Youth engagement in politics is a prevalent problem. I think it has something to do with the way we absorb information these days. Gen Y is more internet centric, we absorb information from Facebook and other social media sites. The times that I am most politically engaged is when friends are sharing issues and other such political news that then spurs discussion. Also mainstream news media is still the largest source of political news which youth have all but detached from. This suggests to me that when new media grows so will youth involvement.
The only Australian politician to tap into the youth vote effectively was Kevin 07 and the curious case of Reddit Rudd Dawgz. In the lead up to the 07 election the Labor Party launched a full on social media assault which proved incredibly successful. Obama of course did the same thing in the US and this sort of stuff proves the power of youth votes. But on the other hand we have the last party election which all but ignored the youth vote as the Liberal Party will probably never gain the majority in this area. Also young people when enraged can make an awful lot of ruckus so it was probably in Tony Abbott’s best interest to pretend that we never even existed.
You can’t really blame us Millennials for being politically switched off. We were born into a time where we had the same party and prime minister in power for the majority of our lives. One of the reasons Kevin 07 was successful, I believe, was because it understood that we were sick of the same tired old politics and lit a fire under our butt to go out and do something about it.
Kevin Rudd social media campaign gearing up on twitter, Facebook and YouTube | News.com.au. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.news.com.au/technology/kevin-rudd-social-media-campaign-gearing-up-on-twitter-facebook-and-youtube/story-e6frfro0-1226577817645. [Accessed 10 May 2014].
Abbott falls short in the social media election – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-06/sprokkreeff-social-media-election/4866960. [Accessed 10 May 2014].
The youth don’t care, but they should – The Drum (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-06-17/holman-the-youth-dont-care-but-they-should/4760288. [Accessed 10 May 2014].