Read this before you vote

A pink image with the main word saying 'Vote'. The words around that are multicoloured saying 'refugees', 'NHS', 'Poverty', 'Brexit', 'LGBTQ+', 'BAME', 'Planet', 'DWP', 'Uni', 'Commerce', 'Rights', 'Disability', 'Protest. There are question marks, arrows and a disability symbol.
Image courtesy of Nia Jones @yellowbingodabber

The vote on the 12th of December 2019 is a landmark occasion. It marks a crossroads between what has been and what could come. The ramifications of this can lead to confusion over who to vote for, discomfort at parts of each party’s manifestos and a sense of ‘well, why should I bother?’

Your voice, your vote, can be the deciding one. When you receive that right to vote, you receive power: the power to choose the future for not only your country’s politics, but for your friends’, family’s and neighbours’ lives. Personally, for a long time, politics seemed like something distant, decided by people in suits who sit in London and shout at each other, occasionally popping up in the news, but every day, the relevance of politics becomes more and more apparent.

So before you vote, consider this. Consider your family who might need social care, your parents and grandparents who require, or will require, a little extra help as they grow older. Consider your friends with mental health issues who rely on networks of support from nurses, therapists, counsellors and outreach programmes. Consider your neighbour with a disability, who needs support, whether that is through receiving an independence payment, subsidised disability equipment or the presence of someone else to help them with tasks that might be more difficult for them. Consider the children on the news who have been made homeless, who are now crammed into a one room B&B, far away from their schools and friends, with no space to learn, play or retain a sense of normalcy. Those children’s parents may be working two or three jobs to still be in this position. Consider the doctor that you visit, the NHS that you have grown accustomed to, the medication you may need. Consider the country you live in and the people that live around you and what your vote and voice can do for them.

Trigger words like ‘Brexit’ are taking a lot of attention from the other crucial issues and it’s easy to get caught up in it. It’s been a big part of our lives for years now. However, in the meantime, life has continued. Great Britain will still exist with or without Brexit and we need to take that into account. What kind of country do we want to be left with after the storm of Brexit has passed?

I’m not going to tell you who to vote for. If you’re still on the fence, I’ll list some links laying out each party’s manifesto, as well as a link on tactical voting. Tactical voting means voting for a party that you wouldn’t normally consider in order to support the things that are important to you. It’s not about a man or woman, a face of a party or tabloid rumours. Tomorrow is about core issues and the future that you want to exist within. Use your vote and use it wisely.

Each party’s stance on key issues: https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/who-vote-for-general-election-2019-party-manifestos-guide-policies-conservatives-labour-lib-dems-brexit-green-snp-ukip-1336049

Homeless children: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/03/at-least-135000-children-in-britain-will-be-homeless-at-christmas

Guardian Opinion Column on Disability: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/11/voting-labour-boris-johnson-disabled-people-health-social-care

Search for your area to find out how to tactically vote against Brexit: https://tactical.vote/compare

Use this tool for tactical voting for either Leave or Remain: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2019/12/11/tactical-voting-guide-general-election-constituency-vote/

Find out who is running in your area: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/11/uk-general-election-candidates-who-is-running-in-my-area

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