With Theresa May having just announced her plans for a UK General Election - to be held on the 8th of June - now more than ever it is evident the importance of signing up and voting. These past three years have been huge in politics with the Scottish Referendum, General Election, EU Referendum, and now a further General Election.
Registering to vote is such a simple process, that you can be registered to vote within five minutes. All you need to do is go over to https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, and complete the form. If you do not think you will be able / willing to make it out to a polling station, then you can also sign up for a postal vote.
I often hear of people whom are simply not interested in voting because they feel like the party they don't want to get in, will. It is just completely counterproductive. More people did not vote, than voted for either of the parties in the 2015 General Election. This misconception that our vote does not count, is hugely false. 24% of registered voters went out and voted Conservative, compared to the 20% who voted Labour. The difference between them is marginal. Around 34% of registered voters though, did not go out and vote. These people could have had a massive difference on the government we have today.
A lot of people also do not get involved in politics because they simply do not know where to start. The best place to start is simply to look at the different political parties manifestos. Here they will lay out what policies they wish to bring out, and why they feel it would benefit the country. Don't have time to read these manifestos? The parties also have videos across their Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube accounts where they summarise their key policies. You could also reach out to these parties directly, and ask them any questions you have about them and their policies.
If you are completely clueless on the world of politics, or would like to know more about how it works, then there are a lot of resources out there. For example, the Parliament website provides a whole hoard of guides and videos. These guides will be able to provide you with information on how parliament works, how laws are made, what the House of Lords is and more. You can also read up on how the Government works through the Government website. Here you can access information on who runs the Government, how it is run, and what it can do.
If you can not vote, that does not mean you can not get involved in politics. Instead, you could be working to encourage people to vote for who you would vote for. Educate them on the policies and encourage them to get involved. You could make a difference for your political party just through encouraging some of your relatives to take the time to register to vote and go to the polling station.
The only way your voice is not heard is through non-voting. Not-voting or spoiling your ballot does not influence Government decisions. If you do not see a political party that you want to vote for, then consider voting for a party to stand up to the party you least like. Through engagement, and through education, we can get the politicians to really work in our interest.
Governments shape our day to day lives. They shape how we earn our money, and how much of that gets taxed. They shape how we access vital services such as the NHS. They also shape how education in the UK is. From the very moment we are conceived, the government are influencing our lives. It does not pay to be apolitical, and now is the time to fight for policies that we feel can have a huge difference in helping the people of Britain.
As said earlier registering to vote is such a simple process, that you can be registered to vote within five minutes. All you need to do is go over to https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote, and complete the form. If you do not think you will be able / willing to make it out to a polling station, then you can also sign up for a postal vote. All it takes is a few minutes, and you too will be able to shape the future of your country.