THE BLOG

#InMyShoes - Has This Election Become a Big Joke?

07/05/2015 08:34 BST | Updated 06/05/2016 10:59 BST

I believe that this election has, in many ways, become a case of politicians scrambling for approval with YouTube videos and stunts. At the beginning of the election coverage, I was excited. I'm a Politics student - and unhappy with the Conservative government - so I was hoping for interesting debate, strong campaigning, and maybe a little bit of grumbling.

What I got instead is the parties - supposedly representing the upper echelons of politics in our country - duking it out over attack ads and who can make the funniest video.

As a currently undecided voter, debating between Labour and the Greens, I wasn't particularly impressed by the latter's PPB attempt to garner further support from their young voters. It was hilarious, sure, but did it really say much about their policies? The Greens have some strong policies, but chose instead to mock their rivals.

The Liberal Democrats made an even feebler attempt with their video of Miliband singing 'Sorry seems to be the hardest word'. Nick Clegg needs to stop trying to shift blame onto Miliband. If anyone has let their party down and disappointed voters, it's him. Instead of jumping on the bandwagon, let people know that the Lib Dems are going to stay true to their beliefs.

When Labour launched their manifesto, the Conservative party showed up with vans bearing the embarrassing attack advert that warns against the possible SNP supported Labour government. Michael Gove also appeared with a posse of Conservative supporters wearing Sturgeon masks. It was a shocking display of how childish and desperate this election has become. Our political parties have turned this election into a joke - into a competition over who can get the most hits on YouTube and who can appear the most 'fun'. They're also playing on fear, whether of immigration or the supposed Scottish 'threat'. I want to see more substance and less fear mongering.

I'm all for the use of social media - I believe it's a brilliant way to get young people involved and to educate the apathetic, but I'm concerned about this descent into immaturity. Tell us about your policies, rather than attacking your fellow candidates. I want to see politicians putting out interesting, engaging videos outlining their policies and encouraging participation. We should be seeing evidence of politicians' desire to make positive change, rather than being forced to decide between equally unappealing candidates who seem unable to do anything but attack each other.

You only need to watch footage from the House of Commons to see the people leading our country acting like children in a playground, and now they have brought this behaviour onto our television screens and into the news. Perhaps we should stop dismissing young people and let them have a go instead - I've seen more reasonable behaviour at secondary school hustings.

We've got just over a week left of this farce. Let's hope that something good comes of it and that the next time election season rolls around we see some genuine attempts at proving to voters that a candidate is worthy in their own right, rather than just in comparison to another. Elections should not be a joke; they should be a chance for politicians to prove their passion and drive to make this country better. It's a shame we haven't had enough of that - elections should be engaging, not embarrassing.

Part of the BBC initiative, #InMyShoes for @InMyUK. Join the conversation on Twitter, watch more of our videos on YouTube and find us on Facebook.

This blog was written Joanna Freeman, who's a BBC Generation 2015 contributor. Her views are entirely her own.