The importance of being politically informed

Emma McCartney discusses why you should use your right to vote.

Emma McCartney
19th November 2019
Image: Needpix
With the next general election just around the corner, it is vitally important that everybody is politically informed as we are given the chance to shape our country’s future.

We owe it to ourselves to find out as much information as we can, to ensure we are voting for the candidate who best embodies our own personal views and beliefs. You still have time to clue yourself up for the election on 12 December. Your vote matters: use it.

Only 68.7% of registered voters actually voted in the last general election in 2017. This means that a whopping 31.3% did not. Many people abstain from voting because they do not feel that they have sufficient knowledge or understanding of their options to make a decision; however, it is your own responsibility to seek this information out for yourself.

Others choose not to vote because they do not believe that their vote will make a difference; however, if we all bore that mentality, then nobody would ever vote for anything and we would be at the mercy of a dictatorship. Just imagine how differently the last general election could have turned out, had all of the non-voters bothered to take an invested interest in their country’s future.

It is important that you take the time to make an informed decision when it comes to voting in an election. You should not vote for a political party simply because your parents or friends are voting for them. Don’t succumb to social pressures. Everybody has an individual set of morals and values: your vote should reflect yours and yours alone.

You should seek political information from a wide range of sources, to ensure that you do not make a decision based solely on a one-sided, biased argument. While the internet is great in allowing easy access to political information, it can be difficult to differentiate the truth from fake news. By all means, do your research online, but be careful and do not believe everything you read.

There is a vast amount of unreliable propaganda circulating

Needless to say, there is a vast amount of unreliable propaganda circulating, regarding the upcoming election. Be wary of that when it comes to placing your vote. The most important thing is that you take an interest in politics. Watch the news, read articles and join in discussions surrounding the upcoming general election. If you close your mind off from politics, then you will remain ignorant of the significance of these decisions and will therefore be responsible for results that do not truly reflect what this country wants or needs.

Brexit is highly significant in this upcoming election, but there are so many other, equally important matters to bear in mind.

While the word ‘Brexit’ has been impossible to escape ever since the referendum in June 2016, it is important that you take other factors into consideration when placing your vote next month. Brexit is highly significant in this upcoming election, but there are so many other, equally important matters to bear in mind. If you need reminding that this country is facing problems other than Brexit, consider the fact that in the last five years, foodbank use has increased by 73% and that more than 1 in 200 people in the United Kingdom are homeless.

The results of this eminent upcoming election are going to have the greatest impact on us, the younger generation, therefore it is essential that we have our say. Make your vote count and encourage those around you to do the same. Use these final days before the upcoming general election to do your research and make a well-informed decision on the 12 December 2019.

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