A big pink bus didn’t make me vote. Joey Essex interviewing various MPs was hilarious, but it didn’t make me vote. Granted, I did have a peak at Jake Quickendon getting his kit off, but it didn’t make me vote (and it’s nothing knew, he does it all the time).
Frankly, the stunts used this general election were quite patronising and proved just how out of touch politicians were at engaging with young people.
There was a great advert out a while back which showed just how influential politics is on our day to day lives. It was spot on in explaining to people why they need to vote. So why can’t the same be applied to young people?
4Music recently started up #YouNews, a montage of clips from young people talking about topical issues. #YouNews does the election is a great example of why young people just won’t vote.
Politicians need to remember their first voting experience. It’s incredibly daunting – who do I vote for? What will people think of me and the party I’ve chosen to vote for? Do I know enough to vote? How do I respond to people who question my vote?
This is the first time you have the responsibility to decide on who runs the country, when just a few months prior to that, you had to ask to be excused from class to go to the toilet. To some young people, deciding on who you want to run the country is a big decision, especially if you genuinely believe you could be making a difference.
To other young people, politics still seems a bit irrelevant. A bunch of older pale, stale males will make a decision on how the country is run. Deciding on who you want to run the country is a big decision, but not if you stay out of it.
And lastly, voting isn’t very accessible. For a generation who live and breathe digital, walking to a polling booth, ticking a box on a piece of paper and then posting it is just, well, a bit of a long winded process. How many young people tweeted about the general election and who they’d vote for, and out of those young people, how many made it to the polling booth?
It was the first time I’ve ever voted and I didn’t enjoy the experience for a number of reasons. However, I’ve enjoyed the lead up to the election, listening and learning from colleagues and friends and the excitement that everyone had when they thought they could make a difference.