As a young person I’m concerned. There. I said it. This election is quite possibly one of the most important as it comes off the back of a chaotic two years where we have seen the importance of good leaders and ministers, whether that’s our own or across the world.
And yet I’m not convinced that people are bothered about the election. The people that turned up to Middle’s candidate meeting on Wednesday were mostly older people, who were already planning on voting.
Which is really annoying, because a couple of the candidates seemed really keen to get young people engaged and interested in politics. But there were few young people there to listen to them. To be fair to the candidates, they covered topics that I and a lot of my friends are worried about like affordable housing and climate change.
Each candidate for Middle brings their own unique perspective on these topics. Some are optimistic about the future and what they are willing to do to help the island become greener, and others are not.
But after speaking to some people after the meeting, it’s clear that those who did turn up know exactly who they’re voting for come September 23.
Jasmine Cowin, 23 came to the meeting with her mum, Heidi Jones, 46 and they both believe that coming to these meetings and questioning the candidates is very important.
Jasmine said: ‘I thought it was really good, I came here thinking that I knew who I was going to vote for and I can say that that has definitely changed. I enjoyed hearing how each of them were passionate about their chosen topics, some more than others. And it was just super interesting, and I was impressed by the amount of young people that were here as well.’
Heidi said: ‘This is my first time voting and I’m 46. I’m really glad I came to this meeting, and I would encourage everyone to come and listen to their prospective MHKs. Because then we can have a voice.’
Pauline Adams, 77, felt that the turn out yesterday evening was disappointing and she expected more people to show up, but it has solidified who she wants to vote for on election night.
She said: ‘We are disappointed at the turn out of people, I mean I’ve lived in the constituency for many years and it’s normally packed. However, it was very interesting. I think they all acquitted themselves very well. Some better than others but that’s how it goes, isn’t it. But I think the questions were sensible and I think probably everybody will have gone away tonight with a good idea of who they’re going to vote for. My opinion has not changed, and I’m certain of who I’m going to vote for. I’m going to vote and I think everyone should vote. We have to use it, I think it’s part of your public duty to vote, you can’t complain if you haven’t voted.’
Eliza Cox, 43, wants young people to change the makeup of the island’s politics and move the old men that make up the majority of our government and make way for diversity.
She said: ‘I already know who, the kind of people I want to vote for. I already had my opinion before tonight and it just confirmed it. I love the fact that we were able to ask questions, that they had to answer back. We got to see really what the candidates actually really believed in and thought, things like that and I felt it was very eye opening.
‘I adore politics and I always have and I try and teach my children about it because the thing is if young people don’t engage with politics it’s going to end up being the same stuffy old men, doing the same thing over and over again. The only way we are going to get change, is if young people get involved in politics, join in with politics and vote in the right people to bring through that change to the establishment and everything that goes with it. And without the young people and without free thinking people we’re never going to change the establishment which is the reason why they need to vote.’