Don’t stop reading.
I mean it, please don’t stop reading.
I know politics is boring, and voting feels useless, and the campaigns are ridiculously confusing and the candidates are all a bunch of self-preserving asshats anyway. But hear me out…
I used to pride myself on never voting. I said not voting was my conscious choice because I thought the whole system was jacked – which I learned during my many hours obsessing over Russell Brand’s philosophies.
I even came up with my own speech and everything.
And I’d spend the entire election season repeating it to anybody who would listen (sometimes even to people who wouldn’t listen) basically explaining that none of those stuffy politicians deserved my vote because they don’t know who we are. They don’t represent anything in our lives, much less the diversity of the country. Between them they barely have enough qualities to make one half decent person who can be trusted to water the plants while you’re on holiday, never mind run the whole of the U.K.
And everything from the deficit, to the expenses scandal, to actually hearing the phrase “there’ll be Balls in the treasury” uttered during the last general election, only convinced me that I’d been right all along.
Largely they aren’t good people, and they don’t do anything for us. (I still kind of stand by that.)
But that still shouldn’t stop us from voting.
You see, while it’s very true that politicians are slimy, pompous, twits, they’re slimy, pompous twits who desperately want our votes. They put a lot of money and effort into campaigning for these votes, and dedicate a lot of time analysing the polls to see who they should specifically target. Then they base their campaign around their findings.
To simplify that with a real obvious example; if they see a common trend that young people never vote, they won’t aim their campaign towards young people. Meaning things like tuition fees or jobs for graduates won’t be a priority. If they see that women aren’t voting, the right for equal pay won’t be addressed; if they see that pensioners aren’t voting, providing an adequate state pension won’t be addressed. Instead they’ll address the issues that appeal to the people who are voting.
It’s easier to convince previous voters to vote for them, then it is to convince non-voters to vote, and then also convince them that they’re the ones to vote for. It’s basically doubling their campaign for half of the votes.
So if we ever want the politicians to actually start addressing the things that matter to us, we have to let them know that we’re here waiting to give our vote away to the ones who will make it worth our while.
That’s why we all need to vote. Even if right now it feels like they aren’t exactly speaking to us, this time next campaign they might just be slightly more inclined.
The deadline for registering to vote is Monday 22nd May – so you don’t have long. But it’s long enough.
Register to vote, if for no other reason than to let them know you’re here.