

by Connor McLean

Written by Ann Allan

Originally posted on

On Friday I attended the Democracy Games at Stormont. Now I’m sure you’re asking what are Democracy Games and aren’t you a bit old to be taking part in any sort of games. I was in fact there to host on behalf of the Open Government NI Network along with David McBurney and Sean Kelly (NIEL).

Children from three schools in NI made the journey to Stormont to learn about democracy though interactive exercises. Kellie Armstrong MLA welcomed the students and encouraged them to take an interest in politics.

A warm up session involved identifying politicians and slogans. Amazing how many recognised Trump.

They then started the hard work of forming policies, chosing party names, manifestos and party slogans. After they delivered their manifestos to the other groups it was time to vote via the ballot box for the party with the most popular policies. They were all very enthusiastic and their policies were well thought out and obviously important to them. The environment was a common thread as was more access for those with disabilities.

It is important that children know how the voting system works and how important it is to vote.

I then had the pleasure of announcing the joint winners.

Schools taking part were Parkway Lisburn, Ard-na-Shee Derry/Londonderry and Knockevin Special School, Downpatrick.

An enjoyable morning all round and one which will be repeated again in June.