Rural youth: enrol, seek, think, vote

V4I is encouraging every young person in Indi over the age of eighteen to make sure they're enrolled to vote.  Then, they're asking them to get informed. To find out who their State election candidates are, seek them out, engage with them - online, in person or via the telephone or post - and then think before they vote on Saturday 29 November 2014.

Youthful engagement in politics is to be encouraged. The energy and perspective young people bring to discussions about our region and our country's future is critical. It's very important for people of all generations to value and engage in our political process. There is a lot of cynicism and disengagement now which is what V4I is working to turn around with the upcoming IndiTalks democracy event.   

According to Alana Johnson, V4I President: “Voices for Indi isn’t supporting candidates in the November Victorian election, instead will focus on encouraging young people to be enrolled and all people to be prepared to vote in an informed way for the candidate that best represents their interests.

V4I encourages constructive conversation about politics and democracy and an engaged and informed electorate is key to this,” Ms Johnson said.

V4I is encouraging every young person in Indi over the age of eighteen to make sure they're enrolled to vote.  Then, they're asking them to get informed. To find out who their State election candidates are, seek them out, engage with them - online, in person or via the telephone or post - and then think before they vote on Saturday 29 November 2014.

For V4I Committee member and Wangaratta resident John Davis, the atrocities in Iraq and Syria are a reminder of the preciousness of our democracy and its free and fair elections. 

“Overseas events remind us of the gift that a vote is,” Dr Davis said.  

“Anyone born in Australia or anyone becoming an Australian citizen who has turned eighteen is able to vote. Everyone can participate in the choosing of our parliamentary representatives. Last Federal election in Indi there were only four hundred and thirty-nine votes that finally determined the result.

“The issues and the needs of every age group are there to be heard by those who would represent us. But make sure your voice is in the count,” Dr Davis said.

V4I's Vice President Denis Ginnivan said he was proud of the large number of young people who were involved in the recent Federal election campaign and who are still part of Voices for Indi.

"As we saw at the last Federal election, people who are engaged and energized have a positive effect on others who are not."

“There was a lot of innovation in the McGowan election campaign with cash mobs, flash mobs, the use of social media and the many ways young people were encouraged to be involved. Communities and organisation’s across the country have been interested to learn about this and we’re open to sharing the Voices for Indi recipe Mr. Ginnivan said.

Regarding the recent story in The Weekend Australian, Alana Johnson said that V4I had not been contacted by the Australian Electoral Commission.

"We only know what we've read in the paper, we've not had any contact from the AEC. The Weekend Australian story is counter-productive to encouraging young people to participate in politics. The author has picked on young people who have not been found in breach of anything as yet. “

“Many rural young people leave home to study, travel and work, they are often transient and their family home remains their permanent address.  If young people’s place of enrollment is an issue for Indi, then it is an issue for rural electorates across the country.

Any clarification and improvement the AEC can make to the enrollment process that encourages and helps young people be involved will be welcomed.” Ms Johnson said

Anyone not on the roll has until Tuesday 11 November to register with the Victorian Electoral Commission.

Former Federal Independent Tony Windsor and Dr Simon Longstaff AO who is Executive Director of the St James Ethics Centre will headline V4I’s free IndiTalks events in Swanpool and Yackandandah on the weekend of 18 and 19 October.  For further information about IndiTalks see www.voicesforindi.com/inditalks


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