I’m not that into politics.
I’m not the first millennial student to say that and I certainly won’t be the last. However, this isn’t to imply that I don’t value the importance of democracy in Britain. It’s just, simply, that in my four short years of voting, I’ve already found myself avoiding certain colour combinations, emblems, dishonest voices on my radio, and poignant faces on my television.
Their negative connotations – empty words, for example – conflate my rational thinking, and the result is that I’ve just lost faith in the democratic system to provide for me the way it promises to. When I vote, it just feels like making a choice between Starbucks or Costa.
Greedy politicians preach that the “future belongs to the young people”, or at least they did in 2014 when they enfranchised 16-year-old voters in the Scottish Independence Referendum and, of course, when the Conservatives didn’t want to leave the EU in 2016. Upon hearing and reading this phrase, I find myself begging the question: at 22, am I still a young person?
My reason for enquiring is that I’m curious as to whether the right here and now is the future that was supposedly promised to me, the one within my control? Is this the present that I should take ownership of? Because it doesn’t feel like it; this is why we should never give up.
In light of this year’s general election, The Independent reported that the younger generation – that’s 16-34-year-olds, just to clarify – will remain dreadfully under-represented in Parliament this term, regardless of who wins the election: the mean age of members is 50.
In fact, politicians are so out of touch with our generation that they were given a handbook to understand us this year. You’d be forgiven for thinking this would merely be a slim summary of Snapchat, Instagram, and the other social media giants, however, this handbook was a rather sinister collection of facts, like, how we will have to wait much longer for our state pension and how our wages have suffered more than any other group since the 2008 recession.
Millennials are currently trapped which is concerning as, in a few years time, we will be entrusted to look after the very population that has neglected our requirements. So, if you’re like me and who you give your vote to comes down to merely who has the nicest smile next to the grand opening of the new local school, then listen up.
You are misrepresented in your government, alright?
You are treated with the delicacy of a snowflake in the media and, sadly, parties aren’t likely to appreciate your full worth until they need to attain a rapid increase of numbers. As a student, you make up over 235,000 of the Scottish population and – just to put that into perspective for you – that means that you and over 234,999 others will make up the future professional circuit of the country.
You are among the generation of doctors who will care for you and your family, the sportsmen who will win us the Olympic Golds, the politicians who will run our country, and the journalists who will report on the next General Election.
You are suffering at the hands of a government who doesn’t truly understand your generation’s needs and that little tick in the box is, fundamentally, the only weapon of attack you have.
Head to your local polling station (which you can find here – just enter your postcode) and remember you can vote from 7am in the morning until 10pm at night on 8 June.