Humanity

Humanity - The definition of humanity is the entire human race or the characteristics that belong uniquely to human beings, such as kindness, mercy and sympathy.

Latest Humanity

Reasons to Vote

Why are you voting? We asked our readers to tell us why they’re heading to the polling stations on 7 May – here’s what they told us

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Youth Votes

They've got big demands and high expectations. They want politicians they can trust, who tell the truth and who'll deliver.

 "I'm trying to decide who to vote for" confided my 18-year-old niece at the weekend. Delighted, I prepared to dispense words of advice fitting for an auntie who spends her workdays immersed in news and politics.

It should have been easy. But it wasn't. In fact, it was really difficult. Where do you start when it comes to explaining the whos and whys of voting to a first-timer? It's easy to over-simplify on who stands for what. Once you start getting into their points of disagreement you're quickly lost in a tangled web. And what about the thorny subject of track record?

Every day on BBC Radio 5 live, I try to get straight answers from politicians. Clear, unambiguous promises or denials that'll help you make up your mind, whether it's your first or fifth time at the ballot box.

As an election looms it's even tougher than usual to break through the soundbites. Radio 1 Newsbeat's first election debate this week got right to the heart of the matter. Politicians, how can we trust you? One MP tried to artfully pirouette away from the question being asked. The audience heckled, the presenter's words said it all. "You're seriously going to sit here with people shouting 'answer the question' at you and you're not going to answer this issue?". The next question got a simple, one word answer.

If that's the backdrop we're working to, how does an idealistic teenager decide which way to vote for the first time? Are the parties' manifestos, those great glossy books full of hopes, dreams and dangling carrots, really designed to take an 18-year-old voter by the hand and lead them into the world of politics? Not really. History proves they don't always deliver what they promise.

Which brings us to personality. We're all creations of what we see on TV, what we read on social media, the often deeply-ingrained political leanings of our parents. And personality - with that capital P - really matters. Not just when you're a teenager casting that all-important maiden vote, but every single time we scribble a cross and post our card into the ballot box. We give our endorsement based on trust, likeability, the gut feeling that choosing someone to help shape every aspect of your life needs. That's why politicians never abandon those old-fashioned tricks like knocking on doors and mingling with the drinkers in pubs. They work.

At BBC Radio 5 live we wanted to find out more about why we make the choices we do, so we came up with #MyFirstElection. It's not just about first-time voters either, but how our priorities can alter after a big life change. Maybe it's the first time voting as a parent, as someone who's unemployed, or as a homeowner. This time around many of us are going back to basics to work out who's best placed to help us live the life we want to lead.

With four weeks to go until polling day, one thing does hearten me. People care. Just listen to some of the BBC's Generation 2015 voices, 200 young voters who you'll see and hear across everything we do on the election. The ones I've spoken to on my show have crackled with energy and enthusiasm. My niece and her generation genuinely want to use their vote wisely and make an informed choice. They're prepared to spend time and effort researching their choices, and they're proud to nail their political colours to the mast. They've got big demands and high expectations. They want politicians they can trust, who tell the truth and who'll deliver. If we can nurture our newcomers and reward them with the kind of politics they deserve, then democracy will always be the winner.

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No vote is wasted - Every vote counts

Even if you think all politicians are the same, there is only one way you can make sure they know it on May 7 - and you'll need to register to vote before the deadline

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Electoral Swings

Ain’t got that swing Why this election is exceptionally hard to predict

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Tories’ immigration

“It would be my tuition fees!” So David Cameron once said to the deputy prime minister during a tense exchange about pensioner benefits. Like George Osborne, Nick Clegg believes there is scope to limit the benefits given to the elderly and to target help at lower-income pensioners. But the PM won’t hear of it. The “grey vote”, he believes, would desert the Tories en masse. It would be a milestone of treachery on a par with the Lib Dems’ U-turn on university tuition fees.

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Young Voters

Because decisions that get enacted in the political space will impact on your future in some way, shape or form, whether you like it or not. The next government will be here for at least five years and long after that we will still be dealing with the consequences of the decisions they have made, which is why it is better to get involved now than complain later.

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Net migration to UK higher

Net flow of 298,000 long-term migrants to UK last year shatters PM’s ‘no ifs, no buts’ promise to cut number to ‘tens of thousands’  The new figures will be an embarrassment for David Cameron.

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Police cuts

Cuts to police budgets are threatening officers’ ability to keep the public safe, according to the union which represents staff. The warning from the Police Federation comes after yesterday’s publication of the latest crime figures for the year up to September 2014.

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Sleeping Rough Illegal?

Westminster to outlaw sleeping rough and soup kitchens. Sleeping rough and soup kitchens could to be banned near Westminster Cathedral under a contraversial proposal which has angered homeless charities.

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Rural Communities

Only one in 25 believes general election will have a positive impact on rural communities

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