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Message everyone in your contacts and ask them if they’re going to vote on Thursday. The Tories underestimate the youth, minorities, the marginalised, and the downtrodden, because they rely on the older die-hard Conservative generation turning out in their droves every year. This generation also aren’t usually as adept at using social media and are therefore at the mercy of the mainstream media for their daily news fix. A call, text, email, or voicemail to your parents and grandparents talking about which policies to choose between could make all the difference.
It’s one of the most important things you will ever do. The biggest day of campaigning is Thursday June 8: vote with your feet as well as at the ballot box and help others get out too. If you get even just one more person out to a polling booth, you’ve made a difference. Soft canvassing like this is a fun way to get out into the community with friendly faces and meet like-minded people. Nerve-wracking? Probably a little bit, but you’re surrounded by friendly, like-minded people who are more than happy to help you every step of the way.
The establishment powers want to stay on top, so they try to smother and undermine democracy. British democracy is one of the most civilised aspects of our society, something which millions of people fought and died for. Our culture massively celebrates firsts such as turning 18, leaving school, and learning to drive, and our first vote is as much a rite of passage as any other.
Democracy is great; as Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others”. Young people have every reason not to trust traditional politics and politicians, who in turn always underestimate our ability to engage and understand. In fact, they rely on making us distrust them, because if we don’t vote, they carry on guzzling champagne in Westminster, while we stay pissed off. That being said, they’re stupid to underestimate us. Youth turnout on the EU referendum last year was at similar levels to any other age group, and has been steadily increasing to nearly 50% every election this century. Our generation is smarter, more flexible, more adaptable, better travelled, and more open minded to new ideas and cultures than the ones which came before us, giving us a unique ability to challenge conventional wisdom and vote for policies over perceptions. This is a unique advantage which millions of us will be using to get our voices heard on policy matters on Thursday.
Talk about it
From Ghandi to Mandela to Occupy, meaningful change has always started from below, not from above. Real, effective, long-lasting change comes from the little people, at the grassroots. More people will vote if you start conversations with them: conversations with your friends, family, people down the pub, at work, in your class. The Tories are relying on young people not using their little voices to effect change, because they’ve battered the self-esteem and self-believe of the millennial generation. One way to overcome this is simply by telling other people that you’re going to vote. Anthropologists and social psychologists have shown that humans are group animals, and subconsciously follow what other people say they’re doing. Talking makes you a leader.
Watch this video
Activist Peter Stefanovic has made a fantastic video about what difference we will make when we hit the polls on Thursday!