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The Forum > Article Comments > On the turning away > Comments

On the turning away : Comments

By EJ Cook, published 28/8/2013

The tectonic plates of Australian politics and society are shifting. Australians are not becoming disillusioned with the political landscape - it has already happened.

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An excellent article but what is the solution. The two major parties are dominated by religious and economic interests that are opposed to the opinions and interests of most young people. Only when people are prepared to play politics and show leadership will things change. And there is not much sign of that.

Syd.
Posted by Syd., Wednesday, 28 August 2013 9:25:12 AM
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< Increasing numbers of Australians are demonstrating, through their vote, that they don't think any party is worthy of their support, and are foregoing their democratic right to have a say in who runs the country. >

EJ, nowhere near enough people are demonstrating this through their vote! Far too many people are still voting for a party that they really donít like, donít support at and donít want as their government! They are doing this on the basis of their choice being only slightly less unpalatable than the other big party!

The compulsory preferential voting system is strongly perverting democracy by giving a highly false indication of support for the winning party!

If we had the optional preferential voting system at the forthcoming election, weíd at least get a considerably truer indication of peoplesí choices. With CPV, which compels you to mark every square, your vote can get STOLEN and made to count where you specifically donít want it toÖ especially if you donít want to vote for either of the major parties!

So those who choose not to vote, or at least for a good portion of them, are NOT foregoing their democratic right at all... as this right never existed in the first place!

Indeed, anyone with a conscience who doesnít like either of the majors (and how can anyone with a real conscience possibly like either of them enough to vote for them?) should NOT register a vote!

Under CPV, in most cases you canít vote for a minor party or candidate without your vote trickling down and counting for one of the majors, even if you put them last and second last!

ŅHow disgusting is that?
Posted by Ludwig, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 9:43:05 AM
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Great article by EJ Cook. Australia's youth must not ignore the importance of active engagement in democratic processes for delivering progressive policy and better social, economic and environmental outcomes. Instead of forgoing their democratic right to have a say who runs Australia and how it should be run, they should become politically active and demand better outcomes and far better leaders. Perhaps it is time for Australia to have an Australian Youth Party which will challenge the major players and come up with creative and effective solutions to the most pressing issues facing them and our great nation.

Australian Macedonia youth are very upset with the very poor policies of the major parties. First, they are deeply concerned about Australian foreign policy towards Macedonia which has been exposed to institutional discrimination and deligitimisation by Australia since 1994. They are also deeply concerned about jobs, cost of living pressures, HECS debt, health, social inclusion, refugee policies etc. Australian youth must become the new power brokers in society because the existing mob are only interested in power and profits at the expense of society. Australia deserves better.
Posted by Macedonian advocacy, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:24:06 AM
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Thanks, you've all got some good points.

I think some young people are politically active. Look at GetUp! with their 600K+ volunteers, many of them young people. They're not a political party, but they're looking to exert political influence - and they're having some success, which is great for those people who volunteered to be part of it, as they can see that what they put their effort into does sometimes pay off. But a % of 600K joining GetUp! is still far less than the million eligible voters who don't think any of the major parties are addressing their concerns. Also, it's taking a side way into political influence through a lobby/advocacy group rather than a political party.

It's hard to see what would entice young people to join the ALP or LNP. When young people are looking to get involved in things, they want opportunities to learn, be part of a team, a chance at holding responsibility and effecting real change. If they don't see these as likely to happen, they won't join in.

I think 40% of young people not even enrolling is a pretty dismal statement on our current political system, and doesn't bode well for the future as we lose older voters and the younger ones are completely disengaged. I wonder if OVP vs CVP might also reduce informal votes from incomplete ballots? That was almost as high a number as blank ballots last election.
Posted by EJ Cook, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:28:20 AM
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While I can understand the angst of the author, she will come out the other side. 15 years ago or so I felt similarly and then two federal elections ago, while looking at the federal ballot paper I realised that our democracy itself was alive and well ! How did I know this ? my ballot paper was replete with choice. What I did recognise though is that people don't really want to change, if they did they woudn't keep voting for tweedlee dum or tweedle dee.

I do understand that our democracy is a reflection of times past and desperately needs updating so I can support the polices I want regardless of their source, a more liquid form of democracy but I alos understand the majority of voters have no interest in change, emminelty obvious in thier choices reflected in our

I empathise completely with people that feel no Party represents their needs. Of all the parties, only the Greens offer me any solace with their liberal policies but I disagree completely with their environmental polices. You will never be represented under our current system because you can't vote on policy.

John Howard was wrong, the only wasted vote is one cast for either the ALP or The LNP. The only way to change things is to not vote for either of these two loony* parties, preference them last and second last. You will NOT see any change until that happens on a large scale.

In saying that, how to you represent the voters ? Just look to comments and articles on here to see a disparate and hugely variant point of view. If you wanted to be in Government you have to be elected, that means you have to appeal to the majority of voters, that same analogy means McDonalds is the best.

* I use invective to apply the same strategy they use to describe other minor parties in an attempt to persuade people not to vote for them
Posted by Valley Guy, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 10:31:53 AM
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<< I wonder if OVP vs CVP might also reduce informal votes from incomplete ballots? That was almost as high a number as blank ballots last election. >>

EJ, Iíd love to know just how many people made their voting intentions perfectly clear but had their vote annulled because they failed to number every square.

I reckon that there would be lots of people out there who understood that they didnít need to number every square in their state elections where the OPV system applies but didnít realise that it is fundamentally different at federal elections under the CPV system.

Whichever way you look at it, CPV is profoundly disgusting.
Posted by Ludwig, Wednesday, 28 August 2013 11:19:01 AM
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