Young people don't connect with democracy(May 22, 2009)
THE latest stint of campaigning by Independent visionforwarminster.co.uk candidate Paul Macdonald has revealed how many young people have never voted before at any level of government election.
"Hey, that's cool that you are standing but how do I vote for you - the internet?" said one 20-year-old who lives in substantial Selwood Housing estate in the Warminster East division.
He could have voted before but had never been interested enough.
"You seem switched on. I dig the website. I thought you were a lot younger."
"No offence taken," quipped Paul. "You are on the register of voters so you should have received a voters card telling your where to vote like I have.
"But you do not need it," explained Paul. "Just pop along to St. John's School on June 4th and give your name and address.
"Explain it is the first time you have ever voted and the people there will explain the way you can vote."
Just a few minutes later an eighteen-year-old first time voter recognised Paul (with his clipboard) getting in his car and asked him what he was selling.
"Myself!" said Paul which provoked a thoughtful look.
"It's you. I saw your picture in the Warminster Journal. "I dig Will Smith. I checked out your website. Can you get us a McDonalds?"
"Sorry wrong clan," said Paul. "But I have had so many youngsters like you say that to me I will let them know!"
"Will Smith?" he then asked trying not to appear a bemused candidate.
"Sorry. Will is one of my favourite actors especially for 'I Robot' but it was our love-able 'wobbly J' misprinting my final words that they had asked for as part of their election coverage.
"I wanted my final sentence to say '4th June 'Independents Day'.
After a long discussion about the pros and cons of party politics and who to vote for at local elections Paul left none the wiser about the youngster's voting intention.
"I made sure that I encouraged a look at all the literature that is popping thought the letter boxes."
He is now determined to look into school education about democracy.
His time at school had seen him win a 'mock election' held at the time of the February 1974 poll.