General Election: The reasons why you should vote
|8th June 2017|
Snap General Election Special
With 2 weeks to go until the snap general election on Thursday 8 June. I thought I would write an election special post to add my thoughts to the emotive topic of politics and the reasons why you should vote. You don’t need many guesses to know who I will be voting for. I have been a member of the Green Party for almost a year now. I can even tell you the exact date I joined; on June 25 2016. Why did I join a political party at the ripe old age of 41? I will tell you. The EU referendum, that’s why.
On the 24 June 2016 I woke up in utter shock and disbelief. Right up to the vote on June 23rd I had seriously considered my options of remain in or leave the EU. I genuinely researched the subject and debated which was the right decision not just for me, but for my children and for Britain. I decided after weeks of deliberation that I was a Remainer and I still stand by that fact today. So when the country voted leave I was dismayed. By the following day I was motivated, although I had no choice but to accept the decision of the vote, I needed to stand up and be a voice for the things I believe in the power of the people and all that, to make a difference if we stand together. I chose the Green Party as I identify closely with their ideas and beliefs.
Why you should vote.
I am absolutely not trying to sway you to any particular party I am simply opening the debate and conversation as to the importance of voting. The importance of using your right to have your say, to voice your opinion. I genuinely do not and will not get offended by whoever you chose to vote for. I just plead with you to get out there and make your mark. Put that X in a box.
There are 650 parliamentary seats up for grabs and each area winner will be a member of Parliament in the House of Commons. 326 seats are needed for a majority for the party to win governance of the commons. The main parties are Conservative (Tory), Labour, Scottish National Party (SNP), and Liberal Democrats (LibDem). However, there are many others too and with still a week to go if you are still unsure who to vote for just spend a few moments researching the different parties and their plans should they win.
I recently read an interesting article by Sophie Dishman from The Musings of a Journalism Student, in which she talked about why you should register to vote. Now obviously it is too late to register in this snap election with only a fortnight to go, but I thought her article was well worth a read still, on the importance of using your vote and why you should make the effort.
Voting Age Debate.
My eldest teen turned 18 at the beginning of May and we registered him that very day to be able to vote in next week's snap election. He hasn't particularly followed politics up to this point as he said ‘what's the point, our opinion doesn't count or matter’. He is the future workforce of this country. A future taxpayer, he can start his journey into adulthood having a say in the government that will guide his adult life. However, while the EU debate was happening and the future of our country being decided, they conversation turned unsurprisingly to the voting age of this country. My eldest was 17 at the time, he couldn’t vote, but both he and I strongly believe that the voting age should be lowered to 16. We expect our children to pick options that will guide their future education while in year 9 at school, aged just 14. Owen can legally become a parent himself at 16 yet can not vote on issues that would affect his parenting, such as health care, benefits, tax credits, pensions etc. He can get married or register a civil partnership with consent. Drive a moped or invalid carriage or drink alcohol with a meal if accompanied by someone over 18. He can even legally join the army to eventually fight for his country but he can not vote on the leader of the country that he can legally do all these things in at 16.
When can I vote?
Polling Day is 8 June 2017. Polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm, so you have plenty of time before or after work/college/uni whatever you are doing that day. It will only take a few minutes out of your time. Your poll card will tell you where to go to vote. If you are reading this and haven’t received your poll card, contact you local Electoral Registration Office today.
If you are voting by post following the instructions on your postal ballot paper carefully making sure you have:
- Marked your vote on your ballot paper in secret.
- Filled in the postal voting statement.
- Put the ballot and statement in envelope provided.
- Sealed the envelope yourself so that no one else can tamper with your paper.
- Post your ballot paper back as soon as possible to make sure it is counted.
Join in the Election discussion:
Are you going to vote in the Election?
Should the voting age be 16 in the UK?
Comment below or connect on social media #GE2017