It’s no secret that we’re OBSESSED with Non Pratt.
Her latest novel ‘Truth Or Dare’ is one of our favourite releases of the year. She’s also a proud Gryffindor and you know how we feel about supporting members of our own house.
Maximum Pop! recently caught up with Non and asked her to write an exclusive article about what teens (a.k.a you guys – hey there!) ACTUALLY need from the June General Election.
Unsurprisingly, it’s absolutely brilliant! So much so, that you’ll probably be all *heart eyes* after reading it.
Here it is…
Maximum Pop: What Young People Need from a General Election
Young people! You spend too much time on YouTube. The books you read are too easy. Stop eating avocados and start saving for a house. Get back up that chimney, down that coal mine, off that iPhone.
Sound familiar? Old adults often have little respect for young ones, never more apparent than during a general election. This is because political parties care about two things:
CAN you vote?
Anyone under the age of 18 on June 8th 2017 can’t. (Hands up who thinks that should be lowered to 16?)
WILL you vote?
In the last general election 18-24 year olds were less likely to vote than those aged 65 and over (43% vs 78%).
If a political party wanted to win an election, who would that party aim to impress: 78% of pensioners or 43% of young voters?
The problem is that old voters and young voters often want different things. When all the policies are skewed towards older voters there’s less motivation for young ones to get to the polling stations. After all, why bother voting when you don’t like any of the parties?
I understand. I’ve never liked politics less… and I’ve never cared about it more. Not for me, but for you: the next generation.
People seem to have stopped caring about you – which is exactly why you need to start caring about yourselves. The only person you can trust with your vote is you. Our parliament has a fixed term of five years (yeah, I know, we only had a general election two years ago, what are they playing at?), and that’s a long time in which to watch a government make decisions you didn’t vote for.
Here are the areas young people need to see change after June 8th:
1. Mental Health
Young people are especially vulnerable when it comes to mental health – our brains need the same TLC the healthcare system provides for physical ailments. This requires a government that will find the funds for the NHS to accommodate greater mental health demands.
Regardless of your position on immigration, feudal political systems or who gets to decide how bendy your banana should be, being a part of the EU offered a lot of things (for good or ill) that are no longer a certainty. Whoever wins the election needs to be capable of negotiating the best terms for the UK. You have to be hella persuasive to get the gym to permit use of the equipment after you’ve cancelled your membership.
3. Affordable Housing
Back in the day you could buy your first house with a slightly squashed cigarette and a bit of chewing gum you found on the street. Not any more. If you ever want to leave home, you’re going to need a government willing to take control of the rental market and invest in new housing to sell to people who don’t already own half the Monopoly board.
This one’s obvious, isn’t it? However healthy my gran is, she won’t be here in 2057, but you will. I’m sure you’d like air you can breathe, fish in the sea and affordable energy bills to heat your home in winter.
The biggie in every possible way. Education is a sprawling many tentacle beast and it’s one of the most important things in a non-voter’s life. 18-24 year olds might have left the system, but you can remember what it’s like. You know the pressure of constant testing, you know some bright spark who couldn’t afford university, you know someone who was better at English but still chose STEM subjects for A-level. I want a government that understands this issue is where people at the opposite end of the economic spectrum are pushed further apart. I want a government that fixes this problem by placing children’s needs ahead of adults’.
There is, however, one thing I want to come from this election that’s more important than any of the things listed above. I want enough young people to vote on June the 8th that come the next one, all the parties will fight to win more than 43% of the youth vote.
If you want to find out more about the main UK parties, here are their manifestos for the election on June 8th 2017.
- Conservative manifesto
- Labour manifesto
- Green Party manifesto
- Liberal Democrats manifesto
- UKIP manifesto
If you live in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, here are links to the manifesto as listed on the main website of the other political parties that might appear on the ballot paper:
- Democratic Unionist Party
- Sinn Fein manifesto
- SDLP manifesto
- Ulster Unionist Party (no manifesto for 2017 yet)
- Alliance Party manifesto
Told you that you’d be all starry eyed after reading Non’s piece – how empowering! To find out more about her latest book ‘Truth or Dare’, click here.