“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors” – PLATO
1. It gives you the power to create change.
2. Get politicians working for young adults.
Did you know? According to IPSOS Mori more than 70% of over 65s voted in 2010, compared to only 44% of 18-24 year olds (source).
3. Voting is important even if you don’t think your candidate will win.
Living in a safe seat constituency doesn’t mean your vote won’t make a difference. The constituency of Crewe & Nantwich was a safe seat for over 25 years until 2008. If everyone just ‘gives up’ change will never happen.
Also supporting other candidates means that they won’t loose their deposit (the money they put down to appear on the ballot paper, which they will lose if they don’t receive enough votes) and can continue to fight elections in your area.
Furthermore, the electoral system will never change to benefit third parties if only voters for the main parties turn out to vote, if you want to see a change then you must show that there is demand for other parties to be represented.
Parties are also awarded ‘Short Money‘ (funding) depending on the number of overall votes they receive.
4. Many movements have campaigned to give you the right to vote.
Many campaigners within movements, such as the women’s suffrage movement, even gave their lives, some say it is disrespectful to them to waste your vote. The UK has seen a number of campaigns to spread voting rights over its history. (Read More)
5. MPs represent your local area in parliament and solve issues for local people.
Voting enables you to help decide who represents your local area in parliament, it’s their job to raise local issues and support you as much as they can. You can go to them and ask for advice on certain issues or ask them to promote an issue in parliament.
By voting you can select the person you want to represent you and help them keep their job, or by voting for other candidates you can help remove an incumbent.
6. Voting is a way to show support for Electoral Reform.
The Electoral System we have will never change if you don’t speak out. There has been many calls to change the First Past the Post electoral system to a proportional one. If you would like to see this change it is important to prove that smaller parties have the support, this will give them mandate to call for reform.
7. You can leave your ballot blank if you do not agree with any of the political parties.
Of course, if you don’t feel aligned to any of the political parties then there is Blank Voting. Staying at home just makes you another statistic, it is presumed you are just uninterested, by actively going to the polling station and not selecting any candidate before submitting to the ballot box, you become a voice for the disengaged. Blank Votes and Spoiled Ballots are read out at the count, along with the results and are also included in subsequent reports. Your apathy towards the political parties will be heard not just forgotten.