How I decide who to vote for in an election

Conor talks about the issues that are important to him and some resources to help first time voters

Written by Conor Kelly


Share why you’re voting on twitter and instagram with the hashtag #whyimvoting

The most important political issues to me are every political issue that affects working class communities. It is important to me because as someone who comes from a working-class background, I know how tough it can be and how you can feel the government is doing nothing to support you. I think before voting, it’s important for people to understand how social justice issues have had more of an impact on people who come from a low-income family or live in an area that has really suffered from our recession policies. Funding cuts by the government for healthcare, education and community work have been devastating for some communities, and I think it’s important that we use our vote to tell politicians that we want a change.

Deciding who to vote for

Personally, I’ve always found it hard to vote for any political parties because I don’t trust political parties no matter how left wing they are. I don’t think that political parties have my best interest at heart. As a working-class student, party politics controls future decisions that greatly impact me, such as whether to bring in a new taxes on gas or electricity. I feel that many decisions that are made often hurt the most disadvantaged in our society as the people making the decisions do not fully understand that we need system changes that do not hurt people.

I am more inclined to vote for independents who identify as left wing/progressive because I feel that they’re less likely to have a hidden motive, but this depends on the person. That’s why I think it’s so important to do plenty of research before casting my vote, and for me, I focus my research on independent candidates who I can relate to.

If you’re not sure exactly who to vote for its great to look at candidates who are vocal about social issues that you also care about, that they’re easy to reach out to and they actively participate in trying to make your community a better place.

As a young person I feel it’s important to vote and to have your say. I feel some politicians don’t care about listening to young generations, and don’t take my concerns for my community or country seriously. I think voting is the only real way to make our government listen to younger generation who care about the future. Sure we are the feckin future!

Resources for first time voters

If this is your first time voting, the best resource I found for a first-time voter was the Citizen’s Information website. They outline how to register and all you need to know to cast your first vote

I found the website to be unbiased and really helpful. You can also visit Check The Register. This will give you information about your voting rights and you can make sure your details are up-to-date and you are able to vote in the next general, local or European election.

Also, if you’re curious about who your current TDs are there, you can visit to find your local representatives.

Having your voice heard

As well as doing your research online, I think the best way to research a candidate is to ask around your family and friends who are eligible to vote. They may have more information on the candidates or have first hand experience with them, but I think it’s important to remember to vote for what and who you think is right. I think it’s best to avoid voting for someone or something just because your family or friends want you to. No matter your age, the most vital tools you have are your own opinions, values and beliefs.

It can be hard to decide who to cast your vote for while you’re in the voting booth but all I can say is that your vote counts. It can mean the difference of your voice being heard or not being heard in government.

When you vote, vote with your conscience, vote for someone you believe in, vote for change, vote for future generations!

Share why you’re voting on twitter and instagram with the hashtag #whyimvoting

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