Local elections are once again just around the corner, and just like any other election it is important for individuals to use their right to vote. However the country is entering a new age post Brexit and Post Covid, and no matter what your opinions are on how each event was dealt with, the local elections and any future elections can be used to voice your views and have a say on if you are happy or not.
However, as the title suggests this article will argue the importance of young people voting in the election. I believe it is vital that young people use their voice in society, something which I have campaigned for tirelessly but found much political apathy among the younger generation. This article will not attempt to answer why political participation is minimal across the majority of 18 to mid-20 age range. However I do find it ironic that before the 2016 referendum I saw first hand young individuals being told to vote as it is our national duty, but when thousands of young people stood up for a second vote to Brexit, the same older generation of individuals said instead that its best to leave the future in their capable hands and silenced us over Brexit. However my franchise of voters are arguably the most impacted, especially in the long term results and that is why its important for young people to go out and vote.
So why is it important for young people to vote? The simple answer is that the impact of recent events and decisions have had on the younger generation is huge. Without a doubt the Covid pandemic has affected everyone, and we are all essentially in the same boat heading towards an unclear future.
However, even without Brexit and Covid in the picture, life for the younger generation seemed bleak.
Home ownership is extremely unlikely for young people in the future. 1 in 3 will never be able to own a house, with 67% of 'Millenals' having to wait over 20 years in full time employment before being able to afford a house, and of course paying extremely high rent in the meantime. This is also based on young people in full time employment with a comfortable wage, however the current job market is arguably the most competitive it has ever been. Throw in the factor of businesses and industries at risk of closing due to Brexit and/or Covid makes the idea of secure employment harder to believe. Of course we entered a completely unprecedented time due to the Covid19 Pandemic. The pandemic quickly shone a light on the vulnerabilities in society. From the struggling NHS to accommodating the homeless, it was clear help was required to the most vulnerable, and rightly so. The country saw families on benefits and many people lose their jobs, (even some who were unable to be furloughed) therefore facing immediate debt and needed to be financially supported. Thousands of businesses up and down the country that lost out on profit due to lockdown had to be rightly supported by grants. However all of this spending has left a bill which needs to be paid. And as well as the uncertainties post Brexit, a bigger bill will be produced. For example, some industries in the UK have now lost out to EU funding and for these companies to survive they have called on the government to fill the gap. With no sign of the £350 million promised, it is the UK tax payer who will be paying. However, the bulk of this total bill will be repaid in our futures. It is today's young individuals whose future taxes will be spent to help the country recover from a potentially very dark economic period equivalent to the time
after the global financial crash which saw the age of austerity.
Arguably, young people have lost more and are due to lose more in the UK, not only because of an unprecedented phenomena (for example the possibility of Covid passports which ignores young people not being vaccinated) but also due to the idea of taking back control in 2016. We lost the right to travel freely around Europe and to work and study across the EU. Instead we will struggle to find work, housing and fund luxuries. Of course we are not the first generation to face struggling times, but instead of learning from lessons to make life better, we were silenced. And one thing which I have not mentioned but which young people have stood up to be vocal about is the environment. Protecting theenvironment is absolutely essential. For too long the affects of polluting our earth "is a problem for people in the future" and therefore action must be taken before it gets too late. So now is the time to protest and make a change.
By voting in any election, young people can use their voice to change politics for the best and have a say in our future and our lives. If you're young and reading this then please simply go out and vote. For anyone else reading, make sure you vote but also tell your children and/or grandchildren that they should do the same. Because very vote counts.
About the writer
Brenner Munden is a 22 year old graduate who joined the party in 2016 and standing for local council in Brentwood South. He has lived in Brentwood his whole life, and currently lives with his parents and works as a revenue officer. Brenner worked in Brentwood before University, at a local Indian restaurant and volunteered at the local youth club, the Hermitage.
He became passionate about politics in the 6th form and his views are focused on helping individuals, including the vulnerable, protecting the environment and representing young people.
He joined the Liberal Democrats in 2016 because he was against Brexit, against the rise of Trump and his personal views aligned with that of the party.