A series of political bombshells have been dropped on the UK (and the world) over the past few years. The Scottish Referendum, Brexit, now two general elections and let’s not forget the inauguration of Trump. It may seem like the public have been called into action so many times to give their vote, we might as well live at the polling station. Nevertheless, it is still so important to cast your vote this June!
Many people hold the opinion that their vote won’t matter, or that if you don’t know who to vote for, it’s best not to altogether. The EU Referendum was a prime example to show just how important your vote really is. Britain was almost split in half in what was a close call between whether to stay or leave the EU. When the results concluded that Britain was to leave the European Union, many who voted to leave publicly came out and expressed regret for their voting choices. The total turnout for the referendum in England was 73% with even lower turnouts in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales; meaning that around 30-40% of people did not cast a vote at all. I often wonder how the results would have tipped if that 30-40% placed their vote. It’s important to understand that often there is no clear ‘winner’ as such. If politics was an easy 50/50 decision there wouldn’t be so many debates on it! So it is really important to do your research and make your voice heard. The more votes that are cast, the more representative the outcome.
There was a point in history when only white males could be involved in political matters and represent the country; thankfully this is no longer the case and so many more groups of people are able to cast their vote thanks to those who refused to stay silent. I may sound like your nan when I say this, but to all women, go out and vote! So many women campaigned and consequently died in horrific ways so that you have the opportunity to be involved in political discussions, and to be able to have your political opinions appreciated and heard. The same goes for people of colour, and other minority groups; that vote you hold was fervently fought for, so make it count.
It’s difficult to ignore the internet and social media at the best of times, and it is particularly hard during times of political tension. However, it must be stressed that your vote is your decision. Social media can be an interesting and somewhat useful source of information and platform to hear other political opinions and perhaps even voice your own, but equally it is very easy to be swayed by family and friends and people on the internet to vote a certain way. Remember to do your own research and educate yourself fully, making sure the sources you are listening to are reliable and trustworthy. Think about the issues that you care about the most or want to see change in, and choose a party that fits closest to your own set of values and beliefs and will stand up for the issues that matter to you and your constituency.