The 2013 election looms as one of the most important ever. It is not simply Labor versus Liberal, the working class versus the upper class or the progressives versus the conservatives. It is an election to determine whether Australia keeps up with the pace in the global village or cuts itself adrift to float aimlessly in the global seas.
I see this as the most important election because the world now moves at a pace never before seen. Social and economic changes can take us by storm overnight, whereas in our lazy past we could have a nap in the hammock and still wake up in an unchanged world. We also face the uncertainty that climate change can bring, the predictions of which are horrific.
Labor wants to keep up with, or at the best drive these changes to take us into the future. The Opposition is quite happy to keep resting blissfully in the hammock.
The Coalition, unsurprising, appeal to the aging demographic. In a recent article Polls Apart I looked at the cohort group of their supporters and wrote that:
If you look at the Primary Vote results for the latest Newspoll you’ll notice that support for the Coalition jumps dramatically with each increasing age group. The healthiest support is in the 50+ age group.
This suggests rightly or wrongly that older Australians – in accordance with their preferred political party – have less interest in the uncertain future. They won’t be in it. Why bother with it?
The people who care about the future are the youth of today. Is it any wonder that they find the direction and policies of the Labor Party the most appealing? The correlation is obvious.
To confirm my suggestion that the Australian youth favour the policies of a party that addresses the social and economic changes of the future, this appeared yesterday:
Newspoll surveys indicate the coalition’s primary vote would slip by 1.5 percentage points if the ‘youth vote’ increased.
An analysis of Newspoll surveys indicate the coalition’s primary vote would slip by 1.5 percentage points if those eligible to vote but not enrolled – mainly young people – were enrolled, The Australian reports.
As many as a dozen Liberal and Nationals seats could come into play if Labor and the Australian Greens could mobilise the ‘youth vote’, the paper said.
The coalition holds 10 seats with a margin of less than two per cent. The most vulnerable are the Liberal-held Boothby in South Australia (0.3 per cent); Hasluck in Western Australia (0.6 per cent); and Aston in Victoria (0.7 per cent).
Brisbane (1.1 per cent) and Solomon in Darwin (1.8 per cent) have a high proportion of students and young workers, while Herbert in far north Queensland (2.1 per cent) and Swan in Perth (2.5 per cent) have very high proportion of young people of voting age.
The Greens would be the main beneficiary of direct enrolment, in effect from July, analysis by Professor Ian McAllister of the Australian National University found. Their first preference vote would rise by 0.6 of a point, while Labor’s vote would increase very marginally.
This finding has left he Opposition jittery. Take Christopher Pyne’s response:
Senior Coalition frontbencher Christopher Pyne has accused Labor of rorting the electoral system, following an analysis of new electoral laws that will see up to 1.5 million voters automatically enrolled to vote.
An analysis of Newspoll surveys published on Monday, suggests the Coalition’s primary vote would slip by 1.5 percentage points if those eligible to vote but not enrolled – mainly young people – were enrolled, The Australian reported.
New laws passed by federal parliament in June mean the Australian Electoral Commission can enrol voters or update their details using information from other government government agencies, such as tax records and vehicle registration.
As many as a dozen Liberal and Nationals seats could be threatened if Labor and the Australian Greens mobilised the ”youth vote”, according to the Newspoll analysis.
On Monday, Mr Pyne told Sky News this was ”the latest iteration” of Labor trying to get an advantage over the coalition.
If we let the youth of Australia do the talking, they’d tell us they want to be part of the future that embraces or leads change. They want better technology. They want a cleaner environment. They will vote for the party that delivers these . . . beyond 2013.
Where do you want Australia to be beyond 2013?