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General Election 8th June 2017 – How to Research and Understand Politics #GE2017

You probably know by now that a General Election is planned for 8th June 2017. What you might not know is who you should be voting for or where you should look for helpful information.

Not sure who to vote for?

This election is being called a ‘snap General Election’  as it was unplanned, so we don’t get as much time to read into it all. It’s important to work quickly to make the best choice. Luckily, there are plenty of unbiased websites, blogs and other resources available online.

In the past, I’ve avoided voting because I couldn’t choose a party or couldn’t find enough information to help me make the choice. Over the last few years, I have researched and read more about politics than I ever imagined I would.

Of course, it’s still a choice to vote or not, and either way, I get it. You don’t know enough, don’t care enough, or just can’t be bothered to research anything.

However, if you’d like to vote, but don’t know where to start, I’m hoping this post will help.

How to decide.

I wanted to help the people who, like me, can’t make up their minds or don’t know why they should bother voting. I won’t put all information about the General Election in this post, as I have already found some fantastic posts that explain it all that I will link below.

What I am going to do is tell you how to research politics without it becoming overwhelming. There is so much information out there, on websites, in the news, on social media. It can seem like there’s too much to get through to possibly make a sensible decision.

Here are some tips for researching parties and policies:

  1. Read the party manifestos. You can search for these online and go to each party’s own website where they will display their policies and ideas.
  2. Don’t just listen, watch or read mainstream channels. I’m not going to tell you not to take notice of mainstream media, but I will say that it is very difficult to find unbiased information and that our main media outlets will almost certainly have a view of their own that they will put across, whether intentional or not.
  3. Search the opposition. If you do hear about a policy or update that interests you, look into it and then…search the opposition. It seems odd to purposely search for something that you don’t agree with, but I find it keeps my opinion on something balanced and allows me to make a fairer judgment. Understand the opposition even if you don’t agree.
  4. Read blogs and articles. Just don’t expect them to have all the answers. If someone online tells you that you should be voting for a particular party, don’t take their word for it. Your vote will be more effective for you if you vote for what you truly believe in and not what seems popular amongst your peers.
  5. Openly discuss politics. Don’t argue. Discuss. Listen to others and why they believe something that you don’t. Ask questions. Political views are mostly opinion and not fact, so don’t tell people they are wrong or need educating. Instead, explain why you think differently in a respectful way and see if you can help them understand. You won’t change anyone’s mind by being rude to them – trust me!
  6. Watch videos and live debates. Don’t just read what politicians have said, watch for yourself. Things are less out of context (one of the many media tricks) when you can see the entire speech or debate.

One website that might help you realise where you are leaning on the policy side is www.whoshallivotefor.com
This website gives you a good starting point on policies by each party. You can do a quiz to explore your own opinions on the big policies, and find out more about each one.

PLEASE don’t be put off voting for who you’d like because you think they don’t stand a chance. They will do best if everyone who wants to vote for them does!

Register to vote in the General Election by 22nd May 2017! www.gov.uk/register-to-vote Click To Tweet

Blogs

I’ve come across some great General Election blog posts too.
I will keep adding to this list, so please refer back sometimes, or send me links to add. 

Twenty Something Meltdown – Gwennan always explains things in a fantastic way, and tells you about the background of the Election and why we’re having to vote unexpectedly. Along with amazing illustrations, she gives a brief breakdown of each major party’s policies.

This Tatt and the Other – Kelly’s post offers an understanding into the decision-making and why it’s so difficult to choose who to vote for.

Its Sarah Ann – Sarah writes about the importance of voting and why you should. If you’re still not sure, check out the post and see if it helps you realise why it might be a good idea to vote.

You must be registered to vote in the General Election by 22nd May 2017! It takes one minute to register here: www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Do you have any extra tips for someone trying to decide who to vote for? What helps you make your mind up?

 

 

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