Politics. Yep you’re all probably sick of hearing about the General Election now….but guess what? I’m still gonna talk about it! I’m going to try to make this post as unbiased as possible, because even though I have extremely strong political views, the aim of this post is to encourage people to actually go out and vote, regardless of what party you’re voting for.
Over the years, voting in the U.K. has been ever changing. Now, I’m not gonna give you a history lesson right now, but let it suffice to say that we have worked damn hard to get the vote. First only wealthy males could vote, and even then they had to own property! And as for women, well, until the Suffragette Movement, women had absolutely no vote, and Suffragettes fought tirelessly, with lives lost to gain a vote for women.
So voting is pretty important, don’t you think?
Maybe so, but still there are a staggering amount of people who don’t vote. The deadline for registering to vote has now passed, but even so, there are many who are registered to vote who simply don’t do it. To quote The Mirror newspaper (2015):
In 2010, just over a third of young women aged 18 to 24 turned up at the ballot box, compared to 50% of young men.
This is not just a problem with young people though, as there are claims that in general, women of all ages are less likely to vote:
The gap is deep across all age groups: in 2010 9.1 million women decided NOT to vote, compared to 8 million men.
The Suffragettes did not die for this!
As a woman, it is extremely important to me to exercise my right to vote. I have an active interest in politics, the world around me, and how the world is shaped by politics. Because of my own strong political views, I know that my vote is extremely important. I also try to partake in campaigning on my social media for the party I support, as well as raising awareness of politics in general.
Voting gives us a chance to make a change, however small. Through our vote, we get a say in how the country is run. Some people may think their single vote doesn’t count but it does. Some people might think they live in a ‘safe Labour seat’ or ‘safe Conservative seat’ so they don’t bother to vote as they believe nothing will change. They may feel that their chosen party has such a strong hold that their vote won’t really count. Likewise, someone may feel that the party they hate has such a strong hold that their single vote won’t change that. Don’t get complacent, nothing is ever completely guaranteed.
Voting can change things.
Awareness and education are key components in voting, however, I hear excuses such as “I wasn’t taught politics at school so I don’t know what it means so I’m not going to vote”. Well, guess what? Politics is not really on the curriculum for many, and unless you choose to study it, you’ll get very little education on politics in school. But that isn’t an excuse. Google is your best friend right now. There are many resources that you can use to gain a better understanding of U.K. politics and the voting system. There are even tools that help you decide who to vote for. These include:
Don’t forget about the parties themselves and their own websites. The leaders of political parties are all on social media, so it could be worth checking them out.
In the run up to the General Election on June 8th, I’ll be discussing politics mostly on my Twitter account.
If anyone wants to ask me anything please feel free. I’m happy to help if it means more people will be encouraged to use their vote.
P.S I AM VOTING LABOUR AND I AM PROUD. MORE ON THAT IN A DIFFERENT POST.