On Wednesday I interviewed my fourth specimen Tremough Politics Society Vice President Mr. Noah Law. What a title.
And what a smart cookie.
Noah’s studying BA History and is just 17 years old (I’m only 23 yet that seems so young to me). But seriously, for someone who’s only 17 he was incredibly articulate and made a lot of valid points and gave great answers.
I really wanted to get the perspective of a young person – but someone outside of the sterotyped langorous teenager. I’m as guilty as anyone for assuming that all teenagers are lazy because I used to fit into that bracket, but Noah is one of the people that sit outside of the circle of stereotype. He proves that for as many people that don’t give a toss about politics and couldn’t care less who the primeminister is, there are as many (or at least a significant number) who are actually very engaged in the world around them and striving to be politically active.
After I spoke with lecturer John More I established that perhaps the key to getting more people to vote – not just young people – is for them to become more aware of what’s going on in the country and how decisions that are made everyday affect their lifestyles and welfare. To break it down, people need to know stuff in order for them to give a shit.
Noah is a smart and informed individual (who is now my facebook friend) so I asked him – do you watch the news and do you think if more people did this or read newspapers this would translate to the ballet box? This is what he had to say:
I also asked what he thought about e-voting. So far everyone I had spoken to had been very positive about introducing an electronic voting system and said that if it attracts more young people then it could only be a good thing. Obviously there are measures that would have to be taken to ensure it’s safe and accurate – however would e-voting make a difference in boosting young voters? Again, Noah made some relevant points:
‘The computer which they use regularly’ … I wondered whether the most obvious answer in engaging young people could be via multimedia platforms. Young people may not watch the news but they use their computers every day.
However John More had also, at my request, suggested that one way politicians could engage more with young people is by having youth representatives. People that can relate to the younger generation – because let’s face it, politicians are nearly all public school educated and Cameron is, as More put it, a toff.
So many possibilities, how to condense it down into 6 minutes? Time to revert back to my orginial question; if a lack of engagement is the problem, how do we engage young people?
It’s at this point – having done my vox pops and my 4 interviews that I realise I probably could have done a 6 minute package solely on e-voting …. and that that would have made it much more condensed *sigh* too late now.