Make Your Voice Heard: Vote by TAL GUR-ARYE

ISRAEL — Having watched the result of the Brexit in 2016 I was shocked not only of the fact that people had gone to vote in what I found as a vote of hate, I was also shocked by how slim the margin was and by how easy it would have been for the ‘remain’ camp to win, should simply more people had gone to vote.

Within three years, the people of Britain had experienced three major and perhaps even life-changing polls: the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, the 2015 general election, and the 2016 Brexit vote. Today marks the fourth, with yet another general elections that should most definitely shape reality for years to come.

These elections were called by Prime Minister May, three years earlier than scheduled ahead of what are expected to be tough negotiations with the European Union over Britain’s exit from the bloc, following the UK’s decision to leave the bloc in 2016. Before the elections, May had a majority in the House of Commons won in 2015 under Conservative Party leader David Cameron, who stepped down after losing the Brexit vote.

Only two people have a realistic chance of being the next Prime Minister: May, the incumbent, or Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who is hoping that his left-wing manifesto and large rallies have been enough to secure him the keys to Downing Street.

With the Liberal Democrats the only party that is truly pushing to keep the UK within the EU, and no real chance of that party to win a majority in the House, the voter choices range mostly from a ‘soft’ Brexit and a ‘hard’ Brexit. This decision is nearly as important as the choice between a Brexit or no Brexit as it will affect many things important to many people throughout the UK and Europe, such as freedom of movement.
With that said this election is not just about this, as when it comes to the economy, the Labour leader has promised to nationalise key industries, scrap tuition fees and build a million new homes, while May seems set to continue the Conservatives’ austerity policies.

To me, these election seem to be about change, the role of the government in aiding the weaker parts of society, as well as cooperation with allies throughout the world. In my opinion it is a choice between a hope for a better future or accepting things the way they are.

This is the reason why I am not surprised that demographically speaking, according to polls, Corbyn has the support of nearly three-quarters of people between the ages of 18 and 24. This is the age group most likely to be positively affected by his social-democratic platform, with the most to gain and much to hope for.

While this is a worthy feat, it should be noticed that this demographic has the lowest turnout rates, which means that his ability to contest May’s position lay in his ability to convince voters to go out and vote. Three quarters of people between the ages of 18 and 24 also voted against the Brexit, but only about 40% of eligible voters of that age group had actually bothered to go out and vote.

Today marks yet another option to make a change and vote for a better tomorrow. A vote of hope and the desire to live a better life, rather than to give up, or vote out of hate.
Go out and vote, make a difference and be heard.

*This story was written on June 8th 2017

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