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A Positive Politics Party–Is It Possible?

For awhile now, we’ve been toying with the idea of having a girlfriend party or girls night around the topic of politics, but we were afraid it would be too volatile. Nothing kills the party mood like arguing politics, after all. But after listening to the Girlfriends, Kathy and Judy, on WGN Radio 720 in Chicago the other day, we’ve changed our minds. So read on, girlfriends, to discover how you can talk politics with your girlfriends, have fun, and possibly make an impact on the democratic process in your commununity with a Positive Politics Party. (Cue presidential march music!)

Kathy and Judy aired a segment called “Clean Air Politics” in which they encouraged their listeners to call in and say why they were supporting a particular candidate, but only in positive terms. Callers were not allowed to say anything negative about the other candidate, only positive things about their own. It worked out really well on the air, so we thought it might work for us too. We can be civil if we want to!

You may be asking yourself WHY we would want to muck up a perfectly good girls night with politics. Well, there are a couple of reasons. First of all, it’s fun to celebrate the democratic process. Women have only been allowed to vote in the U.S. since 1920. And we all agree that voting is a good thing, right? Second, with only 6 weeks to the presidential election in the U.S., many girlfriends are still undecided about who they will vote for. Here’s a way to learn a little about the candidates in a fun setting. Third, it’s good for us to hear the other side of an issue, even if we don’t agree. Listening is a good skill to cultivate. Finally, we believe that when women get together, good things happen. By discussing this important topic with a positive attitude, together with our girlfriends, perhaps we’re making our communities and our countries just a little bit better.

Setting and setup

Have this party right in your living room. Simply have enough chairs set up in a way for everyone to see each other. You might want to drape your front porch with red white and blue bunting, or these bunting mini light strings. (Hey, you can always reuse them on election night!) Have a table by the door for your guests to leave candidate literature (to be grabbed on the way out)

Or, since this is going to be an *ahem* positive discussion, you could even do it over dinner at your favorite hangout. (notice we didn’t say “over drinks.”)


You know those hand fans you always see people using at political conventions? Make your own with card stock and a paint stick. Cut out a paddle shape from the card stock or cardboard and cover with stars-and stripes wrapping paper (print your own here). In the middle, glue down another piece of card stock that you have printed on your computer with the invitation details. Wording could begin something like this:

Eat, drink, and revel in democracy!

We’re having a positive political discussion night.

Come prepared to say only why you like your candidate.

Leave your negativity about the other candidate at home.

No bashing allowed.

Celebrate your right to vote!

(add your time, place, and RSVP info here)

Attach the paint stick to the back to complete the invite. Then, mail in large envelopes or simply hand-deliver.

Of course, you can use anyvite or evite for a quick invitation solution.

Food and Drink

All-American food is the theme here. To keep the focus on the discussion, serve simple fare that can be eaten easily with a fork or fingers. How about a Hot Dog bar with gourmet toppings? You could also go the red-white-and-blue route and do a blend of red (barbecue), white and blue potato chips, or blue corn chips with white bean dip and red salsa. Strawberries, blueberries, sliced apples and bananas make an easy red, white and blue fruit salad. For dessert–apple pie, of course! Wash it all down with whatever YOU think is the quintessential American beverage. We like Coca-Cola, but you may have other ideas ;)

Connecting activities

Now, onto the main event. When everyone has gotten their food and drink, have your friends sit down in the circle. Then, simply take turns saying who your candidate is and why. Remember to keep your comments in a positive format. For example, “I’m voting for (name) because I really believe he has the best tax plan.” or “I’m voting for (name) because I think his experience as a (whatever) makes him more qualified to be president.” The other gals just listen. Bashing the other side is strictly not allowed. In fact, answering is not even allowed. Try this: the person whose turn it is to speak gets to wear the Uncle Sam Hat (sold by the dozen at Oriental Trading Co.). Or maybe you’ll have any troublemakers wear them instead!

If you want more conversation, Table Topics has an awesome set of non-partisan election discussion starters (such as “Should the U.S. have mandatory military service?”).

When everyone has had their say, the group can break up for more food and drink and lively conversation. At this point, your girlfriends may want to try and persuade others to see their point of view. That’s ok, it’s an important part of the democratic process. As long as everyone is respectful, have at it!

Consider also providing information at your party for girlfriends who haven’t yet registered to vote. You may even be able to get them registered right at the party using the League of Women Voters website Keep in mind that the last day to register is about 4 weeks before the election (Oct. 7 this year).

Finally, encourage your girlfriends to bring copies of brochures, flyers, or other literature about their candidate and leave it on a table by the door. Guests can take them on the way out.

Party favors

Huggable voting animals are totally in the spirit of this party– you can get anything from stickers to tote bags to t-shirts.

Or, check out Rock the Vote for T-shirts, stickers, caps, camis and thongs in several designs.

Politics is often a taboo topic among friends–and for good reason–but if we learn to speak about it in a positive manner, it doesn’t have to be.] We have faith in you, girlfriends! Three cheers for the red, white, blue, and pink!

Girlfriends, this also makes a great party for watching election returns. Let us know if you try it!


  1. League of Women Voters has a whole raft of resources for parties and get-togethers with political themes — watching debates with friends, for instance.

    If you live in California, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, or New York, be sure to visit — a League project that gives great detail on state and local elections.

    Comment by Frances — September 28, 2008 @ 3:30 pm

  2. Thanks Frances, the debate watching party tips are really useful. I would encourage everyone to check them out and have some friends over to watch the next debate.

    Comment by Dawn — September 28, 2008 @ 5:01 pm

  3. [...] fun doing it, right, girls? You’ll find more tips on making a politics-themed party festive here. Perfect for an election night bash.  Rock on, women voters, you do make a [...]

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