#WHSElection2019: Austen's Green Party candidate profile
This article is part of the school's mock election campaigning: Our penultimate set of questions are answered by Aaysha Ahmed, the Green Party candidate in Austen house.
Why should a WHS voter support your party?
The Green Party have already begun making concrete change in our school with our litter picking lunchtime. Numerous students showed up to help us make WHS a Greener school. It’s clear to see that students care about making a positive difference, which is what the Green Party is about – change. A vote for Green is a vote for change and a vote for a better world.
What does your party pledge to do for the youth?
We pledge to give the vote to 16- and 17-year olds. At 16, you can leave school, join the army and start a family, amongst many other things. Therefore, it is only just that 16- and 17-year olds get the right to political representation. Some believe they are too uneducated, but they have the world at their fingertips – they have access to more information than ever before, so they can make informed decisions. We also want to abolish tuition fees, because higher education should be accessible to everyone – not just the rich.
Why are you the best person to represent the students in your house?
I am the best person to represent Austen, because I am also the Deputy House Captain. This means I’ve already got good connections with everyone, and I know my house well. Beyond that, I feel I have the true Austen spirit – I like to be fun, creative and I do what I can to help others, which is what Austen is all about.
What do you believe is the most important issue facing the youth? What about society as a whole?
The most important facing all of us is definitely climate change. Heatwaves are now 30 times more likely in the UK due to climate change, and there’s more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than any time in human history. This isn’t just a climate crisis – this is a humanitarian crisis. Many people, particularly those in third-world countries, will have to move due to rising sea levels, and their livelihoods are at risk of getting destroyed. This disproportionately affects less well-off countries. We need to act now.
What issue matters the most to you personally?
Personally, a really important issue to me is mental health. We want to extend NHS provision to mental health services, because we believe it should be a right that everyone has access to quality mental health services and counselling. Enough with the ridiculously long waiting times. Enough with the cuts. We need to treat mental health with as much importance as we treat physical health.
In three words how would you define your party?
Urgent necessary change.
Which politician do you look up to the most?
I personally look up to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. She is bold and unafraid to fight for what she believes in. She stands up against prejudice and inequality with strength and empathy. We could all learn something from her.
Who do you believe is the most influential figure in British politics today?
Unfortunately, I would have to say Boris Johnson. As he is the current Prime Minister, he holds much influence over our country, which is why this election is so crucial – do we really trust Boris to hold the reins?
Aaysha Ahmad, Year 12