Consider yourself unengaged in politics? Consider yourself disillusioned with political parties. Consider yourself simply too busy? Here's why there's no excuse not to vote!
Did you register to vote? We really hope so! This quote from Plato is thought provoking –
“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”
Voting gives you the power to create change – if you’re part of a political party at any level, you can speak, be heard and are in the place to change things. Don’t complain about the way the country is run, or what politicians do and then not use your vote!
Wherever you live, your vote matters – even if you’re living in a ‘safe seat constituency’. If everyone gives up and thinks it doesn’t matter, nothing will change. Every candidate who appears on the ballot paper will have to pay a deposit which they lose if they don’t receive enough votes. So it matters that you use your vote even if you think your chosen candidate won’t get enough votes to win – they can still continue to fight for local rights and stand for future elections in your community.
Voting means that you choose your MP who can represent your local area in parliament. They will raise local issues and can help people by raising awareness of an individual matter at a high level.
In Britain we have the First Past the Post electoral system. Some people take this as a reason not to vote. But not so! Voting for a third party can give them more political influence or opportunity for coalition. It can also serve as a protest against the main two parties. And ultimately, it’s still your voice, your view, laid down on paper.
If none of the parties represent your views but you want to make a point – still go out and vote. If you don’t bother going to the polling station then it is assumed that you are not interested. Blank and spoiled ballot papers are counted and read out with the results – and more importantly included in reports. This way your dissatisfaction will not be confused for apathy.
Did you know that during the 2010 General Election there were almost 16 million people of voting age who didn’t vote – this was more than those who voted for each individual political party. These votes really could have made a huge difference.
You have the potential to change the future. Don’t waste it.