On June the 8th we have a decision on who we want to govern us. On June the 8th it is time for us to have a say. On June the 8th go to a polling station and vote.
I will point you in the direction of the manifestos of the main parties: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Greens, UKIP, Scottish National Party, and Plaid Cymru. This guide on the BBC compares the manifestos of many parties. Look up your local candidates – find their voting records in Parliament (if they have been an MP before) and what they stand for.
In this post I am not intending to endorse any political group. Frankly, I do not care who you vote for. I care about you actually voting.
You may be sat there thinking “well politics isn’t relevant to me. I don’t really care. It doesn’t affect me.” I hate to break it to you but politics is everywhere.
You want to go to university next year or are already at university? Ever been to a hospital, the doctor or dentist? You pay taxes? (Even if you don’t think you pay tax, you do. You pay VAT on certain products.) You have a bank account or a savings account and are annoyed at interest rates? You’re concerned about defence or terrorist attacks? Climate change is something you care about? You buy things? Ever needed the Police or Fire service? Don’t like foxhunting? Love foxhunting?
The government is responsible for policies in all of these areas and more.
The youth turnout at elections is historically low. In the 2015 General Election 43% of 18 to 24 year olds voted. Compared to 78% of over 65s voting (according to Ipsos Mori.) Politicians cater to the older generations and create policies that are attractive to them because they can count on them to turn up to vote. If the younger generation went to vote en mass, parties would try to catch their vote more by aiming more policies towards them.
At the end of the day the government in place on Friday will be in for a maximum of five years before we get another say on the issue. In that five years a lot will happen. Namely Brexit negotiations and the final Brexit in 2019. The way this goes will affect your future.
Still confused about who to go for? That’s fine. Research before heading to the ballot box. Don’t get your news from politics memes (funny as they are, they aren’t a reliable source.) Beware of fake news, check your facts. Read around the issues you care about. Read what each party is saying about those issues. Don’t stick to a single news outlet as they are all biased – newspapers particularly.
People have died to support democracy. People have died to give you the right to vote. Many people around the world aren’t enfranchised. If you are able to vote on June the 8th – think yourself lucky. Voting is a fundamental right which has been hard fought for. And while it is our right to vote we are privileged in being able to do so.
If you don’t vote tomorrow, but you dislike who gets voted to power you don’t really have a leg to stand on if you want to complain. You had the chance to make your choice and you wasted it.
I urge you all. On June the 8th go to your nearest polling station and make at least some form of mark on your ballot paper. I do not care which box you cross as long as you vote. It is your future.