You Need To Vote #GeneralElection

On Tuesday the 18th of April Theresa May announced she would be holding a general election on the 8th of June, which in my opinion is a terrible idea. But I’m not here today to tell you why I think this is a terrible time to hold a general election or who to vote for. But I am going to tell you how to vote and why you should.

HOW DID IT COME TO THIS

Some of you may be very confused about how this came about (I know I am), here is a condensed version of the last 2 years in UK politics. One of the key points in the Conservative manifest when they ran for election in 2015 was that they would hold a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU. Now I read somewhere they did this to get UKIP votes but I may be wrong.

In 2016 that EU referendum happened and the UK voted to leave the EU (the actual results were 51% leave 48% remain). At this point David Cameron resigned as PM because he didn’t actually want to leave the EU. And then somehow we ended up with Theresa May as prime minister? Like no one actually voted for her, all the other candidates dropped out so she got the job.

EVERYTHING’S GOING TO BE OKAY

Even though it’s really not. May called for an election at this time because she has a good chance of winning it. If the Conservatives win a majority it means they will be in power for another 5 years and it could take up to 15 for any opposition to take over. The best we could hope for just now is a coalition even though the Lib Dems aren’t much better (apparently Farron is a homophobe?), Labour, the official opposition is doing even worse.

This election also creates problems for Scotland and holding another independence referendum. Out of 59 seats the SNP currently hold 54. There is a very small chance of the SNP gaining seats, but if they loose seats the Conservatives will claim it as a victory and it could put holding a referendum into doubt.

WHAT TO DO

First of all make sure you’re registered to vote. If you’re 18 or over on the 8th of June you can vote. You can use this link and it takes around 5 minutes. For this election you need to have registered by the 22nd of May to be eligible to vote.

If you know you’re going to be out of the UK or can’t get to a polling station for some reason you can sign up for a postal vote. If you haven’t registered yet you can sign up during this process. If you’re already registered to vote at a polling station you can apply for a postal vote by filling out this form and handing it into your local electoral office. If you want a postal vote you have to apply by the 23rd of May.

NOW GO VOTE

I think this is the most important point. Actually getting registered to vote is good. But you have to then go out and vote. If you have a postal vote fill it in and send it off as soon as. If you leave it too late you send your vote back by post you can still hand your vote into your electoral registration office or polling station by 10pm on polling day.

If you have disabilities which make getting to the polling station difficult you can get in contact with your local electoral registration office which can help you get to the polling station and with any aids you may need. This includes large print ballot form and a tactile voting device, if this isn’t enough you can also request for an aide to help you at the polling station.

WHO TO VOTE FOR

The three main parties in the UK are the Conservatives, who are currently in power. The opposition, Labour run by Jeremy Corbin and the Lib Dems run by Tim Farron. You also have other parties like the Greens and SNP who can’t really do anything meaningful because they don’t have enough seats but you can still vote for them.

Because this election was only announced 2 days ago we don’t have any manifestos for these parties so you can’t decide who to vote on based on that. The best thing you can do right now is do a little research into the parties and find out which party views most align with you. You can use Who Should You Vote For when they update the website for the 2017 election.

It’s a good idea to look at the MPs who are running in your constituency. You can find out who your MP is currently using They Work For You and see how they have voted. But it’s a good idea to not vote just based on the local level because for most important issues MPs have to vote according to party policy.

YOUR VOTE MATTERS

I realise this seems silly to say but I know some people don’t vote because they don’t think their vote matters. But it does. We have a terrible electoral system in the UK which means the first party to get half of the votes wins, this means you don’t need a majority to win (CGPGrey did a good video explaining this here). No matter how unimportant you think your vote is, it won’t change anything on its own but it still matters.

If you don’t vote because you don’t think you know enough the best thing to do is educate yourself. If you don’t vote because none of the candidates represent your views you can make a protest vote by defacing the ballot in some way. This isn’t advisable but it is better to do this than not vote at all because you vote is still counted.

WHAT TO DO NOW

The best thing to do now is look at the party manifestos when those are eventually released. You need to make a decision who to vote for based on your own views. It’s a good idea to not vote based on wild promises made by politicians in the run up to an election.

Nowadays it seems common for candidates to make wild claims in order to gain voters. Think of the bus during the EU referendum that said the NHS would get an extra £350 million a week, which Nigel Farage immediately refuted after Brexit won.

This election is being held at a bad time for young people, because it is right in the middle of exams for English students. If you are young and eligible to vote in this election the best thing you can do is sign up for a postal vote and vote early.

The most important thing out of this that you need to do is vote. In 2015 only 66% of all eligible voters cast their vote. If more people voted in elections it could make a huge difference. Think of it another way, if you’re living in this country don’t you want a say in how it is run? This is your chance to have a say.

USEFUL LINKS

**Register to vote**

Apply for a postal vote

Who Should You Vote For

They Work For You

CGPGrey’s First Past The Post video

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads.

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Choir Choir Choir Sings David Bowie

Another short post today and I apologise for that. If you follow me on Instagram you would be able to see that I am currently redecorating my bedroom and want to get it as finished as possible before my new bed arrives. This means I have two days to clean and paint, and for some reason I decided to make that job even harder by doing a feature wall.

Anyway I thought I would share this youtube channel I’ve been listening to over the last few days. Choir Choir Choir is based in Canada made of singers and non-singers and they meet every week to perform large-scale public pop songs. They have uploaded a number of their songs to their YouTube channel. They did Space Oddity and The Man Who Sold The World in tribute to Bowie but they’ve also covered a number of other songs as well. God Only Knows being one of my favourite but they’ve done loads of old rock songs.

This is a great little music channel to check out if you get the chance. Anyway I’m going back to painting.

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads.

A Blogust Wrap Up

A Blogust Wrap Up | bluchickenninja.com

I’m not sure if anyone noticed but I posted every day in August. It was a bit of a nightmare getting 31 posts written but I managed it. Anyway I thought I would do a little wrap up of everything that happened over the month since there was a lot going on.

London Trip

I spent a few days in London and ended up writing a little series on the things I did while I was there (mostly Harry Potter related things). I ended up splitting my Harry Potter and the Cursed Child review into three parts because I truly believe that it’s best going into it knowing as little as possible. I also wrote a little about my MinaLima obsession which got to the point where my sister actually bought me a MinaLima print for my birthday. Have to admit, she’s a pretty great sister.

A Very Potter Holiday
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (no spoilers, story spoilers, play spoilers)
The House of MinaLima
MinaLima Illustrated Classics

Book Reviews

I’m still in the middle of a reading slump (which I just so happened to write a blog post about), I haven’t read anything in over a month now (though I did try to start a few). But I still ended up posting a few book reviews that had been sitting in my drafts. Also did anyone see that Children of Time won the Arthur C Clarke award. That book really deserved to win.

Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
On Bowie by Rob Sheffield
Europe At Midnight by Dave Hutchinson
The Girl In The Road by Monica Byrne

Stationery Nerd

I always get really into my stationery stuff around this time of year. Must have something to do with it being back to school season. I ended up buying a few things for going back to college (can we just be thankful for a moment that I don’t need to buy more art supplies), including a notebook and a new planner. I know I just did a post about my bullet journal but I think I like this planner even more than the bullet journal.

6 Pens I’m Loving Just Now
A Sticker Stack Haul
Leuchtturm 1917 Review
Seize The Day Planner Review 

College Projects

I wrote a post about every project I did over the last year. These were the sorts of posts I did because it’s useful for me to look back and remember why I made specific design choices but I think a lot of people also learned some stuff about design because of them so that was cool.

Exploring Media
Designing Skateboard Graphics
Contextual Studies: Harry Potter
Contextual Studies: Wall.E
Contextual Studies: Snowpiercer
Corporate Identity: Playtoo
Corporate Identity: Creative Arts
Corporate Identity: Ecohub
Advertising Is Hard
Animating Paper Cats
Creating A Bookshop Logo: Part 1 & Part 2

These were posted last year but are also part of my college projects series:
Designing A Video Game Cover
A Shelf Portrait

I just want to take a moment and thank everyone for all the likes, comments and follows over the last month. You guys are awesome. Especially the people coming here from Instagram, there was 72 of you.

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads.

Doing It For The Stats

Doing It For The Stats | bluchickenninja.com

Everyone likes to say they don’t blog for the numbers but that’s a lie. I do. We all do. There was once a point where I spent more time fretting over my page views than actually writing posts. And the thing I learned from that is it’s not the blog posts that make a difference when it comes to stats (though it does help). Really the thing you should be spending your time on is the social media side, interacting with other bloggers and getting your name out there so people will visit your blog.

And I really did enjoy doing that. It was almost like a game. I wasn’t in competition with anyone but myself. I was constantly pushing to get more page views, more followers, more everything. It has taken me a very long time to realise I don’t actually care about that anymore. I will always find the stats fascinating but I really don’t care if I get 50 or 200 page views a day. I’m doing this thing because no matter how many times I try to deny it, I actually quite like writing and I really don’t care how many people read it.

Thanks for reading.
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Station Eleven Giveaway WINNER

I just want to thank everyone that entered the give away, we had some fantastic entries. Joe and I came to a unanimous decision that the winner had to be Lynn with her story about the cats.

The cats prowl, maddened by hunger, feverishly curling round my ankles, and I know because there’ll be no more food, that I must prepare, help them go before me. I make my mind wander, a distraction from my busy hands.
I should feel regret that it’s only me and the cats, that I have no partner, no children ‒ loving or estranged – to accompany me into death. But even at my most hopeless, I can’t regret my stubborn, solitary life – to pretend as much would be a lie and what’s the point of pretence now?
Hands still gripping, still pulling, my eyes drift to the TV and I see that young male newscaster’s been replaced by a jowly woman with bleach brittle hair who resembles my old cafeteria cook. How many staff have they lost since this began, how many dead, to be replaced without a word of explanation?
I think of all that will crumble as mankind slips away: Mona Lisa’s smile cracking and flaking to pigment: Van Gogh’s Sunflowers shattering to seed sized splinters. I focus on this, not the nurseries and the primary schools used as mortuaries, their own teaching staff, their own pupils lying exposed inside ‒ they ran out of body bags days ago.
And now the cats lie in a row, limp on the rug – four wrung necks, four pink, protruding tongues – the last, Logan and I, curled on the couch, he nestled in my arms, purring and oblivious to his fallen comrades. I close my hand around his neck, feel the vibration against my palm. I pause – perhaps I won’t be alone when the end comes.

Thanks again to every one that entered. Tell me in the comments if you want more give aways like this.

Thanks for reading.
Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads.