Register to Vote – Do it today
Thursday is National Voter Registration Day. The registering rules have changed, meaning everyone must register themselves individually (new rules say your parents, partners, housemates or university campus are no longer allowed to do this for you). Around 1 million people have dropped off the voting register; If you’re a young person, you are more likely to be one of them. Register here now:
Not that Interested?
Even if you’re not sure who to vote for right now, or if you’re currently planning not to vote, registering gives you the option to decide later or to change your mind; even if you end up deciding you’d like to spoil your ballot paper to show your distaste for all the parties. It doesn’t mean you have to vote, it simply gives you the right to. And it only takes 5 minutes to register.
Young People Should use their right to vote.
Why do I want young people, specifically, to vote? Currently the younger you are, the less likely you are to vote, and this changes the whole demographic of the voting population. A political party will write their manifesto to appeal to the voting population. This logic leads to policies which will be of most benefit to the older population, and they will be more likely to cut things which favour young people to balance their books.
Politics, and specifically politics in the last 5 years, has let young people down massively. Just look at youth unemployment. Look at student fees. Look at our Prime Minister, who has just promised he will remove housing benefit for 18-21 year olds if they win the 2015 general election. The reason they can do this and it not have massive repercussions to them, is because young people don’t turn out and vote. Young people need to vote to stop this kind of tactical politics which does such harm to them.
There is also a surprisingly big discrepancy in political opinion between older people and younger people. For example in the Scottish Referendum under 50s mostly voted yes, but over 50s mostly voted no. You will also see huge variance in voting intentions of young people compared with the whole population in the national elections (generally more young people will vote for parties considered more left wing). So the percentage turnout of a given age group can really make a difference to the outcome of the elections.
Hopefully, soon, registration won’t be necessary, but while it is: register to vote. Tell your friends and family to register to vote. Even if you don’t want to use it, you should at least have the option.