So elections are coming on us again in 6 weeks, but with Northern Ireland having the lowest turnout of 18-35s at around 33% it seems our generation have given up on politics. To be honest its not hard to see why: politicians more interested in point scoring than doing anything, arguing over minutiae while Peter Hain forces through all sorts of stuff our politicians wouldn’t allow if they were in power. The death of David Ervine was a further blow depriving us of someone who despite his past was trying to look forward and show some leadership.
We look around waiting for leadership and there doesn’t seem to be any on show that’s too appealing. 80 year old Big Ian with Martin as his deputy doesn’t exactly promise solid long term leadership in many peoples eyes. We need a restoration of hope, we need people of vision to step up to the mark and paint a picture of the future as opposed to the past that makes us say ‘yes’. But maybe we also need to step up to the mark and make our voices count. If that other 60 odd percent of the 18-35’s out there voted – it can and will make a difference. In fact if all the middle of the road voters who keep complaining about the extremism of politics voiced their opinion at the ballot box and not just over dinner – who knows what the political landscape could be? A Green Party First Minister? A friend recently commented that election day is the day when the people are sovereign – not the government. Its the day when we can make our voice count positively and be a part of creating a hopeful future for this beautiful yet scarred corner of Ireland. (And if when they are elected you badger them with a few letters you’ll be surprised just what they will do!)
What is your vision of the future for Northern Ireland? What are the big issues for you?