THE Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, has made several attempts to acquaint young people with the political process. He has allowed a group from the ‘UK Youth Parliament’ into the Chamber, set up a weblink:www.parliament.uk/popvox, and sent out a letter and magazine - ‘Popvox’ - aimed at those able to vote for the first time.
Our young people need to start engaging with politics .We have seen in the USA how President Obama managed to captivate a whole new generation with his oratory and youthful appeal - he made voting seem ‘cool’ .
But 2010 is a year when change is within the grasp of every person eligible to vote and, as John Bercow says, your opinion matters.
One way to make sure you take part is to apply for a postal vote at least 11 days before polling day. Postal voting has had a bad name in the past but is essentially a good system, especially for students away from home, people away on holiday or business, and for the elderly and infirm who might not be able to get out to the polling station.
Another alternative is proxy voting – but you must be sure you know and trust the person who votes on your behalf.
You can apply by phone on 0121 704 6042, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Electoral Registration Officer, PO Box 18, Council House, Solihull, B91 9QS. You can also apply online via www.aboutmyvote.co.uk.
If you didn’t receive a poll card in the last two years you should check you are on the Electoral Roll – at Solihull Connexions in Solihull Library complex.