Mum I had a thought – and yes, it hurt

 

As a young person, I watch programs like Q&A because I want to be educated about problems facing Australians and what is being done by our government bodies and our politicians in particular. I source my news from mostly online as I like to make sure I am informed and therefore form opinions based on accurate information.

And I don’t know about you guys, but sometimes I watch our politicians and shake my head. Do the middle-aged men and women understand what the young people of today have to face in their futures? As a curious cat, I googled the ages of our current 45th Parliament of Australia and found that out of 226 members, ONLY ONE WHOLE ENTIRE REAL PERSON is under the age of 30 (Parliamentary Education Office, 2017)

And it made me wonder, in the current political climate,

Are young people today interested in Australian politics?

Are young people not interested because they feel as though they aren’t heard and that one vote means nothing? Or are they interested because they want to do something about it?

I plan on using primary and secondary research in order to find out not only are they interested, but how do they engage with politics (if they do at all) and offer some possible advice to our nation’s leaders on what they could consider in order to appeal to the younger generations of Australia. I plan to find out if less and less young people are entering politics and why over one-third of Australians aged 18-24 are not enrolled to vote (according to the last election data in 2016). This includes polling, surveys and perhaps one on one interviews with people who are interested and those who aren’t. I also want to use secondary research methods to see what other academics and media publications believe about this topic and what methods can be implemented to fix it if necessary.

A personal problem that I face is that I am very passionate about this topic. I need to be more aware of my own bias while conducting any interviews or communicating at all to anyone who helps me form the basis of my primary research. During Year 12 I also completed an independent research task and ensuring bias did not filter into my work is vital in maintaining the integrity of the project – something I will strive for throughout this project. To get it all out of the way, I will be also writing another blog post that will illustrate my own views and what I think I might find.

Overall, I find that this topic will be very interesting regardless of the outcome and I look forward to discussing it with my peers, family and friends.

 
What do you think?

Have an opinion?

Comment below or tweet me @lozrissa

 

 
References:

http://www.peo.gov.au/learning/parliament-now/statistics.html

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3 thoughts on “Mum I had a thought – and yes, it hurt

  1. Prior to the most recent federal election, the Liberal party put up a young man named Wyatt Roy for the election. Just left school, never had a job, only 20 or so if not much older. Romped in as locaos thought a fresh young pereon might kick-start everything. Lasted one term and was an abject failure. Had absolutely no idea about families, housing, health, jobs and many other things. Most likely because he had not experienced any of these issues first hand in his own life. Youth brings vigour. Youth brings keeness. Youth brings strength. Dont underestimate experience as an ingredient to the perfect representative. Experience needs to be mixed with the above mentioned vigour, keeness and strength.

    From an older persons viewpoint, the younger generation have not yet realised that you have to make an effort to get things done and nominate yourself to make those things happen. Its not always ‘someone elses fault’ or ‘someone elses responsibility’. Sometimes its yours! Things arent always delivered to you on a silver platter, and most of the time you are not the most important thing in everyone elses world.

    If the government is poor, its because the opposition (those in place to push the government) is poor too. Weak oppositions make weak governments.

    No opposition, and lack of involvement from young people with fresh ideas and direction can only lead to one thing. Stale, rubbish governments.

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  2. I agree that we need to take responsibility for ourselves and really stand up and gain that experience. I truly do. It is something that even I struggle with, and I’m sure there are plenty of others my age too. However, I think that sometimes others underestimate how much we have been spoonfed. If we are told something at a young age, over and over, of course, we are going to believe it. We have been told how marvellous we are, how strong we are, how smart we are, we give participation awards to kids that then undermines that meaningfulness of 1st, 2nd, 3rd place. We have been raised to believe that we can do anything when in reality that isn’t the case.

    However, it is time that younger people are given that opportunity to gain that experience. It is obviously hard for a 21 year old to have the life experience that a 56 year old politican has. But like any generation, we see and understand the problems that are plaguing our own generation better than others do. We should still get an opportunity to express that, regardless of one or two who have tried and failed. There needs to be more young voices in cabinet to convey issues that affect them, not having older people just assuming what we need. I think this has lead to a disinterest in politics for people my age. I don’t want a rich 62 year old lecturing me on how hard it was for him 50 years ago – I want people who are on my level and who understand how hard it is to get financial assistance from Centrelink, or how it is becoming so tough to buy their first home, or how crap it can be trying to convince older people to save our planet so I can enjoy it later in life too.

    We don’t have the experience that older people do, of course not. But they don’t have the same experience in life we do either.

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  3. Well said, and very true. More so nowadays are older people more out of touch. Think about technological advances in the last 30 years, or even 20. More advances than the previous 500 in many ways. However, you must always remember that repeating history is always dangerous. This is where there is no substitute for experience. None.

    But have you thought about the fact that politics is not the only way to change or positively impact the future?

    Politicians, whilst older and ‘allegedly’ wiser, are often only mouth pieces for those behind the scenes, advisors, lobby groups, inventors, business people. As above, often being behind the scenes can be an effective way to create valuable positive change, and without the restraints of public life. Maybe the younger generation see that better than any before us and have decided to impact in other ways, and we are only just understanding that this is actually happening behind our back?

    Like

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