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 AvatarPeter Martin 9th Jul - 3:29pm
    "......that bring new thinking and approaches to traditional economics" The inclusion of 'traditional' is a bit worrying. 'Traditional' has led us into the mess we...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 9th Jul - 3:15pm
    David' agreed, do not want to say it, as old news, but the comparing of Sunak, was meant to be left wing, as opposed to...
  • User AvatarKaterina Porter 9th Jul - 3:04pm
    We need to look at some countries abroad, Scandinavian, particularly Finland I believe do very well. In France in a village I know hardly anybody...
  • User AvatarTom Harney 9th Jul - 3:03pm
    I think that we will not be able to judge until the autumn, when the Chancellor makes his statement. Unless he is prepared to radically...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 9th Jul - 2:40pm
    Gordon Brown wasn't a 'left wing' Chancellor. He was extremely cautious and stuck to Tory financial guidelines i n the early years of his Chancellorship....
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Payne 9th Jul - 2:37pm
    Congratulations, a very interesting looking job. From a Lib Dem point of view I reckon we could benefit from having more expertise on sustainable economics.