Voting is a job for all ages

May 10, 2016

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today asked the Governor-General to dissolve both Houses of Parliament to call a double dissolution election for July 2, 2016.

New figures released in an audit by Australian Electoral Commission AEC last week show that 1 million people who could vote are not enrolled and the vast majority of them are between the ages of 18 to 24.

It’s easy to become disillusioned by major political parties as we approach the upcoming Federal Election campaign, particularly among young people, but it’s important to take part in democratic process.

I think this might be an area where schools could help increase enrolments by teaching senior students about the electoral process rather than mum and dad. Obviously the lessons should focus on the ‘‘how and the why’’ and the students can make up their own minds about what party best suits them going into the future.

It may look like it doesn’t make a difference but if you do a little bit of research and get past all of the spin you’ll find that there is a party that will better suit your interests.

It might be hard to believe but there are people out there who would love to have the ability to vote.

My father, of British/New Zealand heritage, is an example.

He’s on the button when it comes to politics, but because he was above a certain age when he arrived in Australia he cannot become a citizen and vote.

The privilege of casting a vote isn’t one that should be thrown away. This is something that many Americans are realising now as their election campaign also progresses.

Many Americans cannot stomach the idea of Donald Trump, who looks to have won the Republican Party’s vote to become their candidate for presidency, and are literally enrolling to vote against him.

Australia’s compulsory system is different to the states but the AEC have made it as easy as possible to enrol to vote and it doesn’t take much time to make it happen.

Young people make up 12 per cent of voters, they have the potential to change the course of an election and the political parties cannot take them lightly.

The Goulburn Valley youth issues are well documented and there needs to be serious policy and funding to overcome the huge disadvantage young people have here compared to their city counterparts.

Communities are much better when everyone participates, including young people.

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