It’s all fading into the back of people’s minds now isn’t it? The general election that took place last month upset a lot, disinterested even more and pleased a few but something that everyone had in common was that they couldn’t just ignore it. From Facebook status’ to news reels, it was everywhere.
In the aftermath, I couldn’t help but think to myself, what has this general election taught our children and the youth of today? What does it show them about life, politics and democracy?
Firstly, it taught them that democracy isn’t always fair – there were thousands of people who didn’t get to vote because of errors in the system, however it should teach them that it is better to have democracy than otherwise – after all, these people got the opportunity to make public outcry over the fact that they didn’t get to exercise their rights – rights that we need to teach our children don’t exist in many countries. The general election highlighted the flaws in our electoral system, with conservatives winning with 30-odd percent of the vote (and, before you shout me down, I was in the 30 percent, it isn’t just a labourite rumour). I would hope that maybe our system will be overhauled by the time the kids come to vote, changed for the better, but who knows.
On a very sinister note, the general election didn’t reaffirm to my children that being female is seen as being equal in this country, in fact it did quite the opposite. It showed them that Natalie Bennet was mocked for her unattractive outfits, not her party’s policies like UKIP were. It showed them that Leanne Wood was portrayed as ditzy (if portrayed at all..) while Nicola Sturgeon came across as the ideal feminist so was portrayed by The Sun on a wrecking ball in a skimpy tartan outfit. Yeah, screaming equality there. I mean ,come on! What are you teaching Britain’s children? If we can’t have a general election, where the leaders of several parties are women and valued as individuals that have managed to achieve the top flight in their chosen party, then what is the point? What made the achievements of these women so worthy of disdain and the brunt of various media jokes in comparison to their male counterparts who, yes received personal slurs and inappropriate media comments, but were also covered in large for their political worth.
Once it was all said and done, there were resignations. Ahh the resignations. Dearest political leaders of Britain, you taught our kiddos that if you don’t win, quit. I applaud you. We spend our days telling our children ‘if you don’t succeed, try and try again’ and in one fell swoop we watched the supposed leaders of our country exit stage left because they didn’t get what they wanted, they didn’t win or didn’t achieve their goals.
In full, I felt that this general election taught our children a lot of bad things, but hopefully it taught them one really important thing. Hopefully it taught them that they will need to look long and hard at themselves and the people they elect if they are going to pave the way for a better, strong political system and future in our country.