Young people are likely to be politically under represented in communities despite often being in the overall majority of residents.
Students are so busy studying for their degrees there is little time and awarenes for political activism. Many who might be active do not know what a Councillors is, neither what they do, nor how easy it is to get elected.
Why should it be that young students who, considering their sometimes majority presence, are frequently outnumbered by long term, often smaller majority, local residents? The few are better organised than the many. They are consequently better represented by nominating individual residents to become Councillors in support of their cause. They are older and more experienced and with time are ussually more eloquent and thus more persuasive in communicating their view over yours. This does not make them right and you wrong! Just better at convincing others that this is so. There is a proverb in the Holy Bible which reads, “The first to speak seems right – until a second comes along”. If there is no ‘second’ – you! then the first is right by default!
Their cause may be diametrically opposed to your interests. Many stategic battles have been won by small numbers. The time is comming for the true majority to decide their own future!
You could be the young student reading this article destined to be the next Local Councillor for your area in Canterbury.
How? You must be 18 years old and have lived locally for at least 12 months. Second year students are thus ideal, but first years readng this can prepare ahead of time. Most Counsellors represent one of the big three political parties. But you can be elected as an independant Councillor on behalf of students! The Student Party! Love it! This part time job will require say 10 hours a week of your time (you work your own hours) it will not make you rich, but you can claim reasonable expenses. When you graduate you pass on the batton to others in a local electon held every four years – or bye-election following resignation or death of a Councillor . So you do not need to stay for four years. You will then leave uni with more than a degree. As a former Councillor this will establish your confidence and set you up as a leader greatly improving your job prospects with credible work experience and CV. Talk to your Student Union about your involvement.
What will be your cause? Look at what is happening locally. If you are unhappy with what you see ,you can infuence decision making. A major topic presently is the introduction of Article 4 Directions in Canterbury restricting student numbers in communities. Additional Licensing is another which willincrease rents. As a student, both topics are likely to result in disbenefits.
By May 2015 the next local election will arrive with new topics requiring many new decisions. Will you allow others to make these for you or will you be one of those who to take charge of their own destiny?