In America, how does a political party gain more votes than its competitor? A bigger question is how to secure that all important median voter? Mathematician Harold Hotelling provides an answer: the median voter theorem. Namely, in a 2-party system, whichever party can grab the median voter will win the election. On the positive side, this produces moderate, "big umbrella" parties. On the negative side, politicians have an incentive to move around on the ideological spectrum and not consistently stick to any position.
This game has students play three different roles: a) a voter, b) a member of a party committee trying to position their candidate, and c) a state voting in the Electoral College. Students test Hotelling's theory - will the more principled party or the more cynical party win most of the time?
The .zip file comes with the following:
-16 page lesson plan that outlines Hotelling's median voter theorem and explains the platform game.
-Alternate versions of the main game that feature 3rd parties, non-partisan elections and a drama/media project for your students
-"EZ calc" sheet that allows the teacher to quickly calculate the position of the median voter in the classroom
-3 student worksheets and 2 answer keys
-18 slide Power Point that explains the median voter theorem and walks students through the game