Mention the word ‘politics’ to many people and they’ll start to yawn. It doesn’t appear to be the most interesting topic, does it? Plus there is a lot of cynicism regarding politicians and the true extent of their commitment to public service. However, while most of us wouldn’t want to become politically active ourself, it’s still worth taking an interest in the subject. Here are some reasons why.
1. Hard-Won Democracy
I know it sounds a cliché, but women really did have to fight for the vote. In many countries, women are second-class citizens, and even men may be bullied into voting for a certain party or intimidated into not voting at all. So however flawed our own systems may be, we should be appreciative of our right to vote.
We ought to be aware of the issues that concern us and others. Why? Because of many reasons, one of which is that forewarned is forearmed. In the day of social networking and fast communications, it is easy to mount a rapid campaign in favour of or against political decisions, or promoting a cause.
3. Don’t Vote? Don’t Complain!
Are you one of those people who grumbles about political decisions, yet never bothers to vote? I know quite a few of them! Well, how can you complain about the government if you didn’t even vote against them? It doesn’t take much time and happens only rarely, so make your vote count.
4. Politics Concerns Us All
Not one of us lives our lives untouched by politics. Whether single or married, with or without children, whatever our age, it is a subject that affects us all. Both on a local and national level, decisions are made that will have consequences for us, so it is wise to have at least a working knowledge of political issues and current affairs.
5. Make a Difference
So often we hear about a decision that will affect us, like closing a school or a hospital, and feel angry, while assuming that we can do nothing about it. Yet thanks to people power, many such decisions have been reversed. Success is not guaranteed, but not even trying will definitely lead to failure!
6. Local Issues
If there is a local issue that you feel strongly about, say for example more facilities for young people or keeping the local library open, then get involved. The more people who register their feelings and work towards an issue, the better. Don’t wait for other people to do the work for you, or shrug your shoulders and assume that nothing can be done.
7. In Our Name
These people are acting in our name, so we ought to know what they’re up to. Read the newspapers, watch the news and search the internet. Know what is going on, monitor the results of their decisions, and stay informed.
At a national and international level, politics can be incredibly fast-moving. Just look at current and recent events in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. As they say, a week is a long time in politics! So make a point of checking the news daily, and then you will be as up-to-date as possible.
You may think politics don’t concern you, especially those of another country, but that’s not true. Look at how events affect oil prices. So I would urge everyone to at least keep themselves informed, even if uninterested in active involvement. What do you think?
Top Photo Credit: Jenn and Tony Bot