Date: 
Fri, 09/05/2014

Why should you care about the European elections?

Why should you care about any elections in fact, when politicians these days seem so disconnected from people, when political parties seem to be more interested in fighting each other than fighting the real problems facing society?

When small special interest lobbies seem more able to set the agenda than millions of citizens put together?

Because the inaction of the many is what allows the few to succeed. Imagine if all of us knew our political representative and went to visit him or her once a month. Imagine if we followed what she or he says in Parliament in our name, held him or her to account for the way she or he votes. Imagine if just half of us were active in a political party and required our party to talk about the issues that concern us. If we each gave some of our money to a party, seeing it as an investment to prevent the buying of parties by billionaires and business tycoons.

There is no such thing as outsourcing your responsibilities as a citizen. If you had a company and wanted to employ someone to manage it, would you interview potential candidates, select them carefully and make sure they’re the right people to be entrusted with your business? Politicians are your employees. Elections are a process of choosing them and appointing them. Just as you would take care of interviewing and carefully selecting someone to manage your business, you should question and carefully select the individual who will be managing your public affairs and our public assets, who will be deciding the laws that determine what you can and cannot do, taking decisions affect your workplace, shaping rules affecting your public services – in short, taking decisions that enter into every corner of your life and shape your future and your children’s.  

Is that worth taking a bit of time to reflect and act on?

 


Intissar Kherigi studied Law at King's College, Cambridge, then specialised in human rights at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics. She has worked in the House of Lords, the United Nations in New York, and the European parliament in Brussels. Intissar is a qualified lawyer, having completed her training in finance at international law firm, Clifford Chance LLP in their London and Dubai offices. She is also an active member of the European Muslim community and is President of the Forum of European Muslim Youth and Student Organisations, and is a member of the London Youth Hub of the World Economic Forum.