It can be hard to sift through all of the slogans and campaign promises that are thrown at you during election time so I thought I would give you some tips on how to decide for yourself.
1. Write down/think about what issues are most important to you.
Do this before looking at any party information, this is important. It shows you where you want change, where you want public spending directed and will help you a lot in the next steps. Some examples – education, health services, environment, immigration etc. You can then get even more specific, think about the things that have affected you recently, even if it’s just the pothole that you have to avoid everyday.
2. Look at each party’s manifesto.
Forget about who’s right wing and who’s left wing. This isn’t really important. What is important is the issues that they will fight on your behalf. So go to each party’s website and find the manifesto, even if it is a bit outdated, it will give you an idea of what each party’s core values are and if they reflect your own. It’s also important to see if you disagree strongly with any of their views. A simplistic example: they might fix that pothole but also support the death penalty, which you do not agree with.
3. Watch and read a lot of different news sources.
Each news station will have it’s own agenda, even the ‘unbiased’ ones, so unfortunately we have to try and decipher the real truths for ourselves. The best way I’ve found to do this is to download a lot of different news apps e.g. BBC News, The Guardian, The Independent, Al Jazeera, Buzzfeed and even the Daily Mail. Set these to give you alerts on breaking/political news and just look at the different language used when these alerts pop up at the same time. Who’s using negative language, who’s using positive, think about why one station is reporting something but all the others have ignored it. Do your own investigating and come to your own conclusions.
4. Follow all of the parties on social media.
Follow the MP’s, leaders, get as wide range as you can and you will find that you eventually start to relate with the views of one more than the others.
5. Watch Prime Minister’s Questions occasionally.
As painful as it is to hear them all laughing and jeering whilst discussing our fate, this is one of the only times you get to see our MPs debating issues live. It happens every Wednesday and is easy to find a live stream online. It is very enlightening to watch their reactions to different topics and has definitely changed my mind on a lot of things.
Please do vote on 8th June no matter who for, the only real way to make a change is by voting for one.
In the interest of full disclosure, my vote is going to Labour on the 8th June. I’m not saying this to persuade you, I don’t care who you vote for as long as that vote has been made after an informed decision 🙂