One for the labs: Mock Cabinets

What kind of tools and tales will we be using in our political laboratories to begin with?

Here's one we've tried earlier: mock cabinets.

During the laboratory process, as we begin to see and feel differently about ourselves, our communities and world, it might occur to us that government needs a new department. For example: the Department of Community Development. Or, the Department of Time Distribution.

As the laboratory reaches its second stage, we collect the new departments suggested from all the participants and vote on those we want to take forward into our play-government. Some traditional departments might be retained – but only by vote.

Once the departments have been agreed, a minister for each one is elected (or volunteered if preferred) and a mock cabinet is formed. One person is elected PM.

Taking the actual news of the day, cabinet meetings are held with the rest of the participants as the audience. Taking one news item at a time, the cabinet has a chance to formulate a response, with each department minister contributing.

The audience is allowed to ghost the proceedings – that is to say, to raise questions and make comments, without the ministers answering directly.

At half hourly intervals, members of the audience are allowed to replace a minister if the majority of the audience agrees.

By the end of the day / weekend, laboratories can put forward new department ideas which will be displayed on the Alternative website. Visitors will be able to comment and vote on their favourites. At the end of the year, an Alternative government will be announced.

Want to find out more? Did you use this and would like to report? Please comment below.