Dan Wilshire, Parliamentary Candidate for South Holland and the Deepings, explains why voting is important

4 March 2015

Dan WilshireThis election is exciting for me, I am standing as a parliamentary candidate! As an 18-year-old student, I am one of a growing number of teenagers who are joining political parties and trying to make a difference. Increasingly, the importance of the young vote is being recognised. We are the future and we do have the power to change the present.
I have been an active member of the Green Party since I was 13. I took part in political debates at Spalding Grammar School and spoke in support of the Grange Farm wind turbines at a public meeting. I am now the Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for South Holland and the Deepings in the May 7 Election, and will be under fire in the Spalding Guardian Election 2015 hustings on April 23. Just the thought of it is really scary but we have to stand up for what we believe in.
I care passionately about the environment and the future of our planet. I shall be paying off tuition fees for much of my adult life (I already work 18 hours a week as a baker to help with living costs). When I finish my degree I shall be jostling in the queue for a decent job, wherever that may have to be, and struggling to find an affordable home. Like a lot of graduates I may have to take on unpaid internships to build up a CV.
Many young people say they won’t use their vote as they don’t know who to vote for. If you are unsure, take a look at http://www.votingcounts.org.uk, even try their policies quiz! In the 2010 Election non-voters outnumbered the support for any individual political party. Whatever your views – please put your cross on that election ballot paper on 7 May.
1. The more young people who vote, the more likely politicians are to make policies that benefit us
2. Voting gives us the power to choose how the UK is run
3. Our vote helps decide who is elected – choose politicians you feel you can trust to fight our corner, locally and nationally
4. Help fight for better education in schools with real choices
5. Our vote could help put more MPs in Parliament who are younger and in tune with our views
In the 2010 General Election 76% of people aged 65+ actually voted, against 44% of 18-24 year olds. No wonder our politicians are nervous about changes to pensioner benefits, yet seem to ignore the pressing needs of young people.
Use your vote – let’s get that sort of percentage from younger people – then we really will have a voice!
Dan Wilshire
Twitter @ecowilshire
Facebook Dan.Wilshire.1
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