Thursday, 18 May 2017

Unless you've been living under a rock, then you will know there is a general election in a few weeks, June 8th to be exact. If you're reading this and you're like nah, politics, not for me, well I used to think that too and roll my eyes whenever it was brought up in conversation. BUT politics is literally for everyone, it affects our society and the way we live, so in some form or another is affects you too. 

Its so much more than grumpy old men sitting in parliament debating stuff that has nothing to do with us, once you start talking about it and engaging with it, it does become interesting and you will find you have your own set of opinions and views on it all too. 

To help some of you out with how to vote in the election, I have made a list of some of the things you need to know, but I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, that is completely up to you. 

Step 1, REGISTER TO VOTE. Currently a million 18-25 year olds aren't registered to vote (if I'm remembering that correctly) and it is our vote that counts the most because it is our future. It takes about 5 minutes to register to vote and you need to register before the 22nd May. Here's a link to the site <<<< all you will need is your national insurance number & personal details, like date of birth & address. 

Step 2, read the manifestos. Or watch some party political videos, these outlines what they plan on doing if they win the election. Read & consider which options are best for you, they shouldn't be too complicated to read, like in Fresh Meat when Vod promised free chips to everyone in the student union. 

Step 3, engage in conversations, understand people's for and against. For example, there is lots of threads on twitter for each party. Talk to your friends, understand their point of view, this will help make your decision easier, if you understand it better.

Step 4, don't ask your parents who they will vote for. You need to make this decision for yourself, ultimately your current situation is going to be different to your parents most likely, you're not going to agree on everything, politics may not be one of them either. Don't just vote for the same as them, I never knew how my mum voted so was able to make decisions myself and wasn't swayed in one direction or other. Now I know who she votes and we disagree, which is fine. 

Step 5, don't allow anyone tell you how to vote. People love to tell you how to vote, not necessarily in a productive way, like I vote this and this is the only way and you must vote that way too. The decision who to vote for is completely up to you and never let anyone make you feel bad for the way you vote, you don't have to tell people. 

Step 6, on the day, you are able to vote from your local polling station, any time between 7am and 9pm, which is plenty of time. Once you get there, you will que up depending on how busy it is, give them your name, they will give you a card and then direct you into a booth. This takes about 5 minutes. 

Step 7, take a pen with you. I read this somewhere that they only give you pencils in polling stations, and you should always take a pen just in the unlikely event that it gets changed. I don't know how likely that is but always take a biro with me just in case. 

Step 8, select which party you will vote for and put an X in the box. If none of the parties appeal to you then spoil your ballot paper, put an X in all the boxes, this is still better than not voting at all. 

Step 9, that's it, you've voted, now you can crack on with your life, make a cup of tea and wait for the result. You have had your say and that is so important, your vote does make a difference. 

You may not agree with the vote, but if you did vote guess what you can moan about it! If you didn't vote then you can't complain about the outcome, its our voice that makes a difference so make sure it's heard.

Hope this post hasn't bored you too much and was helpful to some of you. 

Happy voting people! 

Speak soon, B xxx

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