Banseka Kayembe 

Creator and Editor in Chief of Naked Politics 

You’re going to hear a lot about young people and politics over the next few weeks- particularly weird words like “youthquake” (seriously people; stop trying to make “youthquake” happen. It’s not going to happen). But basically, what everyone’s getting at is as a young person, will you or won’t you be voting in the December election?

By coincidence, during the election, I’ve got the lucky opportunity of going to the Legislative Assembly in New Delhi, India, to take part in the 10th Commonwealth Youth Parliament with other young people aged 18-29. For three days we’ll be put into parties, be able to make speeches and try to pass an (imaginary) bill about an issue that will most likely be relevant to younger people. We’ll also be able to hold debates about other issues. 

But opportunities like this- to understand how politics and democracies work, or the ability to speak and be heard, are few and far between for many young people who feel simply alienated from politics altogether. 

Image: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association

I don’t need to tell you that generally young people don’t vote, or engage in traditional political activities- and it’s been getting worse over the last few decades. Our education system has done little to give us the tools to be enthusiastic about politics. According to a survey we took in August, 57% of you think young people’s interests are not represented in politics. Most of you think politicians generally aren’t the most trustworthy of people either (shocker). 

Although we may see an improvement in the turnout of young voters, none of this is going to be completely overturned in six weeks. There’s definitely a lot more long-term grafting that needs to be done, to prove to young people that they are valued and that their opinions matter- whatever they are. 

So to do my bit, I want to hear from you about what issues matter to you most. A massive 66% of people who answered Naked Politics’ survey said that we needed more younger people in politics and 46% said politicians needed to do more to reach out to young people

Image Courtesy of @isabellapearce1

Fill out our survey to tell us how to make politics mean something to you, what issues you care about the most, and how we can find more opportunities for young people to take part in politics. Just to sweeten the deal, you could win a £25 Amazon Voucher! 

If there’s any particular issues you think young people should be debating at the Commonwealth Youth Parliament this month, you can also let us know. So instead of me just gassing on about what I care about, I can do my best to represent your views and concerns as well. 

I’m hopeful things can change for the better for young people. Despite how you might feel, as a young person your opinion matters– and Naked Politics knows it. 

If you’d like to know more about the Commonwealth Youth Parliament head to their website, or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

If you’d like to know more about Naked Politics you can follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Feature Image Courtesy of @sophialiakos

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Last Update: July 17, 2020