From the poor taste part of town

“It’s lonely at the top…” image copyright Matt Innes 2013



Image  —  Posted: October 16, 2013 in Blog Posts, Photos, Uncategorized
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Young voters are becoming less engaged with politics and fewer are exercising their right to vote, according to statistics released by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).

Voter participation in 18-25 year-old Australians has seen a steady decline since 2007-08, with the target participation rate not being met for the past four years.

Statistics courtesy of Australian Electoral Commission, September 2013

AEC Director of Enrolment & Internal Communications, Bernadette O’Meara says it is part of a larger international trend among young people in which they are less likely to be engaged with politics and the electoral process.

“The younger you are, the less likely you are to be engaged,” she says. “It’s just that most young people in the research we have done just haven’t gotten around to doing it. They actually do value it but they just haven’t made it a priority in their life.”

Griffith University School of Humanities political analyst, Dr Paul Williams says that this is not a recent phenomenon, but a long term pattern that has occurred over the past few decades.

“It’s an issue of cultural perception and cultural identity,” Dr Williams explains. “At the bottom of this is that young people say they are increasingly seeing party politics as not serving their purposes or not relevant to their daily lives.”

Tattooist and body-piercer, Adam Payton, 25, perfectly reflects this continuing trend and the growing political apathy in his demographic. He has only been enrolled to vote for the past year but is still yet to turn up to the polls on any election day since he was eligible.

He says it is a conscious choice he makes to not vote and feels Australian politics fails to connect with the issues that are important to young voters like him.

“I think there needs to be less politics in politics and it needs to be more about the issues and more direct,” Adam says. “Then young people like me will actually listen because there’s no sugar-coating, I guess; there’s no distraction, there’s no name-calling, no pettiness in it and it’s solely about the issue the politicians are there for.”

Check out webisode 1 of ‘The Fence Files’ for another insight into this story:

Let us know what you think on Twitter using #fencesittermanifesto


Don’t Be An Ass On Election Day

Posted: September 6, 2013 in Blog Posts

So tomorrow is the big day and if you’re anything like me, you still have no idea who to vote for. On the final day before we take to the polls, candidates are out in force trying to rally last-minute support and convince us that their man/woman is the best for the job.

This has easily been the most contentious election in recent history, with Labor and Coalition trying to outdo and undermine each others’ policies at every turn and Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party (PUP) gain surprising ground.

Greens leader Christine Milne brought Opposition leader Tony Abbott’s children into the climate change debate with her address to the National Press Club on Wednesday, claiming he is happy to use them for political campaigning but “doesn’t care” what happens to them in 2050.

Christine Milne Joins National Press club (ABC News 04/09/13)

Clearly the election has gotten personal; it’s no longer about policy or what’s best for the future of Australia and its citizens, it’s about who can fling the most mud. I’m not entirely convinced that any of these people is the right one for the top job.

With the complete lack of options, you couldn’t be blamed for entering a donkey-vote, which, let’s be honest, is the worst way to waste your vote. Even a vote for an obscure party that will never win is better than simply throwing it away. Besides, if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.

Here’s a few suggestions to make voting a little less stressful:

– Forget politics: too much of Australian politics is dominated by the Left-Right division which gets us nowhere. Ignore what party each candidate is from and focus on their personal record as a public servant. What have they achieved in their community? Are they fiscally responsible? Do they fairly represent your electorate? This is the first step to deciding who deserves your vote.

– Don’t believe the hype!: Treat all political advertising as propaganda. Be properly informed about your full range of voting options and don’t be swayed by extravagant pre-election promises.

– Don’t get side-tracked: Before you get to the booths you’ll face the gauntlet of volunteers from all parties handing out flyers and trying to rally last-minute votes or even change your mind. In my experience, strangers on the street who try to jam a pamphlet in my hand are not reliable sources of information.

– Don’t follow the crowd: it doesn’t matter who your friends and family are voting for, make a choice for you and your community. In the end, government represents the people and is thereby accountable to the people. The candidate who gets your vote should be the one you feel confident in representing you and your community.

You do have a choice and your vote is important. Exercise your democratic rights, get out there tomorrow and let them know exactly what you want.

A succinct and appropriate debut for this blog. We honestly have little else to say at this moment.

Fat Tony meme[meme courtesy of ‘Capitalism‘ Facebook page. ‘Fat Tony’ character created by Matt Groening, copyright and trademark of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation]

Image  —  Posted: August 13, 2013 in Blog Posts, Memes, Photos
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