0 – 19: Are you interested in the election?

There are widespread concerns that we could be heading for a
record low turnout in this election. Young people are particularly
thought to be turned off by the tone of political debate and by a
sense of estrangement from parliamentary processes. But is this
just a clichŽ? Could it be that young people are no more or
less interested in the poll than older people?


I’m not interested in the elections becaues Labour is bound to
get in again.  I don’t trust Tony Blair because of the lies he told
about Iraq, so I think it’s unfair that Labour will win, but none
of the other parties are any better than them.  The Conversatives
and Liberal Democrats contradict and fight each other for the fun
of it.

And why did the government waste so much time of the fox hunting
issue, when there are more important needs the nation has?  I’m
really concerned about safety, about being able to walk down the
street without being harassed.  The government should be tackling
hooliganism, not minority things like hunting.


I would vote Conservative if I was 18. I’m fed up with Blair –
he does whatever George Bush wants. It’s not that I particularly
like Michael Howard; it’s just that I think he has a better chance
of beating Labour than the Liberal Democrats do, because they will
never win. I don’t watch the news or read a paper, so I don’t know
what the main parties’ policies are.


I didn’t  know there was going to be an election, but it’s
irrelevant to me anyway because I’m not interested. Politicians
don’t do enough to get their views over to people my age, because
they don’t care about us. Young people like me get a bad press. We
are seen as violent and as drinkers; no one ever talks about the
positive things teenagers do. Maybe politics should be a compulsory
subject in school.


I’m really interested in the election. In two years, I will be
able to vote, so what’s going on now will affect my future – it’s
really important. I know about politics because I listen to Radio 4
and watch party political broadcasts. That makes me sort of unusual
among people of my age!   What I hate about politicians is the
point-scoring they go in for, always knocking each other. We do
have an imperfect system but you have a duty to vote.


The problem with teenagers is that we’re self-absorbed and
self-conscious. We live inside our heads, our minds on
relationships all the time, so politics doesn’t interest us. The
only thing I am worried about is that politicians want to cut back
on immigration. That makes those of us who aren’t native English
feel uncomfortable. I also get angry about wars that we get
involved in.

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