In the last general election (2015) the total voter turnout across the whole of the UK was only 66.1%, and turnout of people between ages of 18-24 being as low as 58%. Why was the turnout just so low? Many people especially young voters don’t vote as they simply think their vote doesn’t matter, and that there is no point in voting. Well they couldn’t be further from the truth. Here are just a few of the reasons why everyone should make use of their precious vote in all elections, not just general elections.
Why you should vote!
Democracy – We live in a country with a representative democracy. This means we vote for people to represent us, on national decisions and laws, rather than having to vote on everything ourselves (direct democracy). If you don’t vote, then your views will not be as well represented in big decisions.
Choose how the country is run – If you are unhappy with how the country is being run, then voting in elections is the best way to change this. You can vote for someone else who better represents your views, and change decisions on a national level.
Representative – The more people who vote, the more representative the House of Commons will be to the British people, and laws that better represent the views of all people.
Constituency MPs – Local MPs are meant to do good work in the community and fight with you against local issues. By voting for them in the next election you can allow them to continue their good work, or vote someone else in, if you feel they will spend more effort on local issues.
Wasting votes – Many other countries do not get a democratic vote, to decide how their country is run. And even British people once had to campaign and fight for a fair vote (suffragette movement). It now seems slightly wasteful and selfish not to vote.
The more people who vote the more Politicians will represent us – This is especially true for young people. If younger people started voting, then politicians will create attractive policies in order to win young people’s votes. Currently it seems politicians only look after older adults and retired people and this is just because they vote more. In the 2010 general election voter turnout for over 65’s was 76% compared to 44% for 18-24 year olds.
Voting is very quick and simple – Voting is very quick, taking a couple of minutes at most, and does not happen very often (5 years between each general election). Voting is a very small inconvenience compared to the benefit of participating.
You don’t have to vote for a candidate – If you do not like any of the candidates running in your area, you can leave your vote blank or tick all the boxes (often called spoiling). These votes are not given to any candidates but still counted, which shows you didn’t relate to any of the candidates, but still wanted to reinforce your consent for the democratic process.
Voting gives the government legitimacy – This means the government have more public support to make decisions which are therefore more likely to be effective.
Voting is important even if you live in a safe seat – Just imagine if everyone who thought there was no point in voting because the seat is already going to the other party, all got up and voted, there may be more people than you think and actually make a difference. Even if it doesn’t it still gives more votes to your favoured party, which can help their legitimacy if they do win overall.
I hope by now you see the massive benefits in voting! If you are still unconvinced, then read it through one more time.