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Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Life: Why voting in the Snap General Election is ACTUALLY IMPORTANT #BloggersWhoVote

I’ve always been told that there are a few things that you should never, ever talk about at the dinner table; sex, politics and religion. I’ve tried to keep the same attitude on my blog but I think it’s about time that I take a step back and address just how important voting in the next general election is to you, the reader, as a person and the country as a whole. I’m going to stay away from discussing my own political alliances– although I think it’s perfectly clear on social media where my loyalties lie- but instead share WHY it is important to go down to the polling station on June 8th to make your voice and your opinion matter.

Politics is always a tricky one to discuss, particularly with all of the differing opinions – even within my own family, with people who have been brought up in the same environment and economic zone, even by the same people in some cases – there is a significant amount of difference in voting patterns and political party choices. It doesn’t matter what our opinion on BREXIT is, because at the end of the day, it’s happened and now that Article 50 has been triggered, there’s very little standing in its way. In the midst of all this political chaos, Theresa May has called for a snap General Election and as a country we should unite by going down to the polling booths and casting our votes.

There are, of course, quite a few problems. I’m going to veer my point here towards one of those problems in particular. I am 23 years old now, and consider myself part of the “young people” group. I’m especially interested in politics and have been for some time but this is not necessarily the case for everyone in my age bracket. There is a particularly large proportion of young people who, for whatever reason, have found themselves completely disengaged from politics. Perhaps it’s that they see no way out. Perhaps they believe that ‘all the politicians are the same.’ Perhaps they just generally have no interest in politics at all. However, it’s these people- these disengaged, disinterested young’uns- that have the most to say when things go wrong. People who criticise the government’s choices, people who criticise budget cuts and redistribution of funds – these are the people who are not voting.

As people, we are absolutely privileged to be allowed the opportunity to vote for the political party of our choice and have a say in what happens in our country. I hate to refer back to the old clichés, but people have actually DIED for this right on our behalf and that should not be scoffed over. We are each given a voice through our vote- in spite of what you might think, in spite of what the media tabloids might say, every vote matters and your vote is just as important as the next person. Imagine if everyone had the attitude of “well, my vote won’t make a difference!” No one would vote! We, as young people, are the voices of our generation: our vote is vitally important. We are the people who are going, in 5 years’ time, to have to deal with any repercussions of the next government. We are the people who will have to live with the choices made for us by other people. What leg do we have to stand on if we haven’t actively gone out and voted?

Don’t just vote for somebody because your parents do – perhaps what is good and right for your parents actually goes against what you believe in. Perhaps the party that your parents vote for doesn’t take the best interests of people like YOU into consideration. Read up on each party’s manifesto. Have a look into the kind of person that the MP for your constituency is. Look at their beliefs and see if they match up to your own. Don’t go into that polling booth blind – you need to know exactly what you are voting for and why. It’s so easy to get sucked into what the media is saying and be blinded by that, as well – remember that newspapers and broadcasting agencies are owned and run by people with their own political agendas. There are newspapers that are blatantly veered towards one party in particular, and this is true of both sides of the spectrum – don’t believe everything you read in the newspaper, as there’s always a bigger picture.

If you haven’t already done so, make sure that you’re registered to vote. It is SO easy to do so and only takes a few minutes. If you won’t be in the country at the time of the vote or have difficulties in getting out and about to polling booths, apply for a postal or a proxy vote. Don’t let your vote go to waste.




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