Featured image credit: Wikimedia Commons
To make ourselves clear from the off, register to vote here. You have until 11:59 pm, 22 May 2017. And now to start the article…
As you would have no doubt seen on Ummahsonic, or perhaps on one of the nine trillion TV channels, websites, or social media accounts covering it 24/7, there’s going to be a general election on June 8. That’s right, we’re going to the polls. If you’re over the age of 18, that means you. Unless you don’t register to vote.
Of course, the payoff to that snappy intro is going to be us telling you to register. Why? We’ll explain. Right now.
Given the constant chat that takes place on social media, it often seems as if young people are more politically engaged than ever. To some extent, that’s true. However, only 42% of 18-24 year olds cast a vote in the 2015 general election. For the 2010 election, it was 44%. In 2005? Also 44%. The numbers don’t lie, it’s clear the majority of young people haven’t voted in the past decade. Historically, those numbers have been even lower among British Muslims.
So, let’s change that. Over 4% of the British population are Muslim – Islam is the second largest religion in the UK – and almost half of British Muslims are under 24. When you vote, politicians take note, meaning they become more responsive to the needs of their constituencies, AKA our communities. By engaging with the democratic process, you can address the issues that affect you by choosing the person that best represents your needs.
And remember – you are picking a person. While party leaders dominate the headlines, you will not find their names on the ballot. Instead, local MPs from different political parties will be vying to represent your constituency in Parliament. The party with the most MPs will see its party leader become Prime Minister. So even if you don’t think much of the candidates for PM, your vote could still go to someone who knows your community inside and out – a big deal as national decisions tend to stem from local action (you can find out who your current MP is here).
All we have left to say is this: Register to vote by clicking on this link. You have until 11:59 pm on the 22 May 2017.