Challenge of the young
POLITICS has always been about gaining and holding on to power. But how that is achieved is now subject to tectonic shift and major parties, particularly on the right, are facing an enormous challenge: how do they engage young tuned-out Australians?
Those who were born into Labor or Liberal families and voted that way for life are getting older. Lifetime political loyalties no longer matter; younger people are not interested in parties but issues pertaining to the planet.
Some may sneer, but those who do not take genuine steps to meet these concerns will face their own extinction.
For the hard-line conservatives, who may not agree with climate change or think its threat is overstated, they have a choice. Ignore the new generation of voters or watch their own relevance melt beneath their feet.
Labor has stolen the Greens ground on climate change in a clever ploy that sets them up for years to come.
But they will need to be careful to deliver in meaningful ways or face rejection from a generation that makes splitsecond decisions based on the unregulated flow of questionable information.
If younger people are tuning out to traditional politics, they are engrossed on one major policy event: how the planet will look 50 years from now.
For them, that is not a story for next week or next year. It is today’s news.
The old adage goes: if you don’t vote left when you’re young you don’t have a heart; if you don’t vote right when you’re older you don’t have a brain.
That no longer applies. They are thinking about oxygen, not superannuation.
How the conservative parties will appeal to younger voters who believe their planet is dying is set to become their greatest test.
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