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Finding the Balance in Public Policy Simulations and Role Playing
Unformatted Document Text:  i I would like to thank James Simeon who passed the original intergovernmental simulation on to his University of Toronto graduate student Gregory Inwood who brought it to Ryerson University and then passed it on to me and encouraged me onto this path. ii Since I teach Canadian politics, my nomenclature will reflect this, but the same findings should hold true of other western style democratic government institutions. The historical dynamics such as the balance of power in the major political institutions –Canada’s Prime Minister vs. Premiers; House of Commons vs. Senate; Liberal party vs. Conservative party–will vary, but these country-specific dynamics will be inevitably played out during the simulation since the real-life participants are designed into it. So these differences should not affect the recommendations here. iii For example, I have the students add their names (“Minister of Health Jones”) to the nameplates I provide (or simply provide paper and markers and have them make their own nameplate). One thing to watch here is that you will likely use their last name on the nameplate since it fits the formality of the simulation but you may have learned the students’ names by their first name. One trick is to have an alphabetized list by first name, followed by the last name, in front of you during the simulation so that you can quickly check the sheet for the unfamiliar last name when they speak. Your student chair will also likely need the nameplate and a similar list since she or he may not know all of the names of her or his fellow students, in a class of 40 or 50 for example, and if the chair does know the names it will likely be the first name not the last.

Authors: O'Reilly, Patricia.
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i
I would like to thank James Simeon who passed the original intergovernmental simulation on to his University of Toronto
graduate student Gregory Inwood who brought it to Ryerson University and then passed it on to me and encouraged me
onto this path.
ii
Since I teach Canadian politics, my nomenclature will reflect this, but the same findings should hold true of other western
style democratic government institutions. The historical dynamics such as the balance of power in the major political
institutions –Canada’s Prime Minister vs. Premiers; House of Commons vs. Senate; Liberal party vs. Conservative party–
will vary, but these country-specific dynamics will be inevitably played out during the simulation since the real-life
participants are designed into it. So these differences should not affect the recommendations here.
iii
For example, I have the students add their names (“Minister of Health Jones”) to the nameplates I provide (or simply
provide paper and markers and have them make their own nameplate). One thing to watch here is that you will likely use
their last name on the nameplate since it fits the formality of the simulation but you may have learned the students’ names
by their first name. One trick is to have an alphabetized list by first name, followed by the last name, in front of you during
the simulation so that you can quickly check the sheet for the unfamiliar last name when they speak. Your student chair will
also likely need the nameplate and a similar list since she or he may not know all of the names of her or his fellow students,
in a class of 40 or 50 for example, and if the chair does know the names it will likely be the first name not the last.


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