Registering to vote, are we giving in to the system?

Are we playing to the game of the rich? Are we represented properly by the people in power? Are the people asking for our votes all the same’? Will registering and voting make a difference?

Last week we participated in the National Voter Registration Drive. The aim, to get 250,000 young people registered to vote before the cut-off (20 Apr) for the May 7th General Election. Did we do it? Gov.UK confirmed there were over 160,000 online registrations and we are yet to find out how many were completed by hand.

So far, I think we’ve done well. There’s still a lot of people not registered and still a lot of people who will choose not to register or even vote. I want to know why? And I want to know what we can do to change this.

CmonNVRD was a great initiative and it has also helped some people improve their credit rating on top of giving them the opportunity to exercise their democratic right to vote. Voting is essential in a democracy, by not voting, we may as well allow our country to be run by dictators in my opinion. To be able to vote, you are declaring your confidence in the candidate as to which you vote for. Like in life, we can’t agree on everything.

A party may have policies you don’t agree with, but if you agree with the majority of their policies and those that you disagree with don’t out-weigh the ones you do, there is your chance to give them your vote but make sure you tell them what you want as well, because if they don’t know how can they change to suit the people that support them? This is where you can become active within the party you wish to support.

We will not always agree with everything that our chosen party says they will do and we will have to weigh out the options.

We need to make an educated decision. By this I mean we need to take the time to go to the party websites and read their policies and what they pledge to do if elected. If you are concerned about voting at the local elections, look out for the local councillor’s leaflets in the post or get in contact with the local office for that councillor and ask them what they want to do and support in your area.

We can most definitely look at what newspapers are saying and watch TV news reports as well, just remember that some newspapers or media organisations may be affiliated (have connections or even fund) a specific party or they may just have their own interests in mind when reporting. Remember that not all media is impartial and the owners of media companies are regularly at events with political leaders, not to say they are always connected.

For many years people have said “They don’t represent us” and “They’re not like us, they don’t know anything about the real world where we live” which in regards to the majority of politicians is true. There are some who have come from a working class background and still today stand for the principles they stood for when they were first running to be elected, but there aren’t enough of these.

In my opinion, the excuses mentioned are weak and lazy, we’ve heard them election after election and they are easy excuses to make that won’t change anything. Imagine you are a politician and someone says that to you, that’s just another vote that won’t go to anyone else so It isn’t lost. However, if you were a politician and you had this said to you, but the person said they WILL use their vote on someone else who DOES represent them and they can relate to, you would be worried that that person is getting a vote that you could have had.

I hear your thoughts, but what if there isn’t someone who represents me and I can relate to? Well my answer is to find out who is up for election and look for the one that most suits your preferences and then tell them you want to vote for them, but you want them to take action on the issues you care about and ask them what they will do about that to get your vote.

The other thing you can do is become a member of a party that you can relate to most and become involved in the party locally, this will then give you access to become a part of the decision making in what councillors and MP’s are selected by your party in your area.

Democracy – What is it? Well, it is “The belief in freedom and equality between people, or a system of government based on this belief, in which power is either held by elected representatives or directly by the people themselves.”

Where is the power held in the UK? Currently, the power is held by the Government and the only reason for this, in my opinion is because not enough of us are using our right to hold that power and use it.

How do we own and use the power? Register to vote, make sure we vote, Take part, Take Power and Take Over.

By registering, we show interest. By voting we display what we want and by becoming involved we take power because a democracy is run on the decisions of those who hold power and right now, we aren’t involved enough and because we aren’t doing this, when we aren’t happy about what is happening, we don’t have the power for them to listen to.

I could display loads of different graphs and figures on how many people voted and how old they were, what colour their skin is and where they’re from and all the rest but at the end of the day, only you know what you want and it’s your responsibility to educate yourself on the issues the different parties are talking about taking action on. You have a right to vote and it is your responsibility to use that vote with an informed opinion.

We all want a revolution, we all want change, but until WE do something about it with the powers in place, we won’t get a change in the system that is in place.

Register to Vote, Make an educated Vote, Get in contact with the people in your area that are asking to be elected and tell them what you want, Go to the polling stations on May 7thand then hold the elected people responsible when you don’t get the result they promised. By not taking part, we cannot Take Power.

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I also blog for Stronger Unions

Also see my vlog of voter registration