Is youth based policy enough to re-engage young voters?
Is youth based policy enough to re-engage
Kathryn Hedger is completing post graduate
studies in the Criminology and Criminal Justice field. She says: "I
decided to volunteer with Australia 21 in order to contribute to society
by furthering the organisation's research surrounding social justice
issues." When we asked some of Australia21's young
volunteers to comment on the 2013 election agenda, Kathryn submitted this piece. From listening to reports of the
election campaign, it seems that our politicians think that the young
voter has become disinterested in politics; so now we have Kevin Rudd
attempting to re-engage the youth vote. But will an increased emphasis
on youth-based policy be enough to re-engage the youth vote?
From listening to Triple J’s ‘Hack’
program and my peers as well, it seems quite clear to me that this
re-engagement (if in fact we actually have ever been engaged
rather than bored) will not suffice. Why? Because, and I quote; “they’re
both clowns, there’s nothing separating them from each other”.
So with this thought in mind, what do I, as a young voter, think should matter and why?
Firstly, I would like to hear one of the major parties (excluding The
Greens) say very loudly, and very clearly, that seeking asylum, by boat
or plane, is not illegal. The moral panic that has been created by the
media has, as usual, sunk into general perceptions and made its way into
the 2013 Election. I find it deeply concerning that neither of the
major parties has made a significant attempt to clarify misperception
around asylum seekers coming to Australia.
Secondly, I would like to see policy discussion of de-criminalisation
and regulation of illicit substances on the agenda. The ‘War on Drugs’
and ‘Tough on Drugs’ policy has been ongoing since its inception in the
United States in the early 1970s. However, illicit substances remain
widely available in the community until this day, costing our health
care and criminal justice systems millions of dollars annually.
Prohibition is very expensive. The new call for the de-criminalisation
and regulation of illicit substances has gone global. It is about time
that it entered the Australian political scene more broadly.
These are just two items on my agenda. I just hope that we begin to
see proper discussion of issues like this on the 2013 Election Agenda.