I am a huge fan of all things politics, yet in our current political situation even I am finding it difficult to take any enjoyment from our government. With a political system that seems to be crumbling around us, is it any surprise that the youth of today are disengaged in politics? The post-Brexit dismay and doom temporarily left the youth of today more politically engaged than ever, with the results of the referendum dominating social media and the conversations of young people, politics was being discussed like never before. Whilst it is tremendously disappointing that it takes the nation being fundamentally altered in such a way to get young people talking about politics and their futures, the political parties failed to take advantage of this unique situation of engagement. Instead, we have since watched the democratic structure of our nation, the political parties and a trust in our government crumble apart. Our current political situation seems quite frankly dire, and with all the politicians who campaigned for Brexit jumping ship, it appears the only people who can be happy with our current situation are Theresa May supporters. As a young voter I feel especially disenchanted with the current situation, wondering who and where to look to amongst the current mess that is shaping my future.
Britain prizes itself upon being a democracy, I for one take great pride in living in a country which democratically elects its leader whom then votes in accordance of what the majority want. It is hard however to feel this pride whilst currently under the leadership of an unelected Prime Minister- someone who had to go through no voting process, who was simply handed the leadership through default. Whilst we cannot blame Theresa May for Andrea Leadsom dropping out of the leadership race and thus handing her the role, this process did not follow the United Kingdom's democratic mandate. How are we supposed to be able to trust and believe in a leader whom we didn't elect? With no calls for a snap General Election it seems that we will be left with an unelected leader for the foreseeable future, a leader who's mandate the public weren't given a chance to review, and who will be making vital and important decisions regarding the future running of our nation.
Turning to the Labour party in light of this would seem an even bigger mistake at the moment, with the prospect of a split party looming over the current leadership race and seeming more and more inevitable by the day. With one of our oldest and most prestigious political parties seemingly coming to an end as we know it, it seems that our current political situation is in a mess like never before. It's not just the Conservatives whom have limited our democratic rights, Labour are also playing a part. Requesting that new members pay a hefty £25 fee in order to take part in a Leadership Election between two individuals, neither of whom seem able to unite the party to credibly serve as an opposition and government-in-waiting. Using this simply as a measure to push out a democratically elected leader to me seems absurd. I more than understand the need to nullify the entryism found in the last election, however there must be a more effective way of doing this. For me, it is never right to limit people's opportunities for democratic involvement in any way, we should be encouraging people to get involved in politics, not restricting or preventing it. There seems to me a huge irony in Labour, considered the 'party of the working class', charging people £25 just to have their democratic rights heard in the leadership election, for me this charge is incredibly wrong.
In my view our current political situation is dire, since being thrown into the unknown of a post-EU nation there have been multiple situations of a limitation of democracy. The government should be using this atmosphere to engage young people and new voters and tap into their new found interest rather than scaring people away. The controversial Brexit decision was one that many politicians ran from, it seems the consequences have made many potential voters additionally run away from the political realm, leaving once again young people disengaged.
For information about attempts to engage young people politically despite the current national situation follow @45forthe45th on twitter.