So, Theresa May’s announcement outside Number 10 came early yesterday; just like the general election. Now that we’ve all had a day to process our initial feelings of shock, outrage, glee, or satisfaction, it’s imperative that – now more than ever – we distance ourselves from political apathy at this crucial time.
Seven weeks from now, you have the opportunity to cast a vote which will determine the UK’s political, economic, and social future. The importance of the young person’s vote cannot be overlooked or discounted by those vying for a position, nor can we afford to shrug it off as a waste of time. We owe it to ourselves to take action and exercise our democratic right. Moreover, it is our responsibility to demonstrate to future generations that voting is an effective action which facilitates change.
— Bonnie Greer (@Bonn1eGreer) April 19, 2017
Ok, let’s get it out there – Brexit. Brexit has pervaded British politics, the news, and social media for what feels like decades. At this point it is embedded in our daily lives as we see everywhere constant squabbling between political parties, the world’s reaction, the triggering of Article 50, even the ever-present #Brexit.
But this is not the only issue on the agenda: the NHS, education, defence, the environment, employment, and welfare all deserve our attention and consideration when deciding how to vote. Yes, Brexit is undeniably one of the sovereign concerns of our time but it is critical that we do not allow this to blind us to the multitude of other matters at stake. This is a general election, not a referendum.
Be curious, find out about what various parties stand for in relation to the aforementioned issues. Google the Conservatives, read Labour’s manifesto, follow the Liberal Democrats on social media, look up the Scottish National Party’s website. Think about what is important to you and see which party (and not just the ones listed here) seems to fit you best.
Cast your vote with confidence by reading widely, knowing that you did everything in your power to be informed before scribing that all-important ‘x’.
GUYS! Young women statistically least likely to vote. Here’s a quick thread of useful resources re voting/policies/how to vote etc:
— Laila 🎶 (@tapeparade) April 18, 2017
I implore you to (always) think critically and consider the source. The Guardian and the Daily Mail are probably going to differ on how the events of the next seven weeks are portrayed. Even broadcasters which claim to be impartial can sometimes show the cracks in their veiled bias. Arm yourself with knowledge and ask questions.
Perhaps the most important part of this process — register to vote. Whether it be in person, by post, or by proxy, get yourself on the electoral register.
We cannot afford apathy. Cast your vote.
By Hannah Collins @hunkamunka