Hysteria and panic descends upon the office as Nikesh my editor runs into the room in a frenzy. We’ve all seen the front page of BBC news, we know what’s coming next.
‘Who’s gunna write it? he says.
Kaja and I both know what he’s on about.
Current Prime Minister Theresa May has just announced plans to hold a general election on the 8th of June. In six weeks time.
We need an article about it. Why? Because it’s important. Why is it important? This is OUR chance to have a say about what’s happening in our country. The government has been a bit all over the place recently, and it’s time to elect a leader we can trust and make the next few years as smooth as possible. 71% of 18-24s voted to Remain in the EU. In 2015, 43% voted Labour. It’s fair to say that our generation’s voice isn’t being heard in the voting booth.
71% of 18-24s voted to Remain in the EU. In 2015, 43% voted Labour. It’s fair to say that our generation’s voice isn’t being heard.
So how did we end up with this snap election? Last year, there was a leadership competition for the Conservative party and Theresa May became Prime Minister in July 2017 after Andrea Leadsom withdrew from the leadership contest, which left May as the sole remaining candidate. The leadership contest was held because David Cameron resigned after the decision was made to leave the EU. May was declared leader of the Conservatives and 2 days later was appointed Prime Minister by the queen. Having just triggered Article 50, and with Labour being at an all-time low in the polls, she’s probably thinking, I’ll take advantage and consolidate power.
May was unelected as Prime Minister by the general public, which means only her party had a say in her leading the country, the general public didn’t. Because she was unelected, she had no parliamentary mandate. Your mandate is basically the authority to represent your constituency once you win their vote. During your campaign, you make a bunch of election promises, and once you’re elected, you’re bound by your mandate to keep them (rather than introduce new ones). Currently, all the election promises that elected this government were made under David Cameron, including the promise of a referendum about Europe. Theresa May probably wants to have an opportunity at building a fresh set of promises for her vision of the country. Whatever that may be.
It’s hard having a single issue as your mandate, and such a controversial one at that.
But this new snap election means we get to have our say. For the first time since 2015 we have a choice about who leads our country. In support of her decision May said, ‘At a time when there should be unity here in Westminster, but instead there is division. The country is coming together but Westminster is not’. But is that even true? Since Brexit, the country seems pretty divided, split down the middle between people who voted leave and those who voted to remain. The next election was scheduled to happen in 2020, but to bring it forward to as early as June as May is suggesting, she would need it to pass at the Commons vote which is set for Wednesday.
So what can you do?
VOTE VOTE VOTE.
How can you register to vote I hear you ask, well you register here or do it by post by downloading the register to vote documents on the same website.
It’s really important that young people register and get voting. The elderly voted in swarms when it came to Brexit so let’s do the same here with young people and get them in those voting booths. It’s free, it gives you the right to moan if things don’t go your way, and the younger you are the longer you’re going to be living with the consequences, so get out and vote.
Whatever your opinion on the issues, it’s important you have your say. And in order to have your say, you need to be able to vote. Register today. Also, in our forthcoming video with the Youth Mayors, we discuss if the voting age needs to be lowered to 16.
Get in touch with us @rifemag if you want to share your thoughts about the election.