Published on October 30, 2013 | by Caroline Clastres0
To vote or not to vote… Brand is the questionRussell Brand has called for an anti-capitalist ‘revolution’ against a system of growing inequality.
He wants the public to reject a “corrupt society”, sparking a debate among students about whether voting has a purpose and how they could engage in the political process.
“It’s not that I’m not voting out of apathy, I am not voting out of absolute indifference, weariness and exhaustion over the lies, treachery and deceit of the political class which has been going on for generations now,” Brand told Newsnight.
Research conducted by the Institute for Public Policy Research estimated that only 32 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds voted during the 2013 local elections, largely leaving it to their parents and grandparents to make a decision.
An 18-year-old CSM student does not understand the political fatigue of students: “I’m Chinese, and me or my family never got the right to vote. It is in our constitution but the government controls elections. I don’t think it’s fair to ask people not to vote, some of us don’t have a choice.”
Andrea, an LCC student, believes that not voting is a power in itself: “To vote is to give a voice to the people, and the action of not voting is not so different. I think it would be a strong statement of dissatisfaction.
“It shows how much people are waking up and backing [Brand] up on the fact that there will be a revolution. I think we need such a charismatic character to speak up once in a while,” she added.
Predicting that there will be a change in the political behaviour of the student-aged demographic, the technology research company Gartner recently said: “By 2020, the labour reduction effect of digitisation will cause social unrest and a quest for new economic models in several mature economies.
“A larger scale version of an ‘Occupy Wall Street’-type movement will begin by the end of 2014, indicating that social unrest will start to foster political debate.”
Read the exclusive ALN interview “From Essex to LA” with Brand earlier this year here.