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The future starts now, and it starts with your vote

I’ve been reading a lot around the social media about the concerns that the youth of today showing no interested in politics. With an election looming it’s a bit of a stumbling block as we attempt to encourage those who haven’t enrolled to vote, to do so.

OK, maybe they’re not interested in politics, but surely they must have some interest in their future. Maybe they need a gentle push, a whisper in the ear that the two are unavoidably intertwined.

In the United States Bernie Sanders attracts an enormous following with the under 25s. Bernie Sanders, from what I know of him, agitates for social and economic programs that put people ahead of profits. The average American youth doesn’t want a future that was engineered by governments who ignored ‘the 99%’ in favour of the corporate elite. The consequences of such will of course be devastating.

I can’t see it being much different in Australia.

We are witnessing a widening gap between rich and poor. We are doing nothing to mitigate the devastation of climate change. We are handing billions of tax payer’s dollars to the elite at the expense of the middle and lower classes. We are technologically barren and insist on remaining so. We have snubbed science and the opportunities of the future. We are placing a decent education out of reach of most young Australians. In a nutshell, we are robbing the youth of Australia of their future. And I say ‘we’ as we as a country have voted in a government that in only one term has dismantled the social, economic and environmental initiatives of recent governments. Imagine the destruction of just one more term. That’s all they’ll need.

So to the youth of Australia, if you want the life that many Australians have enjoyed for the last few generations, then you can have it by simply voting for it. Please enrol to vote. Now.

The Prime Minister will most likely be calling an election shortly after the Budget is handed down in a couple of weeks. Once the election is called you will have only seven days to enrol. If you miss out . . . we will all miss out.

Cathy McGowan, the Independent member for Indi says it a lot better than myself. In a plea urging young people to vote she urges:

“To the young people … now more than any other time, we need you, the country absolutely needs you … We need young people to say here is how the world can be made better for us, here is how we can create jobs, here is the infrastructure and education we need and I’m prepared to put my hand up and be involved”.

The future is in your hands!

young voters



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  1. Jagger

    So true Michael, our youth is the countries greatest asset , the young people have an opportunity to turn this country around, let’s hope they grab it with both hands.

  2. stephentardrew

    Excellent post Michael and not too soon. Youth are demonstrably more progressive and it is critical for progressives to capture their vote. It could be the monkey in the room that swings marginal electorates away from the L-NP monster.

  3. kerri

    Absolutely Michael! As I tell my kids, the future I am working towards I will never live to see but you will! A donkey vote is two votes for apathy and a future unaffordable for most Aussies!

  4. Douglas Evans

    Just to get some perspective on this with some figures, this was the situation after the last Federal election as I wrote at the time.

    One stark indicator of growing political indifference is the ballooning number of eligible voters who didn’t bother to vote in 2013. The Australian Electoral Commission estimates that roughly 2.7 million Australians or 18.5% of enrolled electors did not vote. The voter turnout decreased by around 15% compared to 2010. This does not include the many eligible voters not enrolled to vote. Of particular interest here are the half million young Australians (25% of those between 18 and 24) who did not enroll to vote in the 2013 election.

    A further indicator of voter disaffection is the record number of informal votes cast. Around 6% of votes cast did not count. Analysis of the 2010 election suggests that about half of these are likely to have been intentionally informal, a paper two fingered salute. In total, roughly the same number of people avoided voting by one means or another in the 2013 election as voted for either the ALP or the Liberal Party. This is a sobering thought.

    Research for the Whitlam Institute of the voting intentions for young voters (18 – 34 age group) prior to a series of Federal elections from 1998 to 2010 shows the following:

    Those intending to vote for either the Coalition or the ALP declined by about 10% from somewhere north of 40% in 1998 to around 35% in 2010.

    Those intending to vote for the Greens increased by about 18% from around 5% in 1998 to roughly 23% in 2010.

  5. cornlegend

    You always manage to find a spin :-}
    “Those intending to vote for the Greens increased by about 18% from around 5% in 1998 to roughly 23% in 2010.”
    Intentions very rarely seem to come to fruition when it comes to the Greens

    The facts of the matter, moving forward was that from the Federal Election results of 2010 to the Election 2013,The Greens lost over 507,813 votes in the Senate and 342,079 votes in the House of Representatives this election,
    That was a fall from 11.7% down to the 2013 figure of 8.6%

    After 30 odd years, and being able to play off the 2 major Parties, 8.6% wouldn’t have had you jumping for joy would it?

  6. Douglas Evans

    Cornlegend There’s a lot to say about your comment. First there’s no ‘spin’ in what I said. I was just reporting the findings of respectable competent researchers. The bit that you seem to take exception to referred to the stated voting intentions of young voters between 18 and 34. I put it in only because Michael was writing about young voters. The figures you pull up probably reflect the fact that there are such a lot of wise elders like your good self around who injected a bit of sensible balance into the ultimate election result. The Australian political system is structured in such a way as to make it very difficult for new parties to get into the game. I won’t go on about that but perhaps I can refer you to an excellent two part analysis of aspects of this by Sandi Keane published on Independent Australia way back in 2013. You can find Part 1 here,5400. For the reasons outlined in Sandi’s piece the Greens have found it a hard slog. The 2013 election was a disappointment. A soft Greens vote decamped to other minor parties, chiefly PUP. Now that PUP has collapsed most of these will move on. I think NXT will be the next bright new plaything and I don’t expect that vote to return. I think also that the 2013 Greens vote was probably decreased by (in my opinion) quite unfair, uninformed negative perceptions of Christine Milne. Now she is gone and many people seem to regard Richard Di Natale quite well. The polls which aggregate other polls like Poll Bludger have had the Greens consistently over 12% so I am cautiously hopeful of some improvement in their vote but time will tell. As to numbers which don’t encourage jumping for joy I don’t imagine you take much pleasure from a Labor primary vote burrowing inexorably lower election by election. Currently anchored in the low 30s! Gillard managed minority government with about 37% Primary Vote. Do you think Shorten can get it up to or above that? Maybe you could reflect on the several Labor MPs who owe their jobs to Greens second preferences in 2013. Could be time to think about sensible co-operation instead of slagging off a quarter of the progressive primary vote?

  7. cornlegend

    Just two quick things Dougy,
    “people seem to regard Richard Di Natale quite well”
    Where? on what planet? don’t you visit social Media ?
    “Could be time to think about sensible co-operation instead of slagging off a quarter of the progressive primary vote?”
    I don’t find much problem supporting quite a few of the Independents/Micro parties and the outcomes of their meetings in Sydney and Melbourne,{in response to the Green/LNP Senate deals} but hey it is a stretch too far to include the Greens

  8. Stu Cohen

    You people are hilarious! No mention of de-criminalised unions anywhere in this platform!! ?

  9. corvus boreus

    (For the giggling Stu),
    Authorise an independent investigatory body to more comprehensively address unresolved corruption issues arising from the previous TURC, with scope parameters expanded beyond just unions to include the attendant corruption by/of private businesses (eg construction companies offering bribes to union officials) and public officials (eg the whole Jackson/Lawler HSU fiasco).

  10. Michael Taylor

    I hardly see how Union corruption is going to make education and healthcare unaffordable, make our NBN slow, increase the gap between rich and poor, impede our chances to do something about climate change, etc etc. The government is trying to do something about Union corruption (albeit for political motives), it is not trying to do anything about the other things I mentioned.

  11. Terry2

    Stu Cohen

    I had just been reading that :

    “A fifth construction union official has had criminal charges made by the trade union royal commission taskforce dropped.”

    Does this trigger any thoughts in your mind, as it does with me, that there was something deeply flawed about the process of the TURC and do you ever wonder why the likes of Kathy Jackson, who had already been convicted in a civil court , of misappropriating $1.4 million of HSU funds, has not yet been criminally charged ?

    Those that you dismissively call “you people” are in fact well informed and read between the lines on the main steam media, something you might well consider : the Murdoch media is not necessarily the repository or indeed the suppository of all wisdom !

    Have a nice day.

  12. gee

    good luck with that. sadly, stupid is the natural state of the majority of people in the world and frankly, we deserve our impending fate.

  13. Douglas Evans

    When on another thread I thanked a couple of commenters for reminding me that there is more to life than sitting in front of my computer engaging in discussion with people whose opinions are set in concrete and reinforced by selective reading of what can be found in online opinion sites, I overlooked Cornlegend. His contribution to this realization on my part has surely been the greatest. So, belatedly – Thank you Cornlegend.

    In answer to your question Cornlegend no I absolutely don’t read ‘social media’ (unless you count AIMN in that category). For me ‘social media’ is Facebook or similar platforms. Is that really where you get your information? I have decided that I have better things to do with my time. Now it is time (for me) to get out of the sand pit. See you later.

  14. paul walter

    Some have mentioned young people.

    I agree.

    The system we once trusted has been “captured”and turned on us and it does seem the young will inherit the debt rather than the wind.

  15. paul walter

    Stu Cohen, you neo lib preppie about “decriminalised banks”?

  16. Carol Taylor

    I’ve noticed how the conservative think tanks are attempting to switch the blame for the ‘burden’ that young people have to carry onto the elderly. Heaven forbid that the army of wealthy negative gearers get the blame for housing unaffordability, it’s all granny’s fault for wanting to stay in the house she’s lived in for 40 years, her fault for not “releasing it onto the market”.

  17. paul walter

    You see they wouldn’t acknowledge the recipral role- mutual obligation- that has bankers subject to similar accountability as applies to the rest of us…so many Chris Berg-ish grubs spouting a US right libertarianism they don’t understand the meaning of.

  18. Terry2

    Glenn Stevens our Reserve Bank Chief has highlighted, at an international G20 conference in New York, the extent to which the race to the bottom, by governments and central banks, to push interest rates lower and lower is eroding savings and retirement nest eggs. If this policy was actually stimulating economic growth it might be justified, but it isn’t.

    Inevitably it is also funding a real estate bubble as investors and self-managed superannuation funds pump money into real estate : another argument, I would say, in favour of reining in negative gearing and capital gains concessions.

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