Digestible Politics: Why Your Voice Matters
From mandates to manifestos, the lead up to the election can get really confusing. Not to worry though, Yero Timi-Biu thinks there’s still time to get clued up on politics.
The general election will be taking place next week. Politics can be a contentious subject, (this is why people tend to shy away from political dinner table talk before binge-watching American TV shows that hinge on political tactics and back-biting).
When an election looms, it seems like all of a sudden various policies, mandates and plans for your future are completely thrust upon you. MPs start having more frequent screaming matches in parliament, and party leaders are quick to claim they have your best interests at heart.
POLITICIANS DON’T MAKE POLITICS EASY TO UNDERSTAND.
The democratic system of voting is a way in which we (the public) can choose party leaders to govern the UK. Parties will be making legislations that affect our everyday lives, from deciding issues about school fees and the increase of minimum wage, to affordable housing in the future. It can sometimes feel like politicians are speaking at us, rather than to us. There are some really useful apps like Bite the Ballot that combat this by engaging users and providing accurate information.
Many of us (under 18 years old at the time) were unable to vote in the 2010 general election. Out of those of us who could, only 44% of 18-24 year olds voted. Young people, ‘the yoof’, millenials, generation Y and Z, or whatever we’re being called this week, are a hot topic in the 2015 election. We are the future. We are the demographic that politicians and publications keep trying to prod and poke. We are packing out the auditorium of Facebook’s HQ, grilling our current Prime Minister, David Cameron and fellow party leaders. We are important.
we are important.
Even if you’re under 18 and unable to vote in this year’s election, it’s so useful to have background knowledge on parties, the process of voting and what’s happening in your local constituency, as well as nationally. Political parties often have one or two main issues they put at the forefront of their campaigns. Parties and their followers tend to veer towards the same issues such as immigration and the National Health Service (NHS). If you’ve registered to vote and want a simple breakdown of what the parties have to offer, before the big day (7th May) we’ve looked at the main issues affecting young people today such as education, further development (internships and apprenticeships, personal income, and housing). Hopefully this will help you make a well-informed voting decision, or at least a better understanding of what to expect during this intense time frame.
Don’t worry if you’re still unsure about how the voting process works or who to vote for, as over the next few days we’ll be posting lots of bitesized bits of information to make things a bit clearer. Stay tuned.
Support more young people to have their voices heard
Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.