Young Australia would rather blog about world issues because they think politicians offer few practical solutions.
Research by the University of Western Sydney’s Whitlem institute found GEN-Y express political preferences rebellious blogging or protest rallies instead of enrolling to vote or joining political parties.
The research also found Gen –Y voters like to swing. Institute director Eric Sidoti said young Australians were motivated by choice, not party loyalty. “The days ‘my father voted for this party so I will’ are long gone”, Sidoti said.
“The feel alienated and marginalised by old, formal, institutionalised politics.” A third of eligible young Aussies were not enrolled to vote before the 2004 federal election. A similar number did not vote in the 2007 election.
While the research found that young people would only vote occasionally if it was not compulsory, this was because of Gen-Y apathy. “They were strongly engaged in political issues and social causes such as the environment, poverty, health and a republic,” Sidoti said. “Young people…are thinking “these are issues I am concerned about and I can do something about, but I am not sure my vote is meaningful’.”
Sidoti said it was unclear if previous generations of young adults had such distrust. “This is the first study of its kind,” Sidoti said. He said the report also showed that politicians shouldn’t assume posting video messages on YouTube or setting up FaceBook groups was an easy way to win over young voters.