1. Have a say on issues that affect your life
Decisions are being made on your behalf every day. In government politicians are making key decisions about the environment, healthcare, education and housing. You should have a say in how these decisions are made, because whether it’s about a global issue such as foreign aid and defence, or a local issue such as bins and leisure facilities, these issues can and will affect your life.
2. Not everyone CAN vote – you are one of the lucky ones
Around the world there are many countries in which people that do not have the right to vote, where people continue to fight tirelessly to be heard by their leaders. The many sacrifices made during the suffragette movement and from past campaigners means that in the UK we all have an equal right to vote and a voice that our leaders must listen to. To have this is a great freedom, so make make sure you exercise this freedom because you are one of the lucky ones that can.
3. You may not think that your vote matters, but it does
In a country with millions of voters, your single vote may feel small. But your vote carries just as much weight as everybody else’s. Think of it like this: if 90% of a population did not vote because they thought their vote didn’t make a difference, then the 10% who voted would shape the direction of an entire country. Your vote contributes to a collective decision, so make sure yours get counted.
4. If you are truly an active citizen, you would vote
Active citizenship means getting involved, standing up and taking action to make a change in your society. Crucially, it means taking part as a citizen in democracy. To vote for your government is to make one of the biggest statements you can make on how you think your society should be working, so take the time to reflect on how politics genuinely affects your community and take a stance. Because no matter who you vote for – that’s up to you – to vote is one of the strongest and most meaningful forms of active citizenship.
Voting in the UK General Election closes at 10pm on 12th December. Click here to find your nearest polling station