There are two dates we need to put as a reminder in our phones, write into our calendars and, basically, shout from the rooftops: 22nd May and 8th June 2017. By 11:59pm on 22nd May, you can no longer register to vote in the UK General Election that is taking place on 8th June. Although recently I’ve suffered from that old political apathy, one thing I learnt from my politics A-Level is that we should always vote; (with few reasons not to) I believe it’s our democratic duty.
Earlier this month, the day of local elections dwindled on as I was revising from home. It was far from on my mind but when I remembered, I felt very “eugh meh” about the thought of popping FIVE MINUTES ACROSS THE ROAD to have my say and exercise my hard-earned right to vote. Even though I kept thinking, “I need to go and vote,” I secretly had decided that I couldn’t be bothered. The suffragettes fought tirelessly for a woman’s right to vote and I couldn’t be bothered. So, at half eight at night, I ticked a box and the hard work women carried out for me – me, who couldn’t be bothered to vote – was legitimised. As a woman, I feel a great responsibility to keep the legacy of the people who gave me my right to vote alive.
Young people don’t vote. Historically, we are simply terrible at voting. I don’t believe it’s because we are lazy, I think it’s down to apathy and a system we feel just a little screwed over by (I could be wrong). Young people voted for the Liberal Democrats a few years ago because of their promise to scrap university fees and, well, you know the rest. But if we are the young, scrappy and hungry (Hamilton reference, thank you very much) generation I believe we are, we need to fight back by having our say with numbers. The more of us there are letting everyone know how we feel, naturally the bigger impact we should have on the political system, and thus, the future. And as we are always told, the young are the future.
I think the Trump Issue serves for a brilliant example of why young people need to come out to vote, and come out in numbers. Scary things happen so frequently as of recently as a direct result of who turns up and who doesn’t. I think it’s an aggressive slogan that comes from the people at election time, but it is true: If you don’t vote, you can’t complain about the result. So many of us want our voice to be heard, but it can’t be heard if we don’t speak up.
I just watched a hilarious video about registering and going to vote and he outlined that even if you go in and spoil your paper, you’re still exercising your democratic right to vote. I’ve never thought of it like that, and although naturally actually voting for a party is getting your voice heard, in a less impacting way, so is spoiling a ballot paper. So if you really don’t want to vote, at least go and spoil your ballot paper. Although I’m not entirely convinced and would encourage open-minded research first before you come to this conclusion.
Register, do your research and vote. Politics is important, whether you are politically motivated or not.
~ Kat ~
P.S. I have been posting (questionable) blogs every day this month and you can read my last post about feminism-ing up HERE!