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Nishall’s Blog: Reasons why you should vote…

Politics / Tue 20th May 2014 am31 09:03am

Blog Piece by Nishall Garala

SIX months ago I turned 18, and guess what? I can vote, and have been so excited to do so. What a wonderful opportunity to have your say in how the our country is ran.

Some people always vote. Others actively choose not to. But if you’re one of those yet to decide, here are some reasons why you might want to have your say.

It’s free. How often in these days of paid-for TV polls – like X-Factor, Strictly and Britain’s Got Talent – do people get to have their say gratis? The polling station is a nice, ambient setting to make decisions in peace too, without all that music and dancing.

It affects where you live. Westminster and European elections can feel a little remote. They may get almost all the national news headlines, but councils are where it’s happening in your locality. They usually run schools, libraries, street cleaning, leisure centres, the bins: in fact, many of the services you need, love and maybe despair of.

Councillors are important. In some places you will have as many as three votes, to select three councillors. If you have time, try and understand the qualities each candidate brings. They will be the people you get in touch with if you want to improve your lives over the next few years. And they may have a crucial say over whether planned developments take place down your road.

It gives you the right to moan. It might sound flippant, but what gives you the ability to criticise the “powers that be” with any authority if you didn’t do your bit to help choose them.

It’s anonymous. The candidate and party you choose are not made public. You can pick any and you don’t have to tell. It’s your secret. Even if you don’t want to vote for any of those standing, you can make your point by going along and “spoiling” your ballot paper.

It doesn’t happen often. Unlike some countries, we don’t get a vote on every issue or even a vote every year. Many people around the world would love the chance to have the vote.

So this Thursday when the country goes to vote, join them and have you say, it will be worth it!

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