The 1st topic I proposed was Should voting be made compulsory?
Points raised included
Would it affect the outcome? Making things compulsory goes against the grain Where it is compulsory but that the only requirement is to return the voting paper might be okay
It would be a big job to monitor so probably wouldn’t be followed through
Not voting…a generational issue?
2nd How can we encourage young people to be more involved in politics?
Points raised included
There is nothing in schools, needs to be on the education agenda
How do young people connect? Perhaps tap into the Gaming communities!
Its only in this century that everyone has the vote …. but turn out is incredibly low
Discussions need to appear relevant to their life/experience/aspirations
Stuff about devolved male (interesting but needs expanding on by someone who knows a bit about it!)
Events like today in 6th form colleges/universities would be a good idea
The second topic I proposed was “How do we spot/ avoid fake news”. Points raised included:
* we are all now aware of fake news online – bad satire repeated a fact, and facts misrepresented, ignored or denied
* the Greens do not get as much coverage as UKIP, despite gaining several council seats last week, whereas UKIP lost all but one of theirs – for example, Question Time
* the Daily Mail. ‘Nuff said.
* BBC coverage of Jeremy Corbyn Seems to portray him in a worse light (literally, in some cases) than Theresa May – I find this, and yet I’ve always held the BBC i high regard. Is it perception, or fact?
* others defended the BBC, pointing out the reporters are very well versed in what’s going on
* Linton Crosby is very effective at what he does
* we have very strong advertisings standards, but not for political ads
* that bus! (Though the remain campaign was weak)
The topic I proposed was “How do we kill the ‘voting doesn’t change anything’ mentality?”. Points raised included:
* there is a disconnect in some peoples minds between politics (what they see on the news) and their day-to-day lives – road repair, prices in shops, taxes and benefits, health care are not seen as “politics”
* we don’t teach the processes of how our country is run, in schools
* in safe seats, it really doesn’t change anything – maybe we need some form of proportional representation?
* not voting is perceived as a symptom the left – the right are better at mobilising their supporters. Why?
* non-voters are “claimed” by election winners as being part of their mandate
* no-one seemed to know of research about people who do not vote – who are they (demographically speaking), and what are their views on political issues? The research must exist – where is it? Sadly, and inevitably, in the ten minutes available, we didn’t actually come up with a solution for this perennial problem.
Is politics fit for purpose?
Short answer: No
How people rise to the top in a political organisation
No ‘apprenticeship’ any more
Politicians’ unwillingness to learn
Driven by ideology not evidence, how to change?
Short term or long term?
Short term crisis driven by long term problems
Longer term: Is this the end of the current political system?
What could replace it?
This was a relatively short conversation, other issues were swirling around. At least one person through that local things don’t make that much difference particularly in terms of seats where little campaigning happens because the electoral outcome is a given. The case was made that connecting with neighbours, getting to know each other, finding activities with common interests can help to create connected communities. These in turn may find it easier to solve problems and identify who would make good representatives and provide the support to help get them elected. It was argued that this is part of an ideal world which is rare, and counter argued that making this happen more commonly is part of what we can actually do to improve politics.
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We had conversations about:
- Should it be compulsory to vote?
- How do we kill the “voting doesn’t change anything” mentality?
- Short term or Long term?
- How much can we change politics with the things we do for each other?
- How do we engage young people more?
- Is politics fit for purpose?
We suggested but didn’t get to (yet):
- How do we stop/detect “Fake News”?
- Authenticity vs Authority
- How to talk to others to my right?