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first_imgThis year’s local elections brought excellent results for the Liberal Democrats. With 30% of the vote, this was our strongest ever performance a nationwide election, helping take control of a further eleven councils, from both Labour and the Conservatives. Good news for the Lib Dems? Certainly! Less good news, however, is the very low proportion of people who chose to go the polling station to exercise their democratic right to cast a ballot. The consensus among the psephologists seems to be that two thirds of people who could have voted stayed at home. In some parts the country, only one in ten those entitled to vote actually did so. This should be of concern to those who care about participatory democracy – whether you’re Lib Dem, Labour, Tory or anything else. Among those least likely to have gone out and voted were – you guessed it – the young. Politicians across the spectrum have been throwing up their hands in recent years and wondering why. People of student age today are generally better educated, better informed and more well travelled than those of previous generations. While students in the 1960s were famed for their radicalism, students of today are labelled as apathetic. Some of this, of course, is crude stereotyping. There were many people in the 1960s who never protested against the Vietnam War – or indeed against anything at all. Similarly, the run up to the Iraq War showed that many of today’s young people care passionately about such issues. At the same time, it is all too easy to lump everyone together with the catch all phrase “young people” as if everyone aged 16 to 25 had homogenous thoughts and actions. This is clearly absurd. Nevertheless, it is true that those under 25 are voting less often today than ever before. Part of the problem undoubtedly lies with those of us who are elected to public office – whether that’s in the House of Commons, the local council or something else. Politics is still seen largely as the preserve of white, middle class, middle aged men. Our political institutions simply do not reflect the society in which we now live – a society which is more cosmopolitan and more ethnically and culturally diverse than at any time in our history: and for this the Liberal Democrats must take our share of the blame. Among our 53 MPs, only 5 are women and none are from an ethnic minority community. I am working hard to change this, and under no illusions that we must do better. Politicians have also been too lazy in actually reaching out to young people to bring them into the electoral process; having taken the rather easier option of writing them off as apathetic. In this regard hope that the Liberal Democrats can take more credit. Lib Dem Youth and Students are, I know, very active in trying to engage young people with politics – and not just with Lib Dem politics. Every year LDYS organise ‘Westminster Day’ when they invite thousands of Sixth Formers from across the country to meet and question politicians from all parties as well as members of media. The Liberal Democrats would also lower the voting age 16. Our political opponents have argued that 16 is too young to able to cast an informed vote. I disagree. If the State feels that 16 is appropriate age for you to join armed forces, get married and have children, then why shouldn’t you allowed to vote? If, at 16, you pay taxes then why on earth should you not have the right to elect Government that will spend those taxes? Someone once said that the public get the politicians they deserve. I’m not sure whether I’m the best person to argue the truth of this. But it is true to say that politics two-way street. We politicians must do more – much more – to try engage with voters. But the answer to having politicians the people don’t like, or a political system people find remote, should not be refuse to participate. Casting your vote is a much more powerful tool. The more you do, the more politicians will have to listen.ARCHIVE: 2nd Week TT 2003last_img read more

first_imgMANILA, Philippines—It took 42 days before Magnolia could exact revenge at San Miguel for its heartbreaking Game 7 loss in the PBA Philippine Cup finals.ADVERTISEMENT Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess World dragon boat champs out to make waves in SEA Games LATEST STORIES The Hotshots were the champions of the 2018 Governors’ Cup and they could’ve immediately added a title to their collection if not for the Beermen’s unrelenting desire for a fifth straight Philippine Cup.Magnolia even held a 3-2 series lead in the finals against the Beermen but that buffer was thrown to the wayside in favor of San Miguel’s 26th title.“This game was so important for us because our motivation was that loss in Game 7,” said point guard Mark Barroca who had 17 points, nine assists, and two steals against the Beermen.“We still feel that Game 7 loss and earlier we told ourselves that how we wished that this could’ve been the result of Game 7,” added Barroca in Filipino.Barroca’s backcourt partner Jio Jalalon shared the same sentiments.ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles PH beach spikers also eye spots to Continental Cup Jalalon was everywhere for the Hotshots finishing with a near triple-double of 16 points, seven rebounds, and 10 assists for the Hotshots.“That Game 7 loss really stings and after that there were maybe two days that I really couldn’t move on,” said Jalalon in Filipino. “And after that coach Chito talked to us and we slowly moved forward.”“It’s an amazing feeling because we beat San Miguel, and everyone looks up to that team and now we beat those guys,” added Jalalon.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting And boy did the Hotshots relish it.Magnolia eviscerated San Miguel, 118-82, in the PBA Commissioner’s Cup—the two teams’ first meeting since that fateful 72-71 Beermen victory on May 15—Wednesday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesThe 36-point winning margin was the biggest for the Hotshots this conference and it must’ve been all that pent-up emotion that the team unleashed after more than a month of wallowing in their own disappointment.“Our motivation really was that Game 7 loss and my challenge to my players is to at least get back at San Miguel even if it’s in the eliminations,” said Victolero in Filipino. “My players really gave me their extra effort, extra energy, and I really can’t say much about that.”center_img POC chief on SEA Games hosting glitches: ‘It’s normal’ Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games PLAY LIST 00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Fuel Masters looking for point guard prospects with LA Revilla out due to injury Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ Urgent reply from Philippine ‍football chief Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

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