politics

You should have to take a test before you vote

People don’t vote for a variety of reasons – because they don’t believe in what they’re voting for, because they don’t understand politics or because they can’t bothered to understand it.

I used to get angry at people like this, abusing the right that their forefathers and great-grandmothers had fought to obtain. I used to believe everyone should vote. That was until yesterday when I overheard a conversation between two people in the popular fast-food restaurant and political hub that is Subway. The conversation went like so:

‘You gonna vote to leave Europe?’

‘Yeah, too many immigrants innit. Wait, wasn’t that last week?’

‘Nah that was Eurovision, mate.’

‘Ah yeah, haha, I’m not really into politics to be honest but yeah I am gonna vote’

‘Same. Not really into all that shit. But yeah I’m going to vote.’

At which point they ordered their food, weighing up the more important dilemma of which bread to have.

I’d like to take a moment to analyse this discussion. Let’s start at the top.

 

 ‘You gonna vote to leave Europe?’

 

First off, the UK land mass isn’t about to hoist its sails and relocate to the middle of the Indian Ocean. We are geographically in Europe, the upcoming vote has no plans to change that.

 

yeah, too many immigrants innit.

 

All those European immigrants, coming over here, stealing our jobs, claiming our benefits. Yes, leaving Europe would definitely cut down on this. But if we relocated to the middle of the Indian Ocean, then surely all the Asians and Africans and Atlanteans will start coming over. Maybe we should be voting to leave Earth and not Europe, where the immigrants can’t get us. The moon perhaps?

 

‘Wait wasn’t that last week’

‘Nah, that was Eurovision’

 

Easy mistake to make – the EU Referendum and Eurovision both involve Europe and both involve voting. One is a musical talent show that spawned Abba and Celine Dion and that chick with the beard. The other is Eurovision.

 

‘Ah yeah, haha, I’m not really into politics to be honest but yeah I am gonna vote’

‘Same. Not really into all that shit. But yeah I’m going to vote.’

 

The outcome of this discussion: politics is boring and I’m not going to look into it, but I’m going to vote anyway because that’s what adults do.

polling

How many other people out there have this same outlook? How many other people will be voting to leave Europe this June, instead of voting to leave the EU? How many other people have the EU confused with Eurovision?

My Subway experience has left me genuinely concerned. For all the clued up people who won’t vote because they’re too indecisive, will there be just as many ignorant people blindly voting without knowing what they’re voting for?

My solution is simple – give people a test before they start making decisions on the future of this country. No, I’m not proposing trigonometry and other IQ based questions – I’m not about to promote some eugenics concept to weed out the less intelligent people. I’m proposing simple politics-based questions.  And when I say simple I mean extremely simple, for example, in the case of the EU Referendum:

What does the EU stand for?

  1. European Union
  2. Evil Ukuleles
  3. One Direction

What is the upcoming vote going to decide?

  1. Whether the UK should stay or leave Europe
  2. Whether the UK should stay or leave The European Union
  3. Whether the UK should stay or leave the UEFA European Championship
  4. Whether the UK should stay or leave Eurovision

Is the UK currently a member of the EU?

  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. I’m a vegan

Slightly demeaning questions? Yes, they are. But if you don’t know what the EU is you shouldn’t be allowed to vote, in the same way you shouldn’t be allowed to drive a car if you don’t know which pedal is the gas and which is the brakes. This upcoming vote will change things. If anything it will have more impact than any general election. Parties come and go introducing short-term policies – the decision whether to stay in the EU will affect us for years to come.

Need more information on the EU Referendum? Hit this link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-32810887

@AlasdairKenned1

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