With the UK snap general election just around the corner, there has been hard campaigning from the parties and frantic registering to vote from the population of UK. However even if you cannot vote because you are too young there is still a huge number of ways in which you can support the party of your choice! Below are my top election tips!
1. Registering to vote.
If you are 18 or over before or on 8th June 2017, then please register to vote by 22nd May 2017 and then go out and vote! There should be no excuse for not voting. Firstly, if you do not like a party and do not want to vote for any, be absolutely certain. Start by reading manifestos, checking for key policies on their website and keeping up with the news to see their latest updates. Hopefully this will give you preference towards one party. Moreover, even if you do not like any party, sometimes the most important thought is to get the current government out of power. If you believe the Conservative party are going to destroy this country, then vote for another party, even if you don’t necessarily align with everything they say. Additionally, one of the most dangerous motives perhaps, is not voting because your area is a ‘safe’ seat for the party of your choice. The political climate has dramatically changed from what it was even 2 years ago, with MPs resigning left right and centre and leaving the outcomes up in the air. If too many people follow the same ideology then your politician is at risk of not winning. Don’t risk it, make your vote count. Finally, the excuse that you will not be able to physically vote on the 8th June because of other commitments is weak. There is a postal vote sent to your house which you are able to send off prior to Election Day. Problem solved! If you are aged 16-17, then you are still able to register to vote and although you will not be able to vote in this election, you will be able to vote in future elections without worry of whether you have registered so make sure you register as well! The link to register to vote will be at the bottom of the blog.
2. Campaigning This tip is not just for people 18 or over, but for a person of all ages. On the website for the party of your choice, you should be able to sign up as a member of the party from age 14+. From this age you are able to donate money monthly if this is within your means and most importantly, you are invited to campaign alongside other party members. There are many opportunities to sign up for leaflet posting, door knocking and telephone calling so if you feel you are able to do this, honestly, every little helps. This way everyone gets more of a voice and more of an input into having the party of their choice win. Especially at a time like this, where conservatives appear to be well ahead in the polls, if your allegiances lie with another party, it has never been more vital to help out with the campaign. What is most important is not to lose hope. Even if you believe your party will not get into power, the more seats they have, the more power they have to oppose and vet the government. Sometimes it is not necessarily about getting into power but about giving them the ammunition of a strong opposition. Once more there will be links below which will lead you to the signing up and helping out with the campaign pages!
3. Discussion. If you, like many other young people, are in the midst of GCSE, AS, or A Level exams and certainly do not have time to go out campaigning then of course this is understandable. However, this does not stop you from having a voice! In school, when taking a break from revision perhaps start discussions, learn more about the manifestos and debate with your peers. If you fancy using your revision breaks for binge watching Netflix programmes then simply using social media can be extremely effective. Perhaps upload a picture voicing your support, retweet the tweets from the party of your preference, or even get involved in online discussions. This approach will not only educate you on the policies and opinions of the various parties but enable you to raise awareness among your age group and maybe even convince people to go out and vote!
Democracy is a fundamental construct that involves the voice of the people, and attempts to represent the people’s will. However in order for it to achieve this, it needs the vote, campaigning and awareness of the population of UK on board. In the 2015 General Election, the voter turnout from those who were eligible to vote was 66.1%. That is 34% of voter’s voices that were not heard. 34% is enough to transform a government and change the playing field upon which the government is formed. Do not underestimate the power of your vote! Young people, we are the next generation of politicians, journalists and voters. It has never been more important for us to educate ourselves and make our voice heard in the political spectrum.
Register to vote: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
Become a member of your party: https://join.labour.org.uk/
Join a campaign:
Opportunities for young people: