The Book Post #12: Understanding the Election with None of The Above

None of The Above, Rick Edwards

If you have watched the news, read the paper, scrolled
through Facebook or basically opened your eyes at all in the past few weeks you
would have found it hard to avoid the election fever that’s taking over the nation.
Now I know the basics of politics, I know who leads each party and have a rough
idea of what they all stand for but do I know enough to make a clear and
informed decision about who I want to run the country I live in? No, probably not
and in the past few weeks I’ve realised that I kind of want to change that! 

I’ve
always been brought up with the view that you should vote. No if’s or but’s you
should use the right you’ve been given to have a say about what happens in our
government but amazingly it seems that over half of people my age (18-25) don’t
feel the same as they didn’t vote in the 2010 election. That’s crazy, right?!
56% of people my age chose not to have a say in who makes the decisions about
their own country.

But I don’t necessarily think that’s because 56% of us don’t
care – the problem is there are a lot of people saying a hell of a lot of stuff
and it’s hard to know where to start if you aren’t clued up on what they are
talking about. I know there’s a deficit, a housing crisis and everyone wants to
have their two cents on immigration, but I have no idea what that all really
means and how it will affect me and I think this is one of the main reasons why
people my age just don’t feel engaged in politics.

Luckily for me it seems that TV presenter Rick Edwards feels
the same as he has recently released None of The Above, a beginners guide to politics
which aims to educate young people on why they should vote whilst also giving
them the basics they need to help them make their own choices. I have to admit
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Rick Edwards, he’s intelligent, quick
witted and has a no nonsense, sarcasm tinted view of the world that I can’t
help but love. If you ask me, he is the perfect person to help people who might
not know what things like “austerity” mean or who don’t want to scroll through
100 page manifestos to work out which party their heart lies with. 

For me, None of The Above was a short and snappy,
informative introduction to this election that was frankly just on my wavelength. Anyone who has an interest in politics will probably find it too basic, but for those who just feel a bit lost by all the pledges and promises
it’s a great way to learn the basics and walk in to the ballot box on May 7th
armed with the facts you need to make a vote that will be right for you.

Today, April 20th, is the last day that you can
register to vote for this election, so if you haven’t already then click here
and do it – it literally takes two minutes! Now you have just under three weeks
to read around and decide which of the parties you want to put your trust in to
lead the country for the next 5 years and if you’re feeling a bit bloody
overwhelmed by that then grab a cup of tea, a couple of chocolate digestives and a copy of None of The Above – it’s a great place to start.  

Charlotte x

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