Euan Elder

Andy Coulson, David Cameron’s former director of communications, argued that the “youth vote has come out in strength and lashed out pretty aggressively” in relation to the recent 2017 British election. There was a significant rise in the amount of young voters: 66.4% of 18 to 24 year olds let their voice be heard, compared to 2015 where only 43% of this age group had done so. This growth in the amount of young people voting reflects an increased social interest in politics, and a desire to use the democratic right to participate in electoral voting.

Some older members of society find the concept of young people voting to be dangerous and impetuous. There is a stereotype that juveniles do not think for themselves – they solely listen to their family members, or follow the crowd. Social media has the potential to brainwash individuals. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter become a catalyst for ‘fake news’ and the misrepresentation of the truth. It becomes difficult for young people to form their own political beliefs when they are recurrently exposed to other people’s views as they casually scroll through their newsfeed. However, this is parallel to anyone reading a biased newspaper or magazine. All voters are subconsciously influenced by what they read, see or hear. One cannot argue that the age of a voter determines whether their political views are ‘justified’ or not.

SNP won the Fife North East seat by just two votes; it is true that every vote counts. People fought and died for their right to vote. Therefore, we must remember how important it is to exercise this right that we have and have a say in who controls our government. So if you did not vote this year because you thought your vote would not count, please register as soon as you can. You deserve to have a say in your future and nobody can deny that. Your vote matters, your opinion matters, YOU matter.