On May the 7th 2015, Britain faces one of its most exciting but life changing for all general elections. While I understand many of you have your doubts about the UK government and our democratic system, the only way to change this is to actually get involved. The late great Michael Jackson did say “If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.” One way to start is by registering to vote before the deadline on the 20th of April.
Before we go any further, you can do that here.
Sadly one of the biggest reasons I hear young people don’t vote is because there is ‘not much difference between the parties’. So you claim. Plus lets be honest, some of you have things to do that may seem more important in your spare time; like watching cat videos.
HOW THE VOTING SYSTEM WORKS, IN SHORT:
In the UK we use a system called First Past The Post. The country has been divided into 650 constituencies for example Thurrock, Manchester Central etc. All 650 areas will have a candidate fighting for your vote representing a party. The person with the most votes wins a seat in parliament (the building with The Big Ben) where they will represent your area as an MP. The party with the most MP’s will form the UK government. However sometimes it’s not that simple as parties fail to gain a majority number of seats, which is why it’s vital you vote on May 7th.
So below I have listed all the major parties around the UK, plus a few more if you’re really finding it hard to find one that suits you. Plus I’ve added a quick non-biased summary of what the party stands for. If a party’s ethics are matched to yours, please click on their website link and have a further read of their beliefs.
Seriously though people, sacrifice 10 minutes of your time and have a read below. The more we ignore politics the more nothing will ever change.
The Conservative party. Currently the party with the most number of seats in Parliament (303). Led by our current Prime Minister, David Cameron. Nicknamed ‘The Tory’s’, this party believes in people having ownership and power over their lives with little to no government interference. Making your own profits and spending or saving that money as you choose. They also value traditional family values, plus strict discipline and respect, to cut crime they believe criminals should be treated harshly. They believe in British history and figures like the royal family. While they do believe in state owned services like the NHS and the welfare system, their overall goal is to keep as many people away from government help and being self efficient. Read more here.
Why vote for them?
– A public vote on staying in the European Union
– No tax if you earn below 10,600 increased to £12,500 by 2020
– Eliminate the UK deficit (the money the government overspends) by 2020
– Bring down the national debt for future generations (currently £1.5 trillion – crazy, we know)
– Create two million more jobs by 2020
– Investment in apprenticeships
– Continue our current foreign aid budget
– Capping welfare benefits to get more people into work
The Labour party. Currently led by Ed Miliband, this is the second largest party in the country. This party believes in more involvement from the state to create what they believe to be a fairer society. This means higher taxes for everyone, the rich especially. This would be to fund state owned services such as the NHS. They would like a society that has respect for all and while the government will support everyone, people must also attend to their individual responsibilities. They believe in the European Union. Read more here.
Why vote for them ?
– Freeze all gas and electricity bills till 2017 (this will stop the increasing prices year on year)
– Lower uni tuition fees to £6,000 maximum
– 200,000 more homes built/yr by 2020
– Further increase minimum wage to £8/hr by 2020
– Guaranteed GP (doctors) appointment within 48hrs
– Reduce national debt and deficit
– Scrap the bedroom tax (Housing Benefit Entitlement that means you will receive less in housing benefit if you live in a housing association or council property that is deemed to have one or more spare bedrooms)
The Liberal Democrats party. In 2010 this was the third largest party with their leader Nick Clegg being our current Deputy Prime Minister. The party is known to be in the middle of the two parties named above, with it’s slogan being “A stronger economy. A fairer society.” They believe in more personal freedom while also making sure the government ensures a fair society and opportunity for all. They say this can be done by providing free healthcare and education for all but also encouraging business to flourish while not interfering. The Lib Dems also think it’s more important to deal with the causes of crime not just the effects, otherwise it can never be reduced. Read more here.
Why vote for them?
– Pay no tax if you earn £11,000 by 2016 and £12,500 by 2020
– Some members believe in legalising all drugs
– Introduce a tax on large expensive properties
– More investment in mental health problems
– £1Billion extra every year for NHS funding
– 300,000 new houses a year
– Discount on bus and train fares for all in education
The Green Party. Popular among young people and a fairly new party, the Greens simply want to save the world from the evils of mankind. However recently they’ve gone a little deeper, they would like to see a very fair society where the rich pay a large amount of tax to cater for the poor and protect the public from climate change. They would also like to see all public services such as transport, schools etc back into the government’s control. Read more here.
Why vote for them?
– £10 minimum wage by 2020
– Free University for all
– Increase tax for the richest to 50%
– Make mental health a high priority
– Abolish bedroom tax
– 500,000 social rented homes by 2020
– Cap rent in areas such as London
– Invest in greener technology
– Buy back the railways and reduce fares by 10%
The UK Independence Party, also known as UKIP. Currently led by Nigel Farage, the party is only a few decades old but has hit it’s peak in the last few years with it’s controversial topics. The party has one main focus, to leave the European Union. They believe the EU is bringing in too much immigration, too fast, plus it is too controlling over UK laws. UKIP would like to see very little intervention from the government to the public in addition to legalising hand guns in the UK. They also think employers should put British people before anyone else for British jobs. They prefer lower taxes for all. Read more here.
Why vote for them?
– Leave the European Union
– No tax if you earn below £13,500 by 2020
– Abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change
– Abolish the Department for Culture Media and Sport
– Priority to ex-service men and women
– Anyone from outside the UK will have to pay for NHS care
– Point based system for UK boarders
– No vote for prisoners
See more parties here.
If you are still not sure on which party to vote for, have a deeper read of the options and at least register to vote here. The more we show we care, the more they will care about us.
Written by: @140henney