Author Archives: Ryan Mercer

Opinion: A manifesto for young people

Young people are neglected by politics, and understandably so. With less than half of 18-24 year olds voting at the last election, few campaign strategists would advocate making serious commitments with relatively few votes up for grabs.

There has therefore been a temptation for all parties, the Liberal Democrats included, to save their eye catching commitments for older voters. Pensioners have both a high turnout and are generally more numerous than the young in the first place, are therefore rewarded with expensive policies such as the triple lock on pensions and free bus passes.

Nevertheless, to neglect younger voters would be a mistake, if for no other reason than we won’t be young forever. With the rest of our lives to vote, but also crucially to volunteer as activists, there is a lot at stake. Is it preferable to ignore us and hope to win us over from another party in later years, or to do something to earn our support in the present? And who knows, in presenting compelling, believable offers to young people, which take into account their views, then just maybe more will see the point in voting now.

And you know what? Our Liberal Democrat manifesto does just that.

Over the last couple of years the party has given Liberal Youth the chance to put forward our ideas and views into the manifesto process. The manifesto team and Federal Policy Committee have been genuinely willing to listen and the impact of this on the final document is significant.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 21 Comments

Liberal Youth Elections 2014… Policy Officer: Ryan Mercer

liberalyouthLiberal Youth policy matters. It’s how we, as young Liberal Democrats, can make a clear and credible case for change on the issues we care about. The disengagement from politics by so many young people has made it easy for the views of our generation to be overlooked. Despite this, the Liberal Democrats have long been the strongest advocates in both tackling the challenges young people face and building the future society in which we want to live. The unique perspective Liberal Youth provides can help to ensure the party will continue to listen to young people and be that advocate for our generation.

In May, I stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate in a Norwich City Council Ward formerly held by Norman Lamb MP. The ward has a young population and standing gave me a real insight into how big a challenge we face showing other young people what we stand for and that we’re on their side.

I’m standing as a candidate for Liberal Youth Policy Officer partly because I believe in the essential role that Liberal Youth policy needs to play, but also because I believe more has to be done to engage our members in our policy making. With more young members adding their voices our policies will be better informed and have the support behind them to be taken seriously.

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | Leave a comment
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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarmatt 22nd Nov - 11:24am
    Can anyone elaborate on the parties welfare policy on ending work capability assessments? All the manifesto says is "End Work Capability Assessments and replace them...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 22nd Nov - 10:00am
    Impeachment is a political, not a legal procedure, the difference between Water- and Ukraine-gate is not the character of the Presidents, but that of the...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 22nd Nov - 9:40am
    Martin, I feel compelled to add to your partially successful thinking assistance: It seems generally accepted that another referendum must be binding, i.e. the result...
  • User AvatarThomas 22nd Nov - 9:14am
    The fact that the Republican Party was founded as an anti-slavery progressive party, with a large number of its founders being progressives and liberals, makes...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 22nd Nov - 9:13am
    Revoke as a "pure-play" LibDem policy is entirely logical and democratic. If the 17,4 million from 2016 are still firm on leave, an outright LibDem...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 22nd Nov - 9:12am
    @ Yousef, "I guarantee that Labour and Tory manifestos will be full of all the fantasy policies and money-growing-on-trees economics" And I can guarantee that...