Oh hey guys. I am doing that thing again where I don't blog for like three weeks and then I suddenly pop up with an absolute essay. Really sorry about that.
Life has been super hectic, and I'm currently looking into rearranging my schedule to make more time for blogging because there is SO much I want to share with you guys!
But for now I just wanted to write a few words on why you should register to vote today, because you only have until midnight to do so if you haven't already, and well, it's kiiiiiinda important.
I've spent what feels like a vast percentage of my weekend talking politics with my friends down the pub, and it's weird, because that always used to be sometthing I actively avoided doing. I never liked people knowing my opinions, because they might disagree with me, and if you know me, you'll know that I avoid confrontation at any cost because I'm pretty chill and I just don't like having to deal with that kinda thing.
Over the past few years I've realised that it's good to discuss how you feel about the world around you, because other people's viewpoints are interesting, and hey, you might learn something you hadn't thought of before, or you may even help somebody see things differently. Varied opinions are the spice of life, and all that.
I wasn't always interested in politics, as I'm sure is true for most people, but as soon as I was old enough to vote, I started looking into what the different parties were all about, who stood for what, and gradually I've learned quite a lot. A lot of us will have grown up hearing about our parents political beliefs, or heard our friends opinions, and we all have the internet - there are so many ways to learn about what is what - and you might not realise that who you vote for really can affect the things you care about until you dig a little deeper.
As we grow up we are affected more and more by 'boring adult stuff' and all of a sudden over the past few years I started to really care. Things like jobs, tax, housing, the NHS - these things all affect me on a daily basis. I care about the environment, and our relationship to the rest of Europe, and I have opinions on how these things should all be handled. I'm sure you do too, although I understand it can be a little daunting to trawl through policy after policy - I've actually read one or two parties' policies start to finish and it was a chore - but there are plenty of quizes out there and blogs and facebook pages and twitter accounts and SO MANY ways we can learn without being overwhelmed these days.
A really quick way to see which parties you are most aligned with, is to take the Verto Quiz, which really only takes 5 - 10 minutes
So let's just say you don't feel like you agree with any of the parties, you can't pick one, or you just think that they are all just as full of false promises as each other? You should still register to vote. Spoil your ballot. Show that you are unimpressed. If you aren't happy with the way things are, either vote for somebody you believe can change things positively, or spoil your ballot, but if you do nothing then your voice isn't counted at all. If you're one of those people who complains about the state of this that or the other, but you don't vote - then you are the problem. You're your own worst enemy.
According to google analytics, my readership are the demographic least likely to vote, and while I completely understand that it's all a bit daunting, there are people in the world who aren't allowed to vote at all and are begging for that choice to change the country they live in. There are people who died for your right to vote. Who we vote for now will have a huge impact on the environment our children grow up in. The country we retire in. It sadly takes several terms for any real change to take place, so it really is important to get the ball rolling in the right direction now and take charge of your own future.
The youth vote is so underused, and yet I really strongly believe that my generation - for the most part - have their heads screwed on and have way more power than they realise. In 2010 the non voters vastly outnumbered the supporters of every political party standing. 15.9 million people didn't vote. By contrast, the Tories got 10.7m votes, and Labour got 8.6m. Imagine the power those 15.9 people would have if they voted for who they believed in? Or even the message it would send if they all spoiled their ballots.
And it's also good for your credit rating to be on the electoral register, so there's that too.
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