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On voting: We need to give a shit about Government and develop a community consciousness

ARE you, like Russell Brand, “utterly disenchanted by politics”? Even if the answer’s yes, that doesn’t mean shirking the polling stations today should be an option.

Many students tell me that they really don’t care about politics or who runs this country. But the effects of this attitude may become clear once you are forced to pay back huge student loans, or we find ourselves in another economic crisis.

These issues might not affect you now, but they are affecting the millions of people who don’t currently have their livelihoods paid for by a loan from the Government.

‘Not to be trusted’

It’s time we developed a community consciousness, something beyond just our own lives and our peers, instead of not giving a shit about the Government and refusing to vote because we don’t want to be part of the system.

Some people are forced into the system, and they need modern society to care and create a collective conscious effort to force the Government into action.

You may think that even if you vote for someone who you believe could make this country a better place, they still won’t fix anything.

You may think that politicians don’t keep their promises, they’re not to be trusted and they don’t care about individuals in society, they only care about their image and pay.

I would tell you that this isn’t true, and you should have a little more faith in humanity. We can see both positives and negatives in the Government-led changes: the economy is regaining its stability and there is less unemployment; and then there are benefit cuts and pay freezes.

The decision to legalise gay marriage was a significant change for LGBT couples around the country, and showed that alongside public opinion, the Government can have a lasting and positive influence over our entire society.

‘Misrepresented’

Elected councillors who live and work in your local area are there to listen to what you have to say. These are the people who truly represent you as an individual.

Many young people feel that they don’t have a voice in politics, that they’re misrepresented or unrepresented. But if we don’t vote and we don’t tell politicians what we want, the consequences will be clear.

Without exercising our right to vote, how will those of us at King’s combat the £9,000 tuition fees and the rising prices of food and accommodation, plus student loans which aren’t rising quickly enough to match living costs?

If you want a voice in a democratic society, then vote for whoever you like. And if you hate all of the options, then spoil your ballot paper: scribble all over it and give a big ‘fuck you’ to Government.

The voices of today’s young people can change the world, and it’s not worth denying your voice and jeopardising this possibility.

Polling stations are open from 7am to 10pm on Monday 22 May. If you’re a citizen of the European Union you can decide which of the 17 parties you want to represent you in the EU. Depending on where you live, you may be able to choose representatives for your local Council.

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