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Australian Election 2010

July 19, 2010

So, another Federal election is around the corner.

One interesting issue that has been highlighted in the Australian media is the problematic reluctance of young Australians to enrol to vote. Perhaps they  (the 17-25 year old age group) do not realise that enrolling to vote is a legal requirement for all eligible citizens aged 17 and over?

I’m sure that they’re not, on the whole, politically apathetic. Perhaps it seems like such a hassle – getting up on a Saturday morning once every couple of years, lining up for a few minutes at one of the many polling centres around the country, and getting one’s name ticked off the list? The lure of the standard sausage sizzle that is found at a lot of voting centres mustn’t be strong enough!

I guess I can’t speculate on the reasons why a lot of young people are moralising and justifying their deliberate avoidance of enrolling to vote. I’m not much older than the above-mentioned demographic, and yet I cannot understand the desire to avoid voting. Politics affects our daily lives.

I, for one, want a say in how my country is run.

Here’s a few suggestions from my end:

learn some of the history of the struggles faced by different people groups, including socio-ecnomic groups, ethnicities and genders, in securing the right and freedom to vote. Maybe you’ll realise what a privilege it is.

– refusal to participate in democratic process surely negates the right to complain about the process.

– get educated. Learn the broad policy overviews of the different political parties. It’s not that hard. The Liberals and Labor are similar, yes, but sit on opposite sides of the political fence. The Australian Liberals are more conservative, the Labor party more left wing. Family First and the Greens provide alternative viewpoints. There’s a heaps of other minor parties too. Find an issue you care about and see what the parties are saying about it.

Homelessness? Taxes? The breakdown of the family unit? Environment? Health care? Marriage and divorce? Social justice? Refugees? Racism? Crime?

(On the issue of how Australian politics is affecting the needs of the homeless, go have a look at the Swags for the Homeless website.)

Have a look at the ACL Make It Count website to see some of the issues addressed by the two major parties.

After all that, Enrol to Vote as soon as possible!

There are lot of political parties in Australia, and here are links to a few of their websites. I am listing them alphabetically and not making any references to my own preferred politicians. Feel free to add more in the comments section.

Australian Democrats

Australian Labor

Christian Democratic Party

Family First

Liberal Party of Australia

The Greens

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5 comments

  1. ‘Homelessness? Taxes? The breakdown of the family unit? Environment? Health care? Marriage and divorce? Social justice? Refugees? Racism? Crime?’

    All important issues.

    ‘The Liberals and Labor are similar, yes, but sit on opposite sides of the political fence. The Australian Liberals are more conservative, the Labor party more left wing. Family First and the Greens provide alternative viewpoints.’

    Interesting.


  2. Thanks for commenting! 🙂


  3. The Australian Elections definitely is causing a major buzz, not only here in Australia but worldwide. It sure is a battle of platform for social reform, strategies, action plans, good governance and even charisma. Australians have mixed feelings about Julia Gilard and Tony Abbott. While some thinks Julia is endearing and composed during the debate on Sunday, some think she didn’t get to the specifics. Same distribution of sentiments also go out to Tony Abbott.

    What is it that Australians are looking for in their new Prime Minister? What should be focused on to determine the worthiness of the next PM? Is it their plans for climate change? Plan for controlled immigration? Focus on mental health? I’d say all of the above and much more.

    I, with my team at PeopleBrowsr conducted a study on this very momentous event. It shows how people think of each candidate and their sentiments are recorded real time. Visit http://www.election.ly for this very interesting study.


  4. So, the Australian election has been and gone and we still don’t have a government in place. Hung parliament – I have never seen that before.

    Not so secretly hoping that the Liberal-National Party Coalition takes the place. Only because, ultimately, their policies better reflect my own selfish lifestyle choices! For the record, I voted Family First – the ultimate moderate vote (they sit smack bang in the middle of the Aussie political spectrum).


  5. Blood is thicker than water
    a song about estranged loved ones who may or may not be homeless
    Hear it at URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuYXasJgv3A



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