The election: through the eyes of younger voters

August 3, 2010 by Danny Rod
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The election date has been set for August 21 and our nation has followed the political developments and the campaigning programmes undertaken by the various political parties with great interest as issue after issue surfaced to astound the nation.

We went to sleep that on the fateful night of June 21 with Kevin Rudd as our Prime Minister and we awoke to see Kevin Rudd discarded to a position as a lonely backbencher and the Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard elevated to the position of Australia’s first woman prime minister. Rumours soon began to emerge that a general election would be called for august 2010.

Not surprisingly, a number of people appear intent on voting for the greens and the polls predict that the greens will hold an incredible 16% of the vote after the election. This directional shift signals that Australians are fed up with the current leadership and want real change. The important issues of border protection and the asylum seekers policies dominate the Australian landscape, with many Australians becoming fed up with either the increased number of illegal boats of asylum seekers or the government and opposition’s policies in relation to the issue. Health care, the environment and the economy feature heavily on the agenda of both major parties. What is however lacking are discussions on real day to day issues such as the internet filter that communications minister Stephen Conroy is seeking to implement. The election seems to be one where the two major parties seem to have lost touch with what ordinary Australians want and need.

AUJS is holding it’s annual Political Training Seminar in August this year. In fact, it’s on the 22nd, the day after the election. It’s going to be really interesting to see where Australia will be on the 22nd; we can either wake up with a new Prime Minister in the form of Tony Abbott, or with a properly elected prime minister in Julia Gillard. Regardless of one’s views on each of the leaders and the state of their parties, this election signals a change in the way Australians see the office of Prime Minister and the direction in which our country is heading.

All three parties have expressed interest in attending AUJS’s PTS this year and I welcome all students to join us in Canberra on the 22nd.

Current, confirmed speakers include:
Executive Council of Australian Jewry – Executive Director Peter Wertheim
Jewish Board of Deputies – CEO Vic Alhadeff
Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council – Joel Burnie, Daniel Meyerowitz-Katz
standwithus – Michelle Rojas
Capital Jewish Forum – Manny Waks
Embassy of Israel – Ambassador Yuval Rotem
Labor MP for Melbourne Ports – Michael Danby
Liberal MP for Wentworth & Former Opposition Leader – Malcolm Turnbull National Director of ausaid – Peter Baxter

We are also currently in talks with numerous International ambassadors and diplomats as well as senior figures in both the Liberal and Labor Parties who have expressed an interest in forums with students on PTS and we expect to have a jam packed 2 days in Canberra from the 22nd to the 24th of August.

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AUJS has also combined with Network to promote an event in Wentworth for a pre election candidates forum for all leaders to give Steven Lewis, Malcolm Turnbull and Matthew Robertson an opportunity to talk to the Young Adult Community to air concerns and hear what they intend to do if elected as a representative for Wentworth. The Liberals hold the seat of Wentworth by a margin of 3.9% and it will be interesting to see how all three candidates embrace this forum.  This event will be free and will be held on the 11th of August at Bondi Icebergs at 6:30. With only weeks until the next Federal Election, this will be a great opportunity to have your voices heard and events like this are really important in encouraging young adults and members of the community to have their say in issues that are important to them.

The Wentworth event is FREE but it’s essential to register as tickets are selling out fast, go to http://is.gd/dxz4p to register your details and reserve your place.

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