So, that’s it. The election is over. After weeks of people trying to win your votes, avoiding answering questions and arguing with each other, almost all of the votes are in and the Conservatives have a majority.
I’m not sure how I feel about the result yet. I think we have to give it some time and see what happens. I think it would have been nice to see another coalition, because I feel that they help to represent more of societies’ views than a majority government. But there we go, that’s democracy for you!
I’ve seen a huge number of angry tweets and Facebook rants today. A rather unprecedented number. I knew a lot of my friends and social circles were on the left side, but didn’t realise quite to what extent! I understand that people are angry, but at the end of the day, there must be some people who are happy rather than angry or this majority wouldn’t happen.
One thing that’s been great this election is the involvement of young people. This is slightly reflected in the increased voter turnout for 18-24s. BBC Generation 2015 has done a lot to get young people on air, as have other programmes like Stand Up And Be Counted and ITV Fixers (to name a few). Organisations have gone out of their way to encourage young people to vote and to explain politics to them. Some politicians have engaged directly with young people.
All of this is great, but it can’t stop here. However you feel about the election result, whether you’re happy, sad, angry, whatever – you still have a voice. It is a complete lie that you only get your say one day every 5 years. Our government works for us. Your MP works for you and to represent you (to find out who they are, click here). Speak to them. Tell them what matters, tell them what’s important to you. Write them a letter, drop them a tweet, email them, meet them at one of their surgeries. If you try all of that and still get no response, write to their leader! (I did, and it worked). Get them behind your campaigns. Shout and make a noise. Lobby, campaign, protest, petition, do whatever it is you want to do to get your message across.
We need to show this government and our new MPs that we care. We need to hold them to account on the promises they’ve made. We need to tell them what we want. Young people, and people in general, are not apathetic. Use your anger, frustration, whatever emotion you might be feeling, for good. Stop posting dead-end Facebook statuses and sending tweets into the black hole of the internet and send your words to your MP or local councillor. If you want something changed, be proactive about it and speak to someone who can help you change it.
We have a voice. We are powerful. Don’t be silent.