Calls for compulsory democracy lessons gather pace

Crewe Guardian: l-r Winsford E-ACT Academy student Rebecca Hoare, Gemma Clark and Ben Ladley alongside clr Mike Burns, who is supporting their calls for a greater youth understanding of democracy with a Government e-petition l-r Winsford E-ACT Academy student Rebecca Hoare, Gemma Clark and Ben Ladley alongside clr Mike Burns, who is supporting their calls for a greater youth understanding of democracy with a Government e-petition

WINSFORD E-ACT Academy students have been given local government backing to try and help fix a decline in electoral voting among young people.

Winsford Town clr Mike Burns has set up a Government e-petition calling for lessons on democracy and politics to become part of the national curriculum.

He’s supporting a campaign by three pupils who took a transatlantic trip to America for the the 2012 presidential elections, and want to generate greater interest among young people about how the UK is run.

Clr Burns said: “Over the years, voting between 16-25 year olds has dramatically reduced.

“There are many reasons for this but I believe one of the main reasons is people are not educated on politics and democracy, in particular the importance of it.

“Both women and working class men have died for the right to vote and it is such a shame to see young people not knowing and understanding that fact.”

Three that certainly do understand are E-ACT students Ben Ladley, Rebecca Hoare and Gemma Clark.

They campaigned for President Obama’s Democrat Party in 2012 after taking part in the Act Inspired US scheme.

In a statement, the three pupils said: “Leading up to our trip to the US we came to reflect on voting in our town and came to realise how many people didn't vote.

“Our trip has inspired us to run a campaign to increase voting through education because we learnt voting is important, and to make an informed decision you need to have the right knowledge.

“To make a difference you need to vote. Without your opinion the change will not be in your favour. Your vote counts!”

Clr Burns added: “The petition will run until October. We don't expect to get the 100,000 signatures to force a Parliamentary debate on the issue, but we want as much support as possible.

“We will be writing to councils all over the country asking for every councillors’ support and for them to forward it on.”

To sign the petition, visit epetitions.direct.gov.uk and search ‘Introduce compulsory democracy and politics lessons in schools’.

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