John Howard was the last Prime Minister to complete a full term – he left in 2007. Given that was over a decade ago, that means I was seven the last time we had a Prime Minister who completed a full term.
As one 14-year-old boy from Epping Scouts in NSW put it: “It used to take a lot of time to change prime ministers, but now we do that every couple of months.”
"Young people are really disenfranchised
within the system. But we still want to be
involved. We still want to be able to express
our opinions and have them listened to."
Just over half of the new voters we surveyed (18 to 19-year-olds) said there needs to be ‘stability in leadership’. Seventy-one per cent said politicians need to keep their promises.
I’d love to see youth participation in politics.
Though we often see discussion and debate about lowering of the voting age, this participation could be better achieved by having a consultation process with young people about policy areas that affect them – things like education, the foster care system, climate change policy.
This is, of course, more easily said than done. But there is a significant difference between including young people to fill a quota, to tick a box, and giving people genuine influence.
There is a significant difference between including consultations with young people to hit a quota, or to tick off a cohort, and including them as real stakeholders in your policy decisions - to actually give those conversations some weight and allow them legitimate influence, where relevant, in your decision making.