Monday

3 reasons why you should vote (and who to vote for)



WHY SHOULD I VOTE AND WHO SHOULD I VOTE FOR?

7th May is going to be a big day in the UK- It's time for our general election! I for one cannot wait. General elections always get me so excited and, yes, I'm one of those flags out to support my party people (probably not this year though, but more on that another day!). In order to vote in the UK, you have to be over 18 but you also need to register to vote. The deadline is 20th April and you can easily do it online but, if you're not registered, you will not be able to vote so it's really important you do it. 

Now, before we get started, let me ask you a couple of questions so you know whether this post is for you:

Are you under 18? Yes- go to A. No- go to B.

A- Ok, this doesn't affect you right now. Feel free to stick around though.

B- Have you registered to vote? Yes- go to C. No- go to D.


C- Awesome! You're my kind of person!

D- What? Why not? You need to vote. Like, for real! Here's why! 


BECAUSE YOU CAN

This is a huge deal to me and one of the main reasons why I get frustrated at people who do not use their vote. I'm not going to talk about the suffragettes because we all know about them, they only affected women and it was ages ok so isn't relevant today, right? Well, wrong actually but I'm still going to use a different demonstration today. There are still people today who are not allowed the vote. Women in Saudi Arabia cannot vote at all. Still. Up until 1994, black people were not allowed to vote in South Africa. This week, people in Nigeria camped overnight to vote since they lived so far from a polling station. Here in the UK, anybody and everybody over 18 can vote and there are polling stations open all day long every couple of miles. Yet our turn out in 2010 was only 65%. It makes a mockery of all those people who still, to this day, struggle to make their voices heard. Don't want to vote? Fine. Leave your ballot blank. But at least turn up, if only because you have the right to.



BECAUSE YOUR VOTE MATTERS

I know you hear this all the time but it's true- Every single part of your life is affected by politics and you can really make a difference. People always get the old "If you don't vote, don't complain" spiel, I know, but take my best friend Marie. (Sorry, Marie, but you're a great example!) "I don't care!", she says, "I know that means I can't moan so I won't moan about anything". Then she goes to the doctor and, guess what, moans about her treatment. You know what has a huge impact on the NHS? Politics. 


If you didn't like your job, or your relationship, hell, even your lunch, you'd change it right? Why is changing your country so different?

BECAUSE IT'S EASY

The other excuse that pops up over and over again is that people don't have time to vote. Yes, you do. Unless you live in the sticks, there's probably a polling centre in walking distance. Don't even think about telling me you can't make it on the day, because all polling stations are open 7am- 10pm and there's rarely a queue since, you know, 35% of people think it's none of their concern. Really, really can't make it? Never mind, you can vote by post instead! See, no excuse! 

STILL NOT CONVINCED?

Here, let me make it easy for you- What do you think of UKIP? Everyone has an opinion on UKIP! Do you think they have the right idea and should make decisions or does your heart turn cold at the thought of them getting power? Either way, go and vote! If you're against them, your vote will help stop them coming into power. If you support them... actually, don't vote. I'm kidding! If you support them, use your vote (but seriously don't vote UKIP)


OK, HOW DO I REGISTER?

Just go to the Gov.uk page and register to vote here. Easy! 


WHO SHOULD I VOTE FOR?

Not UKIP
 This site, Vote for Policies, jumbles up all the policies and leaves them anonymous so you don't know which party they belong to. You can choose the issues that are most important to you, choose the policy you most agree with and, at the end, it tells you the percentage you got for each party. If you're interested, I got 100% Green but, as much as I want to, I won't be voting for them. I'll tell you all about that soon enough though! Thanks Chelsea for introducing me to the site!



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You may have figured out that this is really important to me. Just seriously go and register right now! Let me know when you have so I can send you good karma!*

*Good karma may or may not work. No guarantees, alright?

21 comments :

  1. I am registered! It's weird, because I am Canadian (a.k.a. not a British citizen) but because I live here and I am a British subject (being from Canada) I am granted the right to vote. I literally have friends who grew up here but are not citizens or part of the Commonwealth that don't have the right. I think it's crazy!

    Anyway, I am excited to take part in my first British "general election" and I've happily hung a sign supporting the re-election of the Green Party in my window! I've actually never lived anywhere that wasn't automatically conservative, so I am excited at the prospect of having my leftie vote count for something!

    Aisling | aisybee.

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  2. Yes! Excellent post. I'm registered and ready to vote (and NOT for bloody ukip) :)

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  3. *applauds* Hear hear!

    I was a politics nerd when I was younger (to the extent I was in a political society at uni and spent my weekends delivering leaflets and knocking on my doors) and I think it's so important to vote. This will be my second general election - I wasn't quite old enough to vote in 2005 - and, even though I'm in a safe seat where my vote won't make a massive difference, I will still do it because I think it's important to exercise my vote whenever I get the chance. I'm not sure I could take the pressure of living in a marginal though...

    And yes, definitely agree with spoiling your ballot if you don't want to vote for anyone - it all counts towards turnout and shows that people do care enough to show up even if they might not like any of the choices on offer.

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  4. Great post. I'm registered to vote and I get quite into it (but I am an ex-politics student haha). Although I'm dithering between Green and Labour at the moment (definitely not UKIP haha). I think even if people aren't sure who to vote for, they should exercise their right and simply spoil their ballot paper, it says a lot without saying anything at all. xo

    Ps - I think maybe you meant to put "Are you under 18" instead of over, because at the moment selecting over brought me to option a, which is that it doesn't affect me. Just a head's up!

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  5. I loved this post! And thanks for the Vote for Policies link, I've never come across that before and I do think I get swayed by all the rhetoric, or even who is coming out of a debate looking like an underdog and therefore makes me feel sorry for them...(although I have never felt sorry enough for Nigel Farage for this method to sway me to vote UKIP...)

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  6. A very good post, I did the Vote For Policies test and came out 80% Labour and 20% Lib Dem which was quite reassuring as even though I always say I support Labour it's good to know I clearly do so for a reason! I'm going to send the link to everyone I know now!

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  7. Yes! Using your vote is so important and this is such a great post about it.
    My husband & I moved to the US in November but we've still registered to vote, as despite not currently living in the UK it's important to us that we still use our rights as British Citizens to vote in the general election. Though the area we'll be voting in has always been Conservative - but who knows, that could still change!

    Victoria

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  8. But seriously. That Vote For Policies site is completely genius!

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  9. Love this post! It's so good to see politics in an approachable light as so many people seem to see it as something boring/confusing/irrelevant. I especially love what you said about being able to change your country just like you would a job or relationship!
    This is the first year I've been able to vote so I'm going to make sure I get down there. However I think I've got a bit more deciding to do - just tried your 'Vote For Policies' and ending up choosing 100% for a different party than the one I'd originally planned on voting for, so I'm a bit shocked to say the least! ...And no, it's not UKIP, don't worry ;)

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  10. Just tried the little test thingy and was actually really helpeful! It can be a bit hard to keep up with all the issues and who's pledging what, so this definitely helped by making it anonymous (though I just KNEW which one was UKIP. every. single. time)

    Kinda surprised I got 70% Labour, 20% Lib Dem and 10% Green Party, but there you go! Definitely something for me to go away and think about!

    I had a massive go at my flatmate last year cos we literally live OPPOSITE a balloting station and she refused to come with me after work to vote. Said she had no idea who to vote for so wasn't even going to bother. Made me so so so mad!!!

    Little Miss Katy | UK Lifestyle Blog

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  11. I think I just missed out on voting last time, so this year I'm definitely going to do it! My mum said that I'm registered, but I think I might try it online just to double check xD
    Was quite surprised with my results - always thought I'd be more green but I was mostly labour, with a lot of lib dem and little green. Hmm.

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  12. This is really helpful! This is my first year being able to vote, and not being interested in politics I have no idea who I would vote for or anything. I will definitely be using that website!
    All I knew is that I wasn't going to be voting for UKIP!
    Great post :)
    Emily
    xx
    http://emilyattemptslife.blogspot.com/

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  13. I loved this post. I forgot I'd registered, and registered again recently - nothing like being too cautious! It really is so important that people get out and vote, my grandma would kill me if she found out I didn't vote one time! I especially think young people need to get their voice heard as we'll be starting careers, buying houses, saving ISAs, starting families etc etc. and the government could affect every single one of these things, and if they're all tailored to older generations because they're the ones voting then it's not the ideal living situation for us younger generations!

    I've decided who I'm voting for already. Yvette Cooper is my local MP so it's safe to say it's a safe labour seat. I think she's an excellent MP as my hometown has come on leaps and bounds since, and my dad loves to write her letters nagging about something and he always gets a lovely response. We have a UKIP candidate so it's important that people vote even if it's just to ensure they don't win any seats.

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  14. I couldn't agree more! I think it's so important to vote, especially us women.. women died for us to vote so we shouldn't waste it xx

    Sam | Samantha Betteridge

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  15. The 'Vote for Policies' site is a great idea, especially for non-politically minded people (like myself!) It's so important people try to understand the need for their vote and how it can change their lives. Fantastic post x

    http://the-dress-diaries.blogspot.co.uk

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  16. I'm on a postal vote to ensure I never miss it thanks to meetings etc.
    I'm scared to check that who to vote for thing, last time it turned out I agreed with a couple of the UKIP policies (main one I remember was to do with healthcare) and I wanted to die a little. Though I did read the BBC News roundup of the policies and the amount I wanted to swear at the UKIP ones (and a few Tory) did restore my faith in my own sanity a little.

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  17. I've registered to vote and Im going to be reading up on all the policies because this is the first time a vote has actually had an effect on me and I want to make the most of it. I definitely think its really important to vote especially the younger generation because we're most open to different parties as we're not stuck in a 'I vote labour' kind of mode.

    Emma x
    Writing Essays With Wine // I’d love it if you entered my Blog Birthday Lifestyle Giveaway

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  18. Thank you for this post Becky, i wanted to tweet you but felt a little embarrassed saying this- you made it so easy for me to understand! Stuff like this easily confuses me but i really want to have my own say! xx

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  19. Haha I loved your subtle honesty in this post about a certain party! Completely agree. I also think everyone should register to vote and if they don't vote they shouldn't complain who wins the election because they could have voted! I'm interested to know why you are not choosing the Green Party even after visiting that website (which I'm about to have a look at). I watched the debate the other night and know who I will be voting for, even though another party really impressed me surprisingly.

    Angelica x

    www.amzelica.com

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