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Celebrating our 140th Anniversary

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Get Involved: Youth Got The Power!

Thursday 23rd May 2019

This is a fun and engaging game to get the group thinking about politics and the importance of young people using their voice effectively.

Start by asking the group about what comes to mind when you think about politics… You can answer in your own way but emphasise that, fundamentally, politics provides an opportunity to make decisions, and the option to share and discuss the reasons behind those decisions.

Let the group know that they are going to play a game about making these kind of decisions but there are two important rules:

Respect everyone’s right to have a different opinion from you.

Feel free to change your mind, if someone makes a point that you agree with.

TOP TIP: The game is played interactively. One side of the room represents one choice, the other represents another. It’s your decision if people can stay in the middle to indicate no strong opinion.

Start with a couple of ice breaker questions. Ask one or two on each side for their reasons:

Red is a nicer colour than blue.

McDonalds or Burger King

Would you rather be 9ft tall or 3ft small?

Would you rather be incredibly ugly and filthy rich; or the most beautiful person alive and no money at all?

Would you like to see more badges in the BB?

Ask a few of these, or all of them, depending on time available. The point is to highlight that decisions are easy, fun, silly, and every day. We always make decisions, even if we don’t realise it.

But… some decisions can be more controversial:

School uniforms should be scrapped.

BB uniform

We should abolish the monarchy

Cannabis should be legalised

Assisted suicide should not be a crime

Uni should be free at the point of use

Doctors should be able to refuse to treat people with smoking related illnesses

Police should be allowed to stop & search anyone at any time

Use some of these, or your own. After a few minutes, ask three-quarters of the group to sit down, asking the opinion of only the remaining quarter.

For discussion…

Was it fair that the last question or two was only asked to 25% of young people? Should all young people have a say?

Unfortunately, this is the reality of decision making within the UK. In the 2015 UK General Election, only 66% of 18-24 year olds were registered to vote. Of them, only 43% voted on the day. That means, only 28% of under-24s voted.

Compare this to the 78% of those over the age of 65 who vote…

Pensioners are entitled to a free bus pass; a free TV license (over 75); the winter fuel allowance; current pensions have been safeguarded and ring fenced.

In the aftermath of the previous two UK elections, it could be argued that policies more friendly to young people haven’t been included – such as in education and access to youth services.

Is this related? If you had one spare ticket to a concert: would you give it to a friend you see all the time, or someone you really know? As for politicians, is it easier to cut services for the people who voted them into government, or the people who aren’t registered and don’t vote?

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