I’m going to propose we begin this post with an unanimous agreement (…which for a post with a political agenda is a big ask I know). But I am not asking us all to agree on which party is going to adequately cut the deficit, or whether professors should be striking in the freezing cold today, or even whether Boris made a big whoop or a big blip with the bikes. What I am asking you to agree on is that voting is important.
Now I know compared to Chelsea bun recipes and exhibition reviews, this is a big statement to make, and that politics is a topic that is yet to be tackled in the Culture Vulture lineage (as my dad so eloquently put it this holiday, we merely feed the gender stereotypes by sticking to baking, fashion and art). But stay with me here. For with the passing of National Register to Vote Day there seems to be a recent media surge of people either encouraging or discouraging us to vote.
And by ‘us’ I mean the disillusioned youth! Yes, I am referring to the Gen Y who have slipped into the dark chasm that is a ‘quarter-life crisis’, making stress related illnesses our raison d’etré, and should possess by-line’s that read some long-winded explanation on how our impending depression is all the fault of middle-aged Tory snobs. My twitter bio should read “22, no idea, no hope and by all accounts not my fault!” But that’s ok, right?
For it wasn’t our fault that some pr*cks with calculators [Sorry Mum! had to swear once, its an angry political message after all…] messed up the financial system, not only at home but globally, and whilst they are bringing home the bacon (and being able to afford Tesco Finest bacon at that), the mess they have caused means us mere mortals are facing unemployment, and general hopeless despair. [This is the point you can stop reading if you already have secured yourself a well-paid grad scheme and are now made for life.]
However whilst the political system may have failed most of us, one thing I am confident in is that we now must rely on our generation to rectify these problems. And whilst dishevelled half-wits are telling us that not voting is the ultimate form of educated protest, I am here to disagree, political apathy is just not cool.
Nothing in the world would ever get achieved if our country was run by people who refused to engage in a system but then had equally little interest in suggesting achievable alternatives. Not voting in a form of educated political protest achieves nothing, other than ensuring your voice is not heard. Surely the best way to improve and build upon a broken system is to educate yourself with the current flaws and potential future options and remain engaged in the hope of improvement.
In America the media bombards young people with positive stimuli reinforcing that having a political voice is positive (and y’know, anything Beyonce backs I am listening to!) However, here in the UK we have the likes of Brand, Morrissey and eventually Paxman totally undermining that message.
For making it seem like voter apathy is an educated decision to prove you are above the system is a crime in my eyes. Emily Davidson would turn in her grave if she would see what was happening now. For female students especially, considering our fairer-gendered ancestors burnt their bras in order to secure a ticket in the ballot, I personally believe our right too vote is far too valuable to give up on in the vague gamble that it might bring about an unorganised revolution.
For more thoughts and ideas may I whole heartedly recommend the Grazia article that sprouted such strong political opinions late on a Wednesday night.