Five Reasons Why You Should Give a Shit About Politics
Politics affects you. Now's the time to take an interest.
Engaging with politics can often feel like a chore. Politicians tend to merge into one big blur of grey suits, and political language can be super disengaging/ plain boring. But when you start looking into it, most aspects of your life are affected by politics. Everything from university fees to LGBTQ rights and the legalisation of weed: it’s all politics. Giving a shit about politics doesn’t have to mean chaining yourself to buildings or becoming an MP. It simply means entering a conversation and taking an interest in what matters to you. Need a bit more convincing? Read on.
Reason 1. Politics directly affects young people
What affects your daily life? Is it waiting times for mental health services? Is it knife crime in your area? Or unpaid internships? Whatever you care about, there’s a high chance parliament are making big decisions on your behalf.
Now how would it feel if your parents or your friends started making big decisions on your behalf without consulting you? You’d probably be pretty pissed, no? That’s got to be a reason to engage in the conversation and let politicians know how you feel.
Reason 2. It’s a good thing to care
Luckily, the majority of humankind care about other people. It’s human nature and it makes us feel good when we do good things for other people. Ultimately, politics is also about making decisions to help people.
Be proud of what you care about. Having an opinion is a good thing and people want to hear it. Do you have strong opinions about LGBTQ rights? The treatment of young carers? Or spending on foreign aid? Let it be known!
Reason 3. You can make a difference
Most people don’t realise the power they have as individuals. A lot of the time, issues like climate change can feel so colossal, it feels easier to leave it to the ‘experts’. But through things like campaigning, voting, starting conversations and contacting your MP, you have the power to change things and really make a difference. It’s about educating yourself and thinking creatively – if you want to find out more about making a difference, read our article on how to change the world.
Reason 4. It’s your future
Most politicians and world leaders are getting on a bit. Therefore, the future they’re busy shaping belongs more to you than it does to them. Think about going to war, for example. Politicians will make decisions about whether or not to go to war. But it’s young people who will actually fight the war. Similarly, politicians are making decisions about university fees. But it’s you who will be paying the fees and you will be landed with debt, not them.
When you look at it like this, it all starts to seem a little undemocratic. Don’t let your future be dictated by people who won’t have to deal with the consequences. Let them know what kind of world you want to inherit.
Reason 5. It’s empowering
Participating in politics and having your voice heard can feel really empowering. It’s that feeling when you drop your ballot paper into the box to vote or when you join hoards of like-minded people in the street to protest against something you feel is unjust. If you’re invested in politics, it can be really exciting to see the person you voted for get elected, or a new law passed because of a campaign you were part of.
One other thing on empowerment – in the UK, we live in a democracy where our thoughts are listened to. That’s the way things should be but unfortunately, a lot of places around the world don’t have the same privilege and they’re not empowered in the same way. So use your power to show your appreciation for democracy.
By Holly Turner
Updated on 08-Apr-2019
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