With the general election creeping around the corner (7 may is voting day remember!), myself and my friends have been discussing politics like nobody’s business. It’s great to be able to have intellectually stimulating conversations about a topic that really matters and truly effects each and every one of our lives.
Being young individuals, we fall under the mass media bracket that labels us as apathetic and disinterested in contemporary politics. Usually, we are criticised for not always exercising our right to vote, even though most politicians do not specifically target young voters in their manifestos. Now, although we may be apathetic towards the individuals and the policies that claim to represent ‘the people’, we are certainly not apathetic towards politics as a whole – in fact, you’ll find that we are incredibly passionate.
After having an in-depth discussion with a group of my friends last night (who mostly represent the conservative demographic), I became enlightened about our differences of opinion. Although we disagreed about a number of things, there was an overwhelming amount that we did agree on and I feel that this essentially corrected the idea of the youth disillusionment of politics.
The following cropped up regarding our issues within politics:
– We do not feel that politicians actively seek out the support of young voters. As a result we end up feeling excluded and this is where the idea of apathy gets thrown around by the media – because of this, we do not feel like our vote matters.
– Most of us felt that there wasn’t one party that we aligned with in terms of respect and policies – like a pic ‘n’ mix we appreciated various elements from almost every major party – making a decision even harder.
– Although we are fully aware of the negative, often corrupt media that surrounds the reputation of politicians, we don’t feel that we can fully put our trust in any of the party representatives.
– Regardless of who we vote for, we don’t believe that change will occur in terms of the things that matter the most to us – such as decreasing tuition fees, abolishing 0 hour contracts, implementing taxation in a way that is fair for ‘the people’ rather than the super-rich, increasing employment support (especially for graduates), improving the NHS, reducing the demonisation of immigrants and clamping down on tax evasion.
I am fully aware of the fact that no particular government is flawless, and we’re not exactly striving for perfection, but we are searching for an improvement in a way that benefits the youth as well as the rest of society – our vote matters too!
Check out this recent video of Russel Brand interviewing Ed Milliband about a Labour government. It’s humourous (in more ways than one) and it helps to place Milliband on a human level that can actually be understood – something that you certainly won’t see David Cameron doing.