Did anyone tell you there’s an election coming up? Quite soon, in fact. This Thursday! Tell yer pals!
qmunicate spoke to eight student voters from across the political spectrum. Each voter was sent the same set of questions – introducing themselves, explaining what matters to them, and why they think you should vote the same way – in the week running up to the General Election.
Ever wondered what an undecided voter thinks when making their decision? Did you assume that all Yes voters automatically became SNP voters? Think you’ve never met a Scottish Tory?
Disclaimer: the views expressed in these interviews represent the personal views of each individual voter, and do not necessarily represent the views held by [qmunicate magazine] or the Queen Margaret Union. These interviews seek to understand the breadth of political affiliation, rather than endorse any one party or set of ideas.
The fourth person we interviewed is also Emma and she’s planning on voting Labour, however she supports the Green Party.
qmunicate: Tell us a bit about yourself!
My name’s Emma, I’m 22 and a Senior Honours English Literature student. I’m from Scotland, I fall into the LGBTQ+ bracket and I’m a woman – all things which terrify the Conservatives (unless yer Ruth Davidson!). The first time I voted – I think – was the Scottish independence referendum. However, I remember wanting to vote during the referendum for the alternative voting system. My history teacher was quite passionate about it and after learning from him how outdated the First Past the Post system actually is, I was compelled to do my own research. I’ve been interested in the political system since then.
qmunicate: What are the issues that matter the most to you this General Election?
The wealth gap is increasing, food bank numbers are rising, disabled people are losing their allowances and it is only going to get worse once we go through this whole ‘Brexit’ disaster. Climate change is a big one, it really matters, and at the moment no party has discussed it in thorough detail other than the Greens. The Conservative cuts have been so damaging that it is crucial that we get them out of government and work towards a higher standard of living for everyone, and then we can also tackle the crucial issue of climate change. For me, we need a government that represents, speaks for, and creates policies which reflect the wellbeing of everyone in society, not just wealthy white men.
qmunicate: And what issues do you think matter most to your demographic as a whole?
I think a lot of young people feel out of touch with the government – the Brexit result is a good example of that. A lot are scared of what the future holds for them, especially as issues such as travelling and studying abroad have not been really addressed by the current government.
I would agree that there is definitely a gap between older generations and my own. I am constantly told be relatives how my choice to support the Greens is wrong, or I have relatives who are not interested in politics at all. I would love to see tuition fees scrapped, better funding for schools and education (I remember at school they spent £3000 on new Quizdom sets whilst the history department could not afford photocopying), and better mental health provision.
qmunicate: Did you choose to vote tactically this election?
I am a Green supporter, having voted Green in previous elections, however, this election I feel it’s between the Conservatives and Labour. Labour have heavily relied on support from Scottish constituencies over the years so every vote for Labour does count. At the moment, in my constituency, Labour is running second place behind the SNP so every vote is important. It was a difficult choice for me to make and I’m still not sure if it was the right one, but I’ve sent my postal vote off so it’s too late now.
qmunicate: Would you describe yourself as ‘politically active’? Was there a catalyst for your political involvement?
I would say I have become more passionate and active since joining the Amnesty society over the past two years. This year especially my eyes were opened to issues regarding Glasgow and beyond. Learning about how Theresa May aims to get rid of the Human Rights Act and increase surveillance was really shocking. It’s unbelievable how the government doesn’t stand up to atrocities ongoing in Yemen, Chechnya, and Eritrea, too. It’s vital that everyone gets involved in some way, whether that’s sharing online petitions, donating, or attending marches.
qmunicate: Has your vote changed over previous elections? If so, what prompted you to change?
I would definitely say that I come from a strong Labour supporting family. My vote has changed in the sense that I am still for Scottish independence, however it is not what is needed right now. I still support the Greens but have decided to vote for Labour in this election.
qmunicate: Regardless of the party forming the next Government, what do you want to see delivered over these next five years?
A fairer society for everyone, as cheesy as that sounds. The ideology of austerity is ridiculous. I saw an example somewhere of someone saying that being in government is not like buying a house, you don’t just pay off your debt and that’s it, the debts have cleared forever. Britain is still one of the richest countries in the world yet an increasing number are attending foodbanks. It is devastating to say the least.
qmunicate: Finally: you have thirty seconds to pitch to someone to vote for your party. What do you say to convince them?
Vote for the Green Party: a party that cares about climate change, social welfare, and mental health. Read their manifesto, it’s not just vegans and hippies! However, if you are undecided, a vote for Corbyn’s Labour is a vote against the Tories too. This website [https://www.tactical2017.com] helps you find out how to vote tactically. Read up on the party manifestos and make an informed decision!