Why your vote can make a difference

It has intrigued me to see that the hashtag, ‘CameronMustGo’, is still trending and shows no signs of weakening, despite having kicked off at the weekend.  What intrigues me more is that it comes at a time when there are numerous news stories about the effect of the government’s actions or influences on young people’s finances, living conditions and situation of employment.

It seems the question of whether young people are worse off than previous generations is more relevant than ever, but I think the bigger question is, are things set to get worse?  In reality, it is likely to get worse as young people continue to get poorer and more of them are being driven to homelessness.  However, if we want the situation to get any better, then we need to have an input, and voting is one of the ways to do this.

While reading an article on the Telegraph website about the dire future that we have to look forward to as young people, Alex Young shines a light on the difference that young people could have made if more of them voted in last general election.  Why?  Because our voice does count.

A lack of voting led to the Conservatives gaining power, yet on the other hand, it was voting that led to the coalition with the Liberal Democrats.  However, this is not entirely reassuring, because the Lib Dems turned their backs on a number of their policies, most notably raising the cost of tuition fees.  I’m sure that the young individuals who voted for them were furious about that turn of events.

It’s no wonder that young people have lost faith or confidence in politicians, but it is essential for our voices to be heard if any type of change is to take place.  The Tories look out more for the older generation, because they are the ones who more money in their pockets and the Tories are a party concerned with the wealthy and privileged.

Young people are being encouraged to voted more than ever now, which is important in a time when so many of them feel discouraged from voting.  When speaking to a number of young people about voting in the recent local elections, there was a common thread as to why they did not want to vote.

Image by Nemo and used under Creative Commons License.
Image by Nemo and used under Creative Commons License.

Some felt that they did not have enough information, but there were a number of them who felt that their vote would not count and that their voice would not be heard.  They felt that even with them casting a vote, they would not see a change, because ultimately, politicians have the final say and they don’t understand us or how we live.  However – despite being unsure about voting – 22-year-old Petros did say that “if we had no say in the matter, it would just be them doing whatever they want”.

Nevertheless, not every issue that young people are facing relates back to the government or even to generations before us, as highlighted in Alex Young’s piece in the Telegraph.  We also have to face up to the choices we’ve made and stop feeling sorry for ourselves, as some of us tend to do.

There are opportunities out there for the taking, so we need to go out and grab them.  We need to step up to the plate and do something to ensure that our voices are heard, because then we won’t be ignored.  We need to do all we can to make sure that the positives and potential that may be hidden within us are on show.

Yet most importantly, we need to ensure that we have our say by casting our votes, because we have been granted that right and privilege.  I’m glad Petros later told me that he decided to vote, because he didn’t like some of the ways our country was being run.  No matter what we may think, our vote does count, and if all of us young people came together and voted, imagine what a great difference we coud make.

 

 

 

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