Get in early for democ­racy: MLA

Hills Gazette - - OPINION -

KALAMUNDA MLA Matthew Hughes says the first les­son of pol­i­tics is to be in­volved in the demo­cratic process from an early age.

The re­cent­ly­elected La­bor politi­cian spoke with Year 12 stu­dents from Helena Col­lege for a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion in the lead up to their mock ex­ams in Pol­i­tics and Law.

Teacher Di Parker said the stu­dents re­cently re­turned from Can­berra, where they ob­served ques­tion time in Par­lia­ment.

“The stu­dents got to meet Bill Shorten and Cory Bernardi, which was very in­ter­est­ing for them,” she said.

Mr Hughes spoke about the im­por­tance of peo­ple ex­er­cis­ing their right to par­tic­i­pate in the demo­cratic process rather than be­ing crit­i­cal of it.

“You have an obli­ga­tion to help shape the so­ci­ety we’ve got and to be en­gaged,” he said.

“If you are not happy with a politi­cian’s per­for­mance, then vote them out and re­place them with some­one who is re­spon­sive and in­ter­ested in com­mu­nity en­gage­ment.’’

Stu­dents asked ques­tions about plas­tic bag bans, on­line pornog­ra­phy and sham­ing.

Pic­ture: Chris Jeffrey

Mr Hughes an­swers ques­tions from the Year 12 class.

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