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Why young people aren’t interested in politics - and why this needs to change

PUBLISHED: 14:10 18 March 2018 | UPDATED: 15:51 18 March 2018

Union flag flutters next to the EU flag. Photo: Toby Melville/PA Wire

Union flag flutters next to the EU flag. Photo: Toby Melville/PA Wire

Irrelevance to teenage life. Lack of teaching in schools. No policies for young people.

These are just a few of the excuses from today’s generation of teenagers as to why politics doesn’t affect them, and why they do not show an interest in the topic. This needs to change.

For many teenagers, politics may seem a confusing, complex and sometimes insignificant topic to discuss, especially considering the privilege of voting is only granted past the age of eighteen. Rarely is the issue discussed in schools, with the subject only becoming available to study from A-Level onwards. By this point, some students are reaching the legal voting age, yet are only just beginning to explore ideologies, party policies and the mechanics of government.

However, when you begin to think closely about government policies, more affect the lives of children and teenagers than you first think. Tuition fees, school curriculum, public transport are just a few of many things, determined by the government, affecting the daily lives of young people.

Despite not being able to directly vote on such issues, young people can still get involved in politics through schemes such as Youth Parliament and the British Youth Council or simply by joining debates on social media (which is turning out to play a key role in capturing younger voters.)

Being able to understand current affairs is key to upholding democracy in the UK, ensuring generations to come continue to use their vote wisely. After all, one day someone who is currently studying will take on the role of the next Prime Minister! But why hear the facts, opinions and discussions from parents or teachers, when you could hear them from peers?

In an attempt to raise young people’s awareness of politics, and spark debate and discussion. Four keen politics students have launched a new website, The Speaker, with aims of making politics simple and accessible to everyone. Providing analysis and opinion stories from across the globe, The Speaker hopes to capture the interest of future politicians.

With more and more being set up to captivate a younger audience into politics, hopefully it won’t be long until it becomes a widely discussed topic amongst teens.

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