Voting and Politics

Today the UK will vote on whether we want to stay in the European Union (EU).

It is a very important vote and we hope that lots of people with learning disabilities will have their say.

But we know that political discussions like these are full of jargon and not very accessible.

Now is a good time to think about how people with learning disabilities get involved in politics and how easy or hard it is for them to get involved.

Here Gary Bourlet answers some questions about politics.

gary houses of parliament
Are you voting in the referendum today?

I am voting in the referendum today, a referendum does not come around very often, not like elections. So I will be voting for what I believe in.

Why are you voting?

It’s important that I vote because I want to, because I care about this country and the direction we are going.

Why is it important that people with learning disabilities vote on issues like this?

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What would you ask politicians? (Plain English)

We have 5 main political parties in the UK. They are: Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green, UKIP.

A political party is a group of people that share beliefs. They want to win the election.

Winning the election means that party get to decide on the future laws in our country.

Every year the political parties have a conference.

People go to these conferences to talk to the political parties about things that matter to them.

These are things like crime, or the NHS.

We had a competition for self advocates to go to a political party conference.

Lots of people entered.

They were all really good.

It was very difficult for us to choose just 2 people.

We wanted everyone to have the chance to go!

We had enough money for 1 person to go to Conservative conference with us and 1 person to go to Labour.

The winners were Shaun Webster and Vicky Hiles.

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Everything You Need To Know About Voting

On May 14th we had a ‘together day’ with Inclusion North. Inclusion North invited us to go along so that people could ask questions about People First England.

Gary and I explained that one of the important things we want to do with People First England is to ‘turn up the volume’ on the great work already being done by self advocates, local groups and charities. Too often local groups and especially the big charities only talk about their own good work and only share that work with their supporters.

We think that by sharing the good news about everyone’s projects that they will benefit more people.

We talked about lots of different projects the bigger charities are doing to support people to vote next year in 2015.

After the day we put together an easy read guide to all these projects and how you can get them to come along to your local group to put on an event, or how to get the information packs for yourself or your local group to use.

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