SOME of Wannon’s newest voters are finding two ballot sheets and set of names deciding the nation’s future more confusing than gruelling exam books filled with maths and science.
The message from first-time voters who spoke to The Standard this week was clear — we haven’t been told how this works.
Year 12 students have a lot to concentrate on this year and like major parties they’re awaiting one result to determine their future.
But with just days to go three Brauer College students said they felt confused and unsure about how the system worked, while making some interesting observations on the political debate so far.
Aaron Robson, 18, plans on taking a gap year before studying to become a police officer. He said he was concerned about climate change but the issue seemed to be overlooked by both the major parties.
“We haven’t really heard about it much over the election. Neither party has really said anything about it,” he said.
Fellow year 12 student Amanda Gavin said the issue had evaporated from the headlines.
“It used to be pumped into us but it’s drifted away,” she said.
Like Aaron, she plans on taking a gap year before applying to study primary teaching.
More than anything, they want preparation in class for what the ballots mean, where their vote goes and how the parliamentary system works.
“I think we could be educated a bit more. They don’t really do much to inform us about the processes and what means what,” Amanda said.
Facebook may be a bigger influence: Aaron plans on voting for the Greens in Wannon but will give his senate vote to the Motoring Enthusiasts Party, which has a growing social media presence.
“I think I’ll vote for them because the laws are ridiculous, like the one-passenger laws. They’re six months old, doing pretty well and hoping to get a seat in the senate,” he said.
“I hope they just try and reform some of the P-plate restrictions.”
But a ‘like’ on Facebook or another Twitter follower doesn’t necessarily translate into a youth vote.
Amanda says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd follows her on Twitter, but she’s no big fan.
“Whenever Rudd answers a question, he just says it with a question back. He never really answers it,” she said.
Laura Sandars, 18, said she would follow the voting pattern of her parents by supporting the Coalition.
“It’s mostly what my dad seems to talk about and he seems to be happy with that,” she said.