Waleed Aly has told young Australians to make politicians “really bloody nervous” by voting in the upcoming federal election.
On last night’s instalment of Ten’s The Project, Aly urged “almost one million Australians who are not enrolled to vote in the election on July 2” and singled out the “democracy-resisters” aged between 18 and 25, which make up 38 per cent of all unenrolled voters.
Listing the myriad issues for young people in Australia, such as soaring youth unemployment, threats to weekend penalty rates, the out-of-reach housing market and the prospect of $100,000 university degrees, Aly said he was stunned that almost half of 18-year-olds were not enrolled to vote.
“And you know what, I get it,” Aly said. “I get that you don’t feel represented or part of the conversation. I get that you’re made to feel dumb and lazy and inexperienced when you ask questions or voice an opinion, and the truth is it suits Malcolm [Turnbull] and Bill [Shorten] to keep you quiet.
“Because if we had automatic enrolment of all eligible voters, there’s some evidence it would actually benefit The Greens the most, and that’s bad news for the Coalition who are politically at odds with them, but it’s terrible news for Labor, who would see their own voter base erode.
“You and your mates could actually decide whether or not these people actually have a job.
“Also, I don’t want to be a downer, but not enrolling to vote is actually illegal, and if you’re busted for not voting, you can cop a fine.”
Aly went as far as citing specific marginal seats like McMahon, Lindsay, Brisbane or Lilley, and urging people in those seats to enrol before the electoral rolls closed on Monday night.
“I don’t care who you vote for, just vote, because right now we only have a partial democracy. Let’s get a real one,” Aly said.
“You guys could completely change the outcome of this election and make it clear to our politicians that it’s time they considered you when making their policy decisions about things like jobs and education and housing and the environment, or how we treat asylum seekers.
“And if that doesn’t excite you, maybe you just like the idea of making Malcolm and Bill really bloody nervous. Let’s do this.”