MESSAGE TO 18-24-YEAR-OLDS

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They say that in a democracy, you get the government you vote for. It’s a debatable point particularly when you use first past the post voting system.

But what is certainly also true is that if you don’t vote you may get the government [or council] you didn’t vote for.

Everyone is entitled to a vote, to a say in how their local or central government is run. Male and female, religious and not religious, straight and gay, rich and poor, black and white and OLD and YOUNG.

In Scottish elections young starts at 16; in English 18… and lasts till you die.

It’s a privilege that many people across the world don’t have, and I’ve always used it.

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This IPSO Mori shows the proportion of people in different age groups (among other classifications) who voted.

So 43% of people 18-24 voted in the 2015 election. That means that 57% didn’t.

At the other end of the age spectrum, 78% of the 65+ group voted and only 22% didn’t.

So maybe you got the government your parents or grandparents wanted.

Nothing wrong with that if you agree with their politics.

But if you prefer your own politics to theirs, maybe you should make the effort to get out there on election day…local or UK… and vote for YOUR choice.

Otherwise, don’t complain when the government enacts policies best suited to older people. And yes, VAT going up will affect you, as will whether or not we can continue to provide free university education, whether we get a decent Brexit that will allow you to study abroad, or even go on holiday, whether there are jobs, what the income tax rate will be, housing and transport… Well, most stuff really.

After all, if you can’t be bothered giving up 5 minutes to vote, you can’t be very interested in your future. So having your grandparents’ choice won’t bother you much.

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But seriously, would you let them pick your car, your clothes, what music you listen to?