It’s no secret that a large majority of young voters have displayed little interest in the upcoming Federal Election.

The Australian Electoral Commission estimates 381,738 eligible young voters aged between 18 and 25 are currently missing from the electoral roll. Surprise? Not really. Concerning? Yes. Reasons are varied. But it’s mostly because we’re disengaged. If I had to put together a bunch of stereotypical reasons why the youth vote is generally wasted, they would sound something like this.

“I kid you not, there is an app to share leftover food. But they still haven’t worked out how to vote online?”
We’ll lie in bed until late afternoon 51/52 Saturdays of the year but miraculously on July 2nd when we’re required to vote, we’ve got a brunch. Tell me again why we can’t vote online?

“Because both parties are as boring as the the last three GOT episodes”
You know nothing Bill Shorten.

“Nobody has promised to get me to work quicker.”
To be fair, Daniel Andrews might have. But then made a mess of it. Yeah, cheers.

“The big dawg Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t filter his Insta pics.”
Just give us a little taste of Valencia or Mayfair big dawg, please.

“Neither party have put forward the three day weekend.”
How do we vote for Sweden in this election?

“Tried to Google who to vote for but the page won’t load.”
That’s a shot at you Turnballs. Your promise for speedy internet is about as empty as our wallets.

But for realz, It’s not that we don’t totally care, I mean, aren’t we the ones that are going to bare the longterm consequences of any poorly crafted policy? The problem is we’re just simply not part of the conversation. The issues we truly care about are sitting in the parties ‘Other’ folder and there is now more than ever, a genuine disconnect.

Why are you afraid to open real dialogue about how fkn pricey it is for us to buy a house or why you’re booting asylum seekers out of the country when there’s plenty of room on the d floor? Why can’t we have a conversation about the fact two people of the same gender, who may be in love still can’t marry each other or why the ice in my drink is melting twice as fast as it was ten years ago?

Is it because you know you won’t like the answer?

While it’s clear there are some fundamental flaws in communication from the top down, young voters also need to take some responsibility too. We’re distracted. It’s just as easy to change the channel or turn off the notifications than it is to actively challenge our values and our thinking. It’s important to remember that even though they may not speak our language or deliberate on the precise topics we care about, we still have a powerful, unified voice. That is, if we choose to use it.

If you’ve made it this far I’m going to assume I’ve conjured a little rumble in your stomach. You’re empowered. Great. But where to begin? To make things a little easier come July 2nd I’ve put together a small toolkit to help form your decision. I’ve also included a bunch of formal resources if you’re willing to get the mind dirty and delve into the nitty gritty.


What are my options?

The Liberal Party
Also referred to as The Coalition. They house our current PM, Mr. Malcolm Turnbull. They’re traditionalists and generally employ one major focus; seeing our economy grow. They’re the mad scientists of capitalism. But to be fair, can generate results.

The Labor Party
Fronted by MC Bill Shorten. They’re always giving the Aussie battler a bloody fair go. They kind of agree with the Greens so they support some progressive policy but they cut the numbers in half. They’re the pleasers.

The Greens
Senator Richard Di Natale heads up The Greens. They’re the complete opposite of The Coalition and favour the environment and our society over everything else.

Independents
All you need to know is Pauline Hanson’s terror group fall in this category. Do your homework on Independents.


What are their policies?

The ones we care about most.

Housing affordability

The Liberal Party
Won’t budge on negative gearing or capital gains tax. Which can be interpreted as prioritising private investment over the potential young voters buying and living. 

The Labor Party
Have promised to reform the current negative gearing and tax climate. But at what cost?

The Greens
Will reinvest revenue generated from ending negative gearing and into construction of quality affordable housing instead. Costing and budget consideration is essential in this case.


Refugees

The Liberal Party
Will continue to send the boats back for offshore processing and let a handful of refugees from war-torn countries settle in Australia. The Coalition viewpoint is that settling refugees at volume is far too costly.

The Labor Party
Liable to swing either way. If elected, will most certainly work on policy in conjunction with The Greens.

The Greens
Would like to see 200,000 refugees settled in Australia in four years at an estimated cost of 7 billion dollars.


Same Sex Marriage 

The Liberal Party
Have promised a plebiscite. A decision made by the Australian Public.

The Labor Party
Are calling the Libs to hold a parliamentary conscience vote. In which it’s voted in upon members of parliament. I assume this is to just add tension to the cause but if elected will go to a vote within 100 days.

The Greens
Passionately support Marriage Equality.


Environment 
 
The Liberal Party
Climate change is now a thing according to the Libs. The Coalition’s goal is to cut emissions by 26–28 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030.

The Labor Party
Labor wants to cut emissions by 45 per cent on 2005 levels by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The Greens
One hundred percent renewable energy, save the great barrier reef, encourage smart technologies, eliminate all greenhouse gases and end fossil fuels production. Di Natale & the greens = captain planet, irl.


Young voters don’t care because you don’t have our number. We’re not invited to the party. It’s possible you don’t think we could make a well informed decision, we don’t have the life experience perhaps. But let’s not forget we’re going to have to face the consequences and lead our people one day, so let us talk about it now. Hopefully there’s a time in the not so near future where change can be made swiftly. Government recognises poor policy and take action to amend it. With the world seemingly spinning twice as fast as before, we all need to swallow our pride and work collaboratively with young voters and make shit happen.

PS. Download this iCal invite so you don’t forget to vote.

Further your stance

  1. The ABC’s Vote Compass will ask you a bunch of questions and compare your opinion to the promised policy of each party.
  2. Enrol For Change is an initiative developed by two students, Kate & Gina, who both understand how powerful our collective voice is.
  3. Where the parties stand on the big issues.
  4. Friendlyjords always have a unique touch when it comes to communicating policy to young voters.

Would love your hear your thoughts, what do you care about as a young voter? Do you feel the disconnect?