Mention politics to a group of teenagers, and I can assure you at least one will say something along the lines of ‘politics is boring, it doesn’t even affect us’. How wrong they are. I am going to share with you my top three reasons as to why I believe capturing the interest of teenagers is incredibly important and valuable.
1. In a few years time, the ballot paper will be in our control. Many young people make the argument that they can’t vote and so elections aren’t important. However, what they do not consider is the fact that probably by the next election (assuming we don’t have yet another snap election) they will have the power to choose their representative in Parliament. It is therefore incredibly important to begin to educate young people in politics so they are fully informed by the time they go to vote, and they don’t waste the precious privilege by aimlessly crossing the box next to the nicest logo.
2. The decisions made today, could affect us tomorrow. Although we may not have a say until the age of 18, in who assumes the role of our local MP, or who holds government power, the decisions made by the adults around us do affect our everyday lives. The elected government have a lot of power over lots, (many things young people do not even consider), whether it be the public transport we use every weekend, the reform to exams which we all moaned about, (sorry, but the government are to blame) or perhaps simply the food available to us in the school canteen. Although we can’t make a change straight away, properly understanding how the government’s actions affect us can mean young people begin to form their own judgement of who to vote for, when they’re granted the power.
3. We are the government of the future. Finally, we need more enthusiastic teenagers, with an interest in politics, because one day our generation will be the government. We will have the power in our hands, making the decisions on behalf of society, and it is essential we have been brought up understanding the work done by previous government so we can establish our own ideologies and policies.
Over recent years, more and more young people have shown an interest in political issues joining youth movements such as Youth Parliament, and taking to social media to air their thoughts, opinions and arguments. I can only hope this interest continues to rise in years to come.