With the Scottish Parliament elections less than a month away it’s becoming a frequent topic of conversation in my circle. We openly discuss politics and and social issues affecting the world today. We debate and have opposing but we always respect each others’ views. When I raise the same topic with some of my younger friends I was met with a wall of sheer oblivion. Never mind that we’re less than a month away from the election and the month after is the European Union referendum, they didn’t even realise that at their youthful age of 18 they were eligible to vote.
I understand that politics doesn’t seem all that interesting, especially when you’re 18. And so often I’m met with the response “It has nothing to do with me”. “It has everything to do with you!” I want to cry. The Government affects everything from how much your labor is worth to the quality of education that is provided to our children. They decide how your income tax is best used to benefit the country. And no, your income tax doesn’t go on unemployment benefit. That is covered by the individual’s own National Insurance contributions. It infuriates me when people pull out these old chestnuts. Waffling on in indignant tones about how appalling it is that there hard earn money is being used to fund these layabouts, and everyone listens nods and agrees as if they’re saying something insightful or poignant when really you’re just revealing how little you know about how the system works. Sorry, tangent.
The point I’m trying to make is that even though you may find politics boring, understanding politics and participating is very important. The fist step of course is registering to vote which you can do on the Government website here. You have until April 18th to register in time for the Scottish Elections and June 7th to register in time for the European Union Referendum.
Once you do this it’s time to educate yourself. In terms of the Scottish Elections you should read the Party Manifestos. Some of the Parties haven’t printed Manifestos specifically for this election but take a little time to read through their websites and you’ll easily find out the what each Party stands for. All that’s left for you to do is think about what is important to you and decide which Party best represents you. In the case of the Referendum, Google is your Friend. There are many impartial Pro and Con Lists to give you the basic information and from there a few more Google searches should help you find all the additional information you need to make an educated pinion on what could be a life changing decision.
To be honest there is so much more I could say on this, and I will in future posts. But for now I will leave you with this information to get you started. And also make a point of trying to watch the News once a day. And I don’t mean checking Facebook headlines, I mean actual news reports. Or buy a Paper and help the economy.
Laura | xoxo