How to get young people to vote

Rick Edwards suggests 5 key changes:

  1. Online voting
  2. Make it compulsory, with an opt-out
  3. Add a ‘none of the above’ box
  4. Use voter advice questionnaires to engage people on the policies, then point them at the party which best matches their values (see voteforpolicies)
  5. More young people in politics

I’d suggest a 6th and 7th, too

6.  Allow young people to contribute to the agenda. 

A great number of very important issues are going un-addressed. We have a focus on nation-state politics, which ignores the issues we care about most:

  • hyper-local issues: better buses / cycle lanes / recycling / schools
  • international / planetary concerns: climate change / geopolitics / globalised economy & taxes

7. Form new governance structures & open up existing ones

What if every EU citizen could share their vision of the world they want and set this as the EU’s goals?

Knowing that we have a direct say in, and responsibility for, the direction the EU takes – knowing that it is working FOR us towards OUR ambitions would change our relationship in an engaging, powerful, and meaningful way. 

It’s one thing getting issues on the agenda, it’s another thing entirely making them happen. Structures like the EU or UN might do a better job if they were not just an aggregation of nation states, but spoke directly to the citizens of member nations. 

I worry for their relevance if they are not reformed: low voter turnout is a problem because the minority rules for the majority. When this is  aggregated into an international organisation, one country’s minority turnout can have more say in the lives of another country’s majority. That’s just a weird situation to have created.

From TEDxHousesofParliament via @HeydonProwse

Ed Dowding

Technologist and entrepreneur, Ed specialises in social collaboration systems. His work has included building risk analysis services for the insurance industry, and from 2005 to 2010 he developed an SMS alert system which quickly grew into a full emergency management service for London local authorities and blue-lights.

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