When I went out canvassing during the last election, a phrase that I often heard on the doorstep was...
‘All politicians are the same’
And while it was often frustrating to hear this, it also made me reflect on the importance of voter education.
When I went out canvassing during the last election, this was a phrase that I heard on the doorstep often. And while it was often frustrating to hear this, it also made me reflect on the importance of voter education.
An educated and engaged electorate is one of the most crucial parts of any democracy. Democracy relies on consent, and therefore it is crucial that voters are knowledgeable about candidates’ policy platforms and the impact that these policies will have on their lives. Yet here in the UK, many people feel disengaged from the electoral process. This means that the electorate is often disempowered, with many people unable to see the impact of elections on their daily lives.
Too often, these people are right. Many politicians in safe seats count on the apathy of voters, and therefore wrongly believe that they are not accountable to their constituents.
The good news is that the antidote to apathy lies in increased community-level grassroots organising. Studies have shown that trusted message carriers - neighbours, family members, and friends - are best placed to help change people’s minds and increase engagement. Therefore, by deciding to participate in a local campaign in your community, you could inspire others to get involved too.
Witnessing firsthand the tangible, real-world impact of local campaigning is the single best way to convince people to become more involved in civic life. This does not mean that everyone will agree. It simply means that political disagreements can be debated with the care, consideration, and passion that they deserve.