This post was written by Kerrie Starkie, Representative for the North West of England on UK Youth Voice. You can read more blogs from UK Youth Voice by clicking here and follow them on twitter @UKYV. This post was originally published on the Rathbone website here.
Democracy, what is it?
It is National Democracy Week this week and I’ve been asked to write about it for you all to read.
First things first, do you even know what democracy is??
Going on the internet’s definition, Google states:
“A democracy is a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives”
My definition is a country that allows their people the right to have their say either through a representative or with their own voice. It’s allowing people from all walks of life a chance to make a difference in either their local or national government.
How do we take part in democracy?
Well for many years, people aged 18 and over have had the right to be able to voice their concerns to people who they feel will make the change they want to see happen. They have then had the privilege to exercise this right through voting for their preferred party in local or government elections.
Many young people today don’t vote as they either don’t understand politics or they don’t trust the candidate or party to deliver what they said they would. No one ever sits us young people down and tells us that our individual vote is crucial in making a huge difference in today’s world. Just because our chosen person does not win the election that doesn’t mean it is over, the world is not a black and white story book with a happy ending. Obviously, not everyone can win all the time. Your party may lose but that single vote you cast has made a difference – you’ve had your say and exercised your democratic right. It is important that no matter what you keep your voice loud, you keep voting, you express your concerns because without your vote, the world you want and the change you want may never happen.
Don’t forget the past
Being a woman and growing up to find out women fought really hard to get their voices heard was a real eye opener to how the world has changed. They didn’t care about what got in their way and they made sure they stuck together to get their voices heard. They kept fighting no matter what was said or what set them back and their courage got us to where we are today. Let’s not waste that sacrifice, let’s make the change right for us and keep fighting like all those women did back then for a better future!
So, if you don’t understand the political stuff politicians say, call them out to ‘speak in simple terms for a second’. Only then can you learn where to place your important vote and really understand that your vote does matter.
The next election I’ll finally be able to have my say, don’t let yours go to waste.