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Young people are disillusioned with the political process, study says


In a recent study, disturbing statistics have revealed that over half of all young people are disillusioned with politics, which has been shown through their reaction to the Federal Election.


Deloitte Australia found in their Millennial Survey 2019 that 67% of young people think government leaders have no ambition beyond their own self gain, 53% believe politicians have a negative impact on the world, and 42% have absolutely no trust in political leaders.


Rachel, a student from the Australian Catholic University said that politicians need to prioritise gaining the trust of their future voters by demonstrating care and commitment towards young people.


“The lack of trust stems from the lack of commitment, accountability and transparency of those in parliament,” she said.


“Politicians need to be more honest in their actions and let themselves be held accountable for their actions in order for young people to see them as competent and worthy of their trust.”


Despite the highest recorded number of young Australians eligible to vote at 88.8% (including over 33790 first time Canberran voters), many young people believe that the election result was a better reflection of older generations interests, and according to an Australian National University student, Hannah, young people don’t have faith that their concerns will be listened to. 


“The Liberal party is apathetic to climate change and social issues, which are massive issues in Australia today,” she said.


Deloitte Australia has found evidence to agree, finding that over a third of young Australians believe that climate change is the biggest issue facing the world, and that politicians are inept to deal with it.


“[They] simply want to make the rich - including themselves - richer, which has been proven most recently by the increase in politician salaries while people on minimum wage live below the poverty line,” Hannah said.


Minister Andrew Leigh said it is important to engage with the community to enact real change for young people, and create a dialogue between young people and parliament.


"We need to make sure we're available to younger members of our electorate as well as older generations,” he said.


“It's important we engage young people in the political process because young people will be more effected by the decisions we make.”


To reduce youth disillusionment in politics, the survey recognises that young people need to feel both seen and heard, that they can make a difference.


"Politics is one of the best ways of going about changing the world,” Dr Leigh said.


“At its best politics is a profession that can accomplish and inspire, the important thing is to ensure that as politics gets nastier, we don't leave it to nasty people”.

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