Students, your country needs you!

With the announcement of the Snap Election that is going to take place on June 8th later this year, speculation is already occurring over whom 18-24 year olds will vote for. AKA, who will the student population of the country vote for – being that they are now the most powerful group of voters in the country? Now, I’m not going to write a boring article saying you should vote, for example, Labour because they want to abolish tuition fees and the Conservatives only want to make the rich richer – because you vote for who you want to vote for, that’s not my business and to be honest I don’t care. I am, however, going to try my very best to write an article to implore this powerful age group to vote – and anyone else who happens to read this – because with the state of the world and democracy at the minute I think we damn well need to.

It is a well known fact that approximately 60% of 18-24 year olds don’t vote in elections, regional or national, because many have no interest in politics or don’t believe their vote will make a difference. YOU ARE WRONG! Every vote makes a difference! Why, you may ask? Well, for starters, women in the United Kingdom didn’t achieve full rights to vote until 1928. This may seem early on to some of you, compared to the United Arab Emirates that only allowed women to vote in 2006, but if I told you our right to vote as women in the UK came after Denmark, Iceland, Russia and the Ukraine to name a few it’s still a pretty recent thing so we should take full advantage of our rights – because we didn’t always have them. Additionally, many of you are aware of The Suffragette movement that swept throughout the United Kingdom which campaigned for women to have the right to vote. As I have the upmost pride in being a woman, I am not about to waste the sacrifices the Suffragettes made for me and not have my say in who becomes the next ruler of our country and lead us out of the European Union, because this still needs resolving, and I hope none of you will either! Living in a democracy makes 18-24 year olds, and everyone else who is eligible to vote for that matter, the most important influence in the running of our country. Men and women alike are equally as important in deciding the fate of our country because, unlike many places around the world, we are privileged enough to have equality laws in our country that enable everyone to have equal opportunities and equal say. What the country does on the international stage, how stable the economy remains, how the country develops internally and who we welcome externally is all dependent on our vote … so don’t tell me voting doesn’t matter.

On another note, with the shambolic and unpredictable state of the world at the minute it is imperative that the power exercised by 18-24 year olds (and every citizen across the world who has the ability to vote for change) is used to its full potential. Russia is still protecting President Assad’s Syrian Government Regime against the United Nations, regardless of the atrocities and violations against human rights he has allowed to occur. Donald Trump is increasingly threatening towards North Korea and threatens to de-stabilise world order if the country decides to go to war. Turkey has just naively accepted President Erdogan’s referendum, which increases his authoritarian grip over the country. Democracy is failing, helpless people are dying and one of the most important things we could do at this time is to vote – not just for someone to lead the country, but for someone to ensure our democracy remains strong in the UK and for someone who will try their very best, with all the power the UK has left, to instil morality, democracy and human rights to those that need assistance.

So yes, students your country does need you! It needs you to vote for all those that don’t so the UK can have a leader who will lead us in a progressive direction and empower other countries across the world to do the same.

Lauren Walker

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(Image courtesy of the Huffington Post)


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