The General Election 2017 is upon us and here is your chance to get your voice heard. Your opinion does matter, it does count, and you can make a difference!
The number of people that did not vote in the 2010 General Election outweighed the number of winning votes, a huge 15.9 million people didn’t make their voice heard! Can you imagine what a difference it could have made if they had voted. If they all voted the same way a complete outsider could have been in power over the main political parties! You really do make a difference!
Image source: The Mirror
I know so many people who have said they don’t vote and they give numerous excuses as to why not. But is any reason not to vote truely valid? Shouldnt we be protecting our right to vote and ensuring we remain a democracy? Here are just a few of the reasons I have heard for people not voting:
- I don’t vote because the parties are all the same – There are really not! There are significant differences between the parties and their policies, especially in this general election. Lock up the manifests for each party and see what they are planning.
- I have the kids all day so can’t vote – you can take your children into polling stations they are just not allowed to mark on the ballot papers. Taking your kids with you is a great idea, you are showing them that they can have a voice and that their vote will count.
- I don’t have time to vote – it takes a matter of minutes to vote and the polling stations are open all day from 7am to 10pm, yep a whole 15 hours to make it to the polling station!
- I can’t decide who to vote for – that’s ok still attend the polling station, get your paper and do not mark it but do post it in the box. This shows you have a voice but the parties have not engaged you enough. Blank and spoiled votes are counted and reported on.
- My one vote won’t make a difference – It really does, imagine all those one votes added together it could make a huge difference.
- The same party always wins where I live – no area is safe if everyone gets up and votes! If the same party does get in again at least you have shown them that not everyone agrees with them and they have work to do!
There is an awful lot of spin, scaremongering and bias from the political parties and the media and it can feel like you can’t see the woods for the trees. It’s hard but you have to see past this, don’t beleive all the cross accusations and slating of the candidates characters rather then their parties policies. We would tell our children off for name calling and lying but yet allow our politician’s to get away with it and base our choices on this – its madness!
Voting for you local area is to appoint an MP to represent your wishes and solve local issues, to represent you in parliament. Voter turn out directly influences the policy decisions made – you vote can affect those policy decisions!
The election is about the policies and this is where you should make base your decisions on.
If your not sure which policies are for you there are several online surveys to help you out, here’s one I found informative and easy to use: GE Quiz 2017
I believe the main parties are happy with voter apathy because who are they accountable to then? In 2015 only 66% of people voted, out of this the wining votes took 39% of those people, so they would feel accountable to only to that small percentage. Some of that accountabily would also be dismissed by the people that always vote for a party rather then looking at the policies – they wouldnt need to worry about voters who wouldnt realise if they didn’t stick to their manifesto’s. You not voting is a win for them, they can do whatever they want with little justification!
According to Ipsos MORI the people least likely to vote are the young (aged between 18-24). I’m not sure I can get my head around this when a result could affect their long-term future more then anybodies – maybe my aged brain is missing something here or maybe we are not educating the young enough on politics.
Turnout is also lower for working class, renters and BME communities – again another one I find difficult to get my head around as policies brought in have a massive impact on these communities. According to figues from Ipsos MORI 45.8% of people are in the broader definition of working class – which if everyone voted from this bracket could have a huge impact of politics. but not just that if these voters have their say and it shows in numbers this will directly effect the policies that are being considered. By voting it can only be a win for everyone.
Your vote counts, this is your chance to say I don’t agree with this or to say yeah I’m with you all the way. Your vote is saying I have an input into my future and my children’s future. Your vote says I believe in democracy and the right to make choices.
Voting rights in the country have been fought for and that should never be wasted. There are still countries across the world that don’t have this right and countries where people stand up for their right to vote even though it puts them in danger because it means that much!
I hope with this post I have encouraged even a few to go and vote and be heard.
I am not sharing my political views and who I intend to vote for because this blog is not about that, it is about our democracy working and everyone having their say. Vote for the party you feel represents you best, vote with the facts and for the manifestos, just vote!
Vote, I implore you – get your voice heard!
If people just don’t bother to turn up change will never happen!