To paraphase Edwin Starr,"Voting! What is it good for? Absolutely everything"
I'm not going to tell anyone who to vote for, but I urge everyone to work their way through Vote for Policies.
It'll take about half an hour or so, and will help make you informed choice uninfluenced by the media's white noise. If half an hour seems like too much, try the BBC's round-up of all the UK party's stances on the issues that most people think are the most important. It'll take 10 minutes tops.
That's not much to ask when the outcome of this election will decide if we're getting 5 more years of austerity or something else ...
It’s worth the effort. A quick walk to the polling station (exercise!), a short wait, a cross on a piece of paper and job done. It'll make a difference to you and your family's lives as well as to your community and country.
Certain Groups Are Under-Represented in the Demographic Process. In the last General Election, less than half of 18 to 24 year olds voted. Even though they will be most impacted by whatever policies the new government enacts. Voting is an opportunity to get your voice heard and might also help get things you want. Politicians tailor their manifestos towards groups who are more inclined to vote and the party faithful. If students voted in the same numbers as pensioners, the government would take more interest in the things they like. (Or don't like, like fees).
If you don’t vote, nothing changes. But if you do, it just might! If you don’t vote, then you don't, IMO, have the right to complain about how terrible the government is and how crap their policies are. There is also the danger that not voting will allow an extremist party to sneak into power or get a voice at the table.
Voting is a Privilege. By not voting, you're saying “Well I don’t really care what happens to my country ...”. There are people in the world who risk their lives to vote. Others are begging for the freedom to choose their own destiny. In the past, people fought, and some died, to get their voices heard and their name on a ballot paper. Don’t just sit back and not bother. Nothing will change unless you do something to change it! Voting is one way to do that.
Protect your future. As I said before, we've got a choice between 5 more years of austerity; the privatisation of bits of the NHS; changes to the education system that are ideologically driven rather than in the interests of learning; a potentially disastrous EU exit or ... Or ... The outcome of this election will impact the world you live in and the one your children (if you have them) grow up in. Not voting means that you won't have a say in how these things are done. And don't give me the waffle about, "None of the parties being able to fix our problems, so there's no point". That's just a cop out. Just choose the one that seems to be making the best of a bad job.
Your voice will be heard. All our opinions are valuable and make a difference. When they're mixed in with other like-minded people, things start to change. At the moment, the loudest voices in the conversation are the far-right. But loud doesn't always translate into numbers. Or correctness. There are quieter, more thoughtful voices that completely disagree. The main difference is that the loud ones will definitely vote. Don't assume that enough other people will vote so it'll all turn out okay. Your vote could be the one that makes the difference. Yours!
Like I said, I'm not going to come right out and tell you how to vote. I may have hinted that I won't be voting purple or blue. But I am going to come right out and tell you to get informed and vote!
Convinced?! I hope so. If you're not registered to vote yet, there's still time. Up until the 20 April 2015. Go here. Now! Before you do anything else. Even before commenting on this post!
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