On Monday the 7th of October the School of Classics is teaming up with the Students’ Association to discuss the importance of democratic engagement within our society, and the consequences for us all if it is not kept alive. 

I reached out to Students Association President and guest speaker at the event, Jamie Rodney, to ask his opinion on the event and the topic of voter registration and engagement as a whole. I firstly asked him to give us a brief explanation of the event and what to expect at it: 

“The event is basically an exploration of how democracies work, how they rely on an active, engaged citizenry to participate in the democratic process and hold elected politicians to account, and how, in the absence of that active, engaged citizenry, democracies can die.” 

He added: 

“…it’ll be really interesting! We’ve got some really good speakers lined up from different academic schools, really smart people at the top of their fields.”

Fear not however, as it isn’t all academia. Mr Rodney was keen to point out:

“That’s the theoretical side of it. There’s also a more practical side- with information on how to register to vote, who can register to vote, and how to make sure your vote has the biggest possible impact.”

In the United Kingdom, the Government does not have a majority in the House of Commons, this means they must call an election sooner rather than later. With that in mind, I asked Mr Rodney how important it was for people to register to vote: 

“First off, I think there’s never a bad time to get people registered to vote, even if there isn’t an election scheduled. However… A snap election could be called at any time, and, if a snap election does take place, then the deadline for getting registered is much tighter.”

When the snap General Election was called back in 2017, votes had just 34 days to register to vote. 

But why come along to the event when there is plenty of information on how to register to vote online? Well Mr Rodney insisted that this event is unique in that:

“…given that these people are academics rather than politicians, it should be able to cut through some of the noise surrounding politics at the moment, and give people a different perspective on the whole thing than they’d get elsewhere.”. 

So, come on down to the Byre Theatre Studio, Monday 7th of October 2019 at 5:15 PM. No ticket purchase necessary, completely free admission.