“I don’t like to be too dramatic about these things but if I was a young person right now, I would think that the government was against me”
This was the surprising admission that I got from my father earlier this year. A man who has lived through right wing governments from the Thatcher government in the UK to the entire Howard era and *shudders* Abbott short reign – yet this is the first time he has said anything like this. This was not the response to any targeted policies (although there are plenty, such as the constant assault on university funding and trashing of penalty rates) but rather due to the continual disregard that the Liberal government has in the interests of millennials.
From inaction on climate change, housing affordability, compassion to asylum seekers and most topically, of course, same sex marriage. The Liberal government has repeatedly used bureaucratic efforts to prolong the legalization change in order to placate the ultra-conservative members of their party. Polls have shown that these conservative views are not representative of the general population, where support for same-sex marriage legalization sits at 60% even in the most conservative polls.
This plebiscite, however unnecessary, money wasting and discriminatory, must be used to finally make our voices heard. However appealing the idea of not endorsing this process is, a boycott of it is foolish and a missed opportunity. I can’t begin to understand the pain the LBGTIQ+ community feels having their basic rights being discussed, their lives scrutinized in such detail, and actively insulted – but to opt out of this system could have devastating effects. The side in opposition to same sex message will not be turning their back on this process. They will be emphatically voting and encouraging their friends to do the same. Silence will not beat ‘No’.
We can see in the UK election this year, the difference that youth enrollment can make in politics. Although Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor party didn’t win, their swell of support from record numbers of first-time voters (who mostly voted for Labor) leads to a minority government. This did not come without a cost though, the catalyst for these enrollments has been explained by the pro-Brexit vote whose commentators blamed on the measly 35% of people under 25 who voted.
Newspoll has shown that the strongest support for same sex marriage comes from younger voters. However, the process of a postal plebiscite actively preferences the portions of our population who are in stable and long term housing, who are enrolled to vote and who are comfortable with using the postal system. Unfortunately, the majority of this people are in the older age bracket.