This is the Work of a Sociology Major

I’m teaching a multimedia class this semester. Instead of coming up with different ideas for each project and multimedia type, I decided to theme the semester and have an ongoing project. Less work for me, more fun for the kids. So we created our own country, discussed the possible issues and now the kids have to run for office. This is going to be one interesting election.

Your country’s president is retiring and you have a chance to run for office and become the next elected president. You are to use different types of multimedia to campaign for the 6 candidate spots for the presidency. Using different types of multimedia, you are to promote your platform and explain why you would be a good president.

Country Name: Phamland

Location:  A large island in Pacific Ocean by Australia. 

Island Features:                – Enchanted Forest          – Mountain range             – a glacier

                                                – 3 Lakes                               – a small desert                 – Chicago weather

                                                – 3 small islands offshore (Swamp Island, Penguin Island, Volcano Island)

                                                – 3 major cities (Shire, Isengard, Gondor)              – coconut trees

 

 

Demographics:                                 – Pop.: 3,500,000                               – 95% of Pop. is native born. 

                                                                – 5% poverty rate (and increasing)  – 15% has a high school diploma/GED

                                                                – 90% of exports are coconuts    – 15% unemployment rate (and increasing)

 

 

Government:         – Democracy built on the United States.

                                     – President, Congress, and Supreme Court

                                                                – There is no electoral college.

– Anyone can vote in the primary election, only 21+ can vote for the presidential election.

Political Issues:

The Great Gator Debate

There has been an ongoing discussion about the Gator mascot for all of Phamland’s sports teams. Environmentalists argue that it is inhumane and unnatural to force the Gator from Swamp Island 45 years ago to perform at sports games. Additionally, forcing the Gator to live in a cage at the town’s square is an abomination. They suggest that the Gator should be returned to Swamp Island and live free. The sports franchise owners argue that it was the Gator’s original choice to leave the island. The Gator is performing at the sports game at its own accord. The Gator is well compensated and its living conditions are well maintained.

There have been a few accounts that the Gator attacks people at different sporting events. It is said that the Gator will come up to people and bite them. The franchise owners claim that the Gator was just being friend, “No one has ever lost an arm.”

Where do you stand on the Great Gator debate?

The Caste System (class based society)

There are 6 classes in Phamland: teachers, seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshmen and the others. Teachers are on the top of the caste system, having the most rights and are able to punish all those below them. Next are the seniors who often leave Phamland to the land of “college” after they finish their high school diploma. Juniors have some seniority but privileges are few. Sophomores and freshmen are the lowest class in the caste system. The others do not fall under any specific rank. Their ranking depends on different situation. They provide the economic needs for the country and keeps it running.

There has been talk of disbanding the caste system. Other talk has been reorganizing the system into a class society. How do you feel about the caste system?

Environment

The Enchanted Forest has become endangered due to deforestation, pollution and low population of fairies and pixies on the island. The enchanted forest provides 95% of the oxygen of the island. The native animals are all endangered due to the collapsing forest. The forest is located in the center of the island surrounded by the 3 major cities and the mountain range. Foresters say that they need more wood to build houses and paper. The cities are expanding and need a place to grow.

How do you save the Enchanted Forest while still allow the cities to expand?

Taxes

For the last 5 years, no one has paid taxes because certain congressmen suggested that the country was in great financial condition. So taxes have been waved. Due to a major hurricane last year, the Shire was almost completely wiped out and needs to be rebuilt. Additionally, a major drought during the spring has hurt the coconut crops, limited exports this year. The treasury is out of money.

How do you bring money back into the country?

Education

Public school has been hurt due to the lack of tax money to fund it. Private schools have been flourishing, but still lack government support due to an old law dating back to the 1920s. The law states that students in private schools must attend 5 years in order to graduate, public schools only need 4 yrs. Parents don’t want their kids in public schools but they can’t afford 5 years of private education.

What do you do to resolve the education issue?

Healthcare:

The people have Phamland have been using privatized healthcare for the last 50 years. Within the last 5 years, healthcare rates have increased by 200%. 85% of the population are in danger of dropping all healthcare coverage due to the increased rates. There is no public healthcare in Phamland and with the major deficit in the budget, there can’t be for another 3 years.

How would you solve the healthcare situation?

Economy

Due to a major drought in the spring, the coconut harvest season has been lack luster. Because of the drought, there was a major fire during the summer that burned 75% of all coconut trees. Phamland’s economy survives on the export on coconuts.

How would you help save the economy?

Foreign Policy

Army intelligence has informed that one of Phamland’s neighbor, Kniebuschtopia, has been building weapons of mass destruction. A large red button has been located in the center of the country. Communication has been tensed between both countries. The president of Kneibuschtopia is also a citizen of Phamland and can vote during the elections.

How would you address this issue?

Social Security

Due to the lack of government funding, the social security of Phamland is bankrupted. This affect the teachers and some of the “others” class. Senior-freshmen are young enough to start their own privatized retirement savings accounts. Teachers & the others cannot save for their retirement due to their advanced years. Not all people can afford privatized social security because of their low income.

Should social security be privatized? And what will happen to the teachers & the others? How can you save social security

Public Transportation

Due to lack of government funding, public transportation has been overlooked in the last few years. The Shire needs their whole mass transit system rebuilt due to the hurricane. Gondor’s transit system is about to discontinue over ½ of their service due to lack of government funding. Isengard is the largest metropolitan area and their public transit system is state of the art. This is because of their important port status where all the coconut exports are shipped to Kniebuschtopia. Isengard receives 55% of all public transit money allotted from the government.

The railway between Isengard and Gondor is in dire need of revamping. The railroad is over 75 years old and the rails and rail ties need to be replaced. There is no railroad connecting Isengard to the Shire because there is a desert between the two cities. It is claimed that one cannot build a railroad on a desert. This has slowed the rebuilding process of the Shire, thus causing it to fall into further poverty. Developers want to build a railroad between Gondor and the Shire. This would mean that the railroad would cut in the middle of the Enchanted Forest. The two smaller sister cities rely on each other for support in order to survive. Without a railroad to the Shire being built in the near future, there might only be 2 cities left in Phamland.

How would you address the public transit system in each city? How would you resolve the railroad issue?

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “This is the Work of a Sociology Major

  1. Pingback: Favorite 2008 Blog Posts « .:: PhamPants ::.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s