Why are Australians "Switching Off" from Politics?

1753 WordsJun 21, 20188 Pages
"Why are Australians 'Switching Off' from Politics?" Introduction In order to address this question in a meaningful way the questions must be asked which Australians are switching off from politics and if so which aspects of politics are they switching off from. What at first seems a simple question understates the complexity of Australian society and it’s political system. Using an institutionalist perspective on politics the premise of the question may be viewed as correct. Bean (1989) uses a narrow definition of orthodox politics, which is limited to campaigning, voting, communal activity and personalised contacting; however as Fyfe (2009 p37) contends that political participation is a contested term. A review of articles around this…show more content…
They suggested that political participation held more than instrumental value and offered a platform for the earning of the virtues and responsibilities that underpin democracy The Electoral System Despite some proponents of compulsory voting claiming that rising rates of informal voting are due to a lack of respect towards politics research suggests that it is not the case. In 2004 the electorate with the highest rate of informal voting was the NSW seat of Greenway. At 12% Greenway’s informal voting rate was twice the national average. However this was largely due to other factors, the AEC concluded that in the 2004 federal election’ The 10 divisions with the highest informality levels were in the 27 divisions with the highest non-English speaking background levels nationally’ (Hill and Young 2007). Education level is another important factor in voting rates with the lowest informal vote in 2004 held mostly in upper middle-class seats especially those the Liberals Party held including Indi, Kooyong and Higgins. The rate of informal voting can be as low as 3% in affluent electorates such as Higgins but as high as 12% in electorates such as Greenway with a large proportion of voters from non-English speaking households. (Hill and Young 2007) Aspects of Compulsory Voting The electoral provisions seem not to require a person to make a choice. All they require is an attendance at a polling

More about Why are Australians "Switching Off" from Politics?

Open Document