According to official national statistics, there were over half a million people aged 90 and over living in the United Kingdom in 2014. It is remarkable that the advances of healthcare has enabled us to live longer, but do we sacrifice the younger generation’s ability to influence policies and decisions due to an ageing population? Ipsos Mori (research company who provides estimates for exit polls on elections), noted that only 43% of those aged 18-24 voted in the 2015 general election, in contrast to those aged 65+ who had a 78% turnout. It’s reasonable to suggest that young adults might feel disenfranchised in political life, due to unrepresentative institutions of government and the miseducation of politics, which can contribute to lower voter turnout.
The majority of MPs do not reflect the composition of society, so young people aren’t represented sufficiently. Politicians are often half a century old, white males that studied at Oxbridge. The Guardian recorded that 29% of MPs are female, and non- white MPs make up just 6% of parliament. Inner city minority youths can’t be expected to relate to those who may not have shared the same experience as them. Yet, there is a flawed system in place where the middle class are able to rise politically, to represent a different demographic of people they are unfamiliar with. Young adults would benefit if there were more of a diverse and younger selection of politicians. This in turn would encourage the future generation to not only participate in political life by voting, but also become members of Parliament or a part of government or law enforcement. A culture among youths that include discrediting law enforcement and the government would be diminished, as there would be influencers who would make the youth a priority.
I only really became interested in politics because, I was studying it for my A levels. Not because I wanted to be a part of change, or because I wanted to find out whether David Cameron actually had relations with a pig. Even when I did vote in the 2015 general elections, I was not perfectly informed about politics and the system of voting. Although my reasons for studying politics are not interesting nor inspiring, I have fallen in love with it ever since. As many people in the UK might agree, I believe that young people would benefit from being informed about basic political principles in secondary school. Learning politics at such an early age is an invaluable opportunity, for students to politically align themselves to a party or particular issues. Such a change would evoke students to become more engaged in politics and social issues and make more educated choices when voting for the next government, mayor and so on. The youth should have greater access to platforms such as the BBC and Sky News to voice their opinions about issues that affect us and influence policy, so young adults do not feel failed by a system that was created to ensure equality and fairness.