WHY SHOULD YOU VOTE? WHAT’S THE POINT? THE DISCONNECTION BETWEEN YOUTH AND POLITICS COULDN’T BE FURTHER APART, BUT WITH THE UPCOMING LOCAL ELECTIONS AND THE EU REFERENDUM ON THE HORIZON, NOW IS THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD. FIND OUT WHY BLOGGER ZAINAB THINKS THAT YOUR VOTE MATTERS..
1. People have fought for us to have the right to vote …
In the UK, everyone over the age of 18 has the right to vote and decide who they want to govern their country. However, not everyone has always been able to vote. The biggest change came thanks to the Representation of the People Act 1918 which gave more than 8 million women the right to vote. It had a lot to do with the tireless campaigning by the Suffragettes, a group of women who fought for their right to vote.
2. Others are still fighting for this right
There are many other people around the world that don’t have the right to vote, so count yourself lucky!
3. Your vote can make a big difference
As we saw in the General Election 2015, your vote makes a huge difference. Statistics from Ipsos Mori show that there was no significant increase in young people voting compared to the previous general election in 2010, with 18-24 year olds almost half as likely to vote as those aged 65 and over. It highlights the disengagement the youth has with politics, and given that a mere 7% could have made a big difference to the General Election result, the vote of 18-24 year olds matters now more than ever.
4. Voting has huge benefits
According to Bite The Ballot, a party-neutral movement encouraging young people to engage in democracy, only half of 16-24 year olds that live in the UK are registered to vote. This means that even though we have the most connected generation, less than a quarter of the country’s youngest citizens can actually create change. Perhaps this is why subjects that disproportionately affect the young get bumped down the political agenda. Also, if your name doesn’t appear on the electoral register, it can have a big impact on your life and makes it much harder to get a mortgage and obtain insurance.
5. Vote to protect your future
Each time an election rolls around, ask yourself, which political party matches your morals and beliefs? As much as you may be disillusioned with the people that make the decisions, the only way you can change that is by making your vote count. Think of what your life could be like in the next 5, 10 or 20 years – you’re going to graduate, get the job you worked hard for, you’re going to need somewhere to live, maybe even buy a house. The government directly affects all of these things, but you can change how it will affect you by voting.