Jackie Lobban

University

University of New England

Place (Rank)

3rd Place

Year

2015

Introduction

Third place in 2015 was awarded to Jackie Lobban, who is a student at the University of New England. Ms Lobban was struck by differences between how she and her peers engage with democracy, and this provided the impetus for analysing the results of the Museum of Australian Democracy’s Power of 1 survey about voters’ attitudes to democracy, leading her to make recommendations for redressing younger voters’ disillusionment with the democratic process.

Essay

Democracy 2.0?

An Analysis of Young Australians’ Democratic Engagement and the Potential for a New Politics.

In Australia, the principles and values of democracy are enshrined in the Constitution and are reflected in the nation’s parliamentary and governmental systems and their affiliated institutions and practices.[1] As a representative democracy rooted in the liberal democratic tradition, these structures serve to safeguard what former prime minister John Howard described as the “three pillars of… democratic life: a vigorous Parliamentary system… a strong, independent and incorruptible judiciary; and a free and sceptical media”.[2] In this way, democracy is a defining feature of Australian life which upholds the rights and responsibilities of citizens and those of their parliament and political representatives.[3] However, the Museum of Australian Democracy’s (MoAD’s) recent ‘The Power of One Voice’ survey has revealed that a growing number of young Australians have become increasingly disillusioned with the nation’s democratic system.[4] Although alarming, these findings are consistent with a wealth of research and scholarly literature regarding youth (dis)engagement with democratic processes.[5] By drawing on the findings of MoAD’s report, this article will aim to situate youth disillusionment with the democratic process in a larger socio-historical framework, analyse and discuss the conclusions which can be drawn from the report and use this to inform recommendations for future directions for redressing such citizens’ disillusionment by considering the potential for a new politics. In doing this, this article will aim to illustrate that, although eight hundred years have passed since the signing of the Magna Carta, democracy remains everybody’s business.[6]

Just as politics does not (and cannot) occur in a vacuum, in order to comprehend the dissatisfaction of younger generations of Australians with democratic processes, it is necessary to situate this dilemma in a larger socio-historical framework. From an historical perspective, concerns over youth apathy, scepticism about democratic processes and predications of the impending death (or, indeed, destruction) of democracy are hardly modern phenomena.[7] Rather, a rich history exists of what Professor A. J. Brown termed “Australians’ self-criticism of their constitutional structure” in which “rarely a week goes by without… [public] expressions of the desirability of massive overhaul to [political] structure[s]”.[8] Examples of this scepticism and predictions of future democratic downfall are not difficult to locate. For example, in 1936 an article in a Newcastle newspaper, which bore the heading “Leaderless World”, lamented the development of a “disillusioned youth” who were wont to align themselves with “Communism or Fascism”.[9] Similarly, in 1954 the Adelaide Advertiser reported on the “urgent need for recruiting and training of [youth] leaders” in order to correct their limited understanding of the “principles of democracy”.[10] In this way, Australia’s youth have frequently been situated at the centre of debates regarding democracy in which they have been simultaneously cast as part of the problem and the solution to democratic concerns.[11] This may be one of the key reasons why education initiatives have frequently been at the forefront of campaigns to increase youth participation and active citizenship.[12] As historian Anna Clark notes, the 1990s was a prominent turning-point in civics and citizenship education with public concern over diminishing levels of “national knowledge” prompting the Keating and successive governments to become actively involved in promoting civics education in schools.[13] This involved the dissemination of resources including One Destiny! The Federation Story and Discovering Democracy kits.[14] This historical context is particularly pertinent given that these socio-political motivations and actions directly impacted on and informed the education of today’s young Australians.

Although Australia has a long history of socio-political concern over young people’s civic involvement, MoAD’s report negates contemporary claims that the youth of Australia are civically apathetic.[15] Rather, the report suggests that young Australians simply engage with politics through different means.[16] This primarily involves the use of contemporary, internet-based mediums such as social media, blogging, e-campaigns, online forums, advocacy groups and crowd-funding.[17] In this way, young Australians are more inclined to employ forms of “new media” [18] to engage with politics in a way which is individualised, motivated by personal interest and which allows them to feel that they have made a (relatively instantaneous) difference “in ways not possible through formal [political] institutions”.[19] As such, the findings of MoAD’s report indicate a need for enhanced models of democratic participation which reflect technological innovations.[20] However, this provokes a challenge not only with regards to security (particularly the conundrum of anonymity versus verifiability),[21] but also in terms of the power of media outlets and their control over certain modes of participation. While young Australians were not alone in asserting their disagreement with the power of the media over politics,[22] it is uncertain whether this merely applied to their influence over political outcomes or if this also extended to their control over forums of participation. If the latter, this reflects the findings of researcher Kim Moody who indicated that, while young Australians are still heavy consumers of commercial news-media, many are turning to non-news media sources which they feel are less likely to be “distorted by the media”.[23] This trend not only raises serious concerns in regards to the stability of a “free and sceptical media”[24] as the third pillar of Australia’s democracy, it may also be indicative of the need for non-media regulated paradigms (other than newspaper, radio or television formats) for civic participation and reciprocal, interactive communication.[25] In the case of the latter, this may also help to redress young Australians’ concerns over political accountability and open up a dialectical and deliberative space, particularly at a local level.

Although young Australians were not the only generation to voice their dislike of broken political promises in MoAD’s survey, this issue deserves particular focus given that it evoked the most prominent feelings of antipathy among the young respondents, only narrowly exceeding the influence of big business over politics.[26] Indeed, it may be the case that young Australians perceive a causative link between broken election promises and the interests of big businesses. This may explain why, out of a number of proposals, the majority of the young respondents believed that placing a cap on political donations (thereby reducing the risk of “corruption and undue [third-party] influence”)[27] would have the most positive effect on Australian democracy.[28] These concerns can be seen as symptomatic of young Australians’ desire for greater political accountability. This correlates with the findings of a 2009 report by the Whitlam Institute which found that young people not only believed that politicians should be more accountable and politics more accessible, but that youth themselves felt marginalised from political decision-making processes.[29] This is further complicated by the way politicians are increasingly being perceived as “removed from their communities”.[30] In this case, young Australians’ concerns over politicians’ unaccountability stems from a growing sense of disconnect between citizens and their representatives.[31] This state of affairs sheds light on the need for politicians to reconnect with their constituents and implement platforms for ongoing, reciprocal communication.[32] In this way, evidence of political shortcomings and unaccountability may be seen as key reasons why young Australians have become increasingly disenchanted with democracy as a form of government.

While MoAD’s report revealed young Australians’ frustrations with their political representatives, the survey data also revealed inconsistencies in their understanding of what democracy is and how it is manifest in everyday life. This was evidenced by the way nineteen percent of the Generation Y participants could not identify what they liked about democracy and fourteen percent could not pinpoint what they disliked about democracy.[33] Although some readers may be inclined to interpret this as apathy, such an explanation would be at odds with contemporary research findings.[34] Similarly, these findings cannot be attributed to a lack of survey choice given the inclusion of an ‘Other’ option. Rather, it is more rational to consider these findings as being indicative of young Australians’ ambivalence and uncertainty about democratic processes. This accords with the findings of the 2007 Inquiry into Civics and Electoral Education which reported that young Australians lacked awareness of “the forms and purposes of Democracy” and perceived democratic processes as something “removed from them”.[35] In this way, young Australians tended to perceive democracy as only occurring at a macro-political level. This illustrates a lack of awareness of the how democracy works on a micro-level and reflects the need for community education initiatives.[36] Unlike previous education initiatives which have been criticised for focusing too much on the historical and electoral manifestations of democracy, future education initiatives must aim to present a greater balance between these concepts and the significance of democracy to citizens’ daily lives.[37] By emphasising this significance and dispelling common misunderstandings which surround democracy, community education initiatives are integral to redressing citizens’ disillusionment with democratic process in Australia.[38]

As the authors of MoAD’s report indicate, the growing popularity of contemporary forms of democratic engagement has opened up a space for a new politics of democratic engagement or, what author Stephen Coleman termed, “a new politics of listening”.[39] This space has the potential to subvert the ostensible dichotomy between representative and participatory models of democracy by using paradigms of the latter to shore up the former.[40] As such, Coleman’s emphasis on listening is important as it highlights the potential of new technologies to bridge the gap between citizens and their representatives, making for a more reflexive, “inclusive and responsive democratic system”.[41] However, in recent years there has been an increasing amount of research into the potential pitfalls of social media and internet-based democratic engagement. The most common criticisms of these mediums has centred on their reliance on cause-based participation and user-driven motivation.[42] Some scholars have highlighted the potential for these mediums to encourage and perpetuate homogeneity in users’ political ideology and limit their potential for long-term, cross-issue engagement.[43] Nevertheless, reports on the benefits of new media for promoting democratic engagement have far exceeded its criticisms, with many researchers pointing to new media as a legitimisation of young Australians’ role in politics.[44] In this way, the efficacy of future democratic renewal hinges upon the ability of political parties to integrate a new politics of technological participation in a way which reflects the core values and principals of Australian democracy. Looking internationally, it is apparent that this is by no means a simple task, with other Western democratic societies reporting varying levels of success.

The dilemma of youth disillusionment with and disengagement from traditional forms of democratic participation is one which Australia shares with a host of other Western democracies including the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and New Zealand. Each of these nations have aimed to redress their young citizens’ disengagement by introducing contemporary participatory paradigms. Arguably, the most successful example of this was US president Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign which employed a range of web-based technologies to “connect directly to people”.[45] This extended from Facebook, Twitter and YouTube through to personalised emails and a free iPhone application which utilised the user’s geographical location to identify “local political activities in which the supporter could immediately engage”.[46] Yet, the Obama administration’s success in promoting widespread youth participation continued even after their election success, with the use of Web 2.0 tools being effectively transitioned from a supporter-based network to a national one.[47] However, while the Obama campaign may be seen as a “watershed moment in the use of social media for campaigning... [and] governance”, few other nations have experienced this level of success.[48] Indeed, in 2005 the British government’s efforts to engage young people in politics by “simplify[ing] voting procedures” actually resulted in a decrease in voter turnout among eighteen to twenty-four year olds.[49] While other initiatives such as the ‘Big Conversation’ (2003) and ‘Let’s Talk’ (2006) have aimed to engage citizens in discussions about policy (with limited success), it was not until 2011 that the British government recognised the need for greater interactivity and implemented the consultative exercise ‘Fresh Ideas’.[50] In Canada, the ‘Apathy is Boring’ project also echoed the need to engage with youth on a real level by employing youth “street teams” to educate other youth about democracy.[51] While this project evinced a rather creative approach by reaching youth through organised “concerts and festivals”, its focus on youth mobilisation was largely limited to electoral participation.[52] Closer to home, New Zealand has also developed a variety of programs aimed at promoting youth participation, including ‘RockEnrol’ and ‘Ask Away’, the web-based application ‘Candidate’ and the facilitation of youth parliaments.[53] Yet, while the efficacy (and sustainability) of these initiatives is yet to be assessed, their primary limitation lies in their focus, not on introducing new forms of participation, but by attempting to reconcile youth with traditional ones.[54]

Although the latest poll by the Lowy Institute indicates a slight increase in the number of Australians who believe that democracy is “preferable to any other kind of government” (sixty-five percent up from sixty percent), it remains apparent that Australian democracy is in need of renewal.[55] Having considered the successes and shortcomings experienced by other democratic nations, it is evident that, in order to encourage young Australians to engage with politics, contemporary modes of engagement must be integrated into democratic processes. It is important that these measures should look beyond electoral participation to engage youth on an ongoing basis.[56] Blog pages, online plebiscites and social media offer valuable channels for initiating reciprocal discussion between citizens and their representatives and for generating ideas.[57] However, traditional forms of participation are also in need of revival with youth reference, advisory and committee groups augmenting youth representation at a federal level.[58] Moreover, it is necessary to improve public access to relevant information about how youth can participate in democratic processes at a local, state and federal level. This should be bolstered by education initiatives which, rather than focusing on “dumbing down” democracy or instilling the values of “dutiful citizenship”, should promote democracy as culturally-relevant and being anchored in lived experience.[59] These initiatives may even be a valuable medium for dispelling myths about youth apathy to further legitimise the democratic role of youth to older generations. In this way, new media has the potential to shift Australian politics away from patterns of insularity, unaccountability and self-interest and into an age of greater transparency and connectedness.[60]

In summary, MoAD’s ‘The Power of One Voice’ report illustrates that, while young Australians are not apathetic towards democracy, they have become increasingly disillusioned with the nations’ democratic processes. Disconnection from formal forms of democratic participation, frustration with political unaccountability and misunderstandings about the relevance of democracy to everyday life have all contributed to this disillusionment. As such, it is apparent that Australian democracy is in need of renewal and that the integration of new media and contemporary participatory paradigms is a valuable way forward. While this proposal will inevitably be met with resistance from partisans of traditional democratic models, it is important to remember that the efficacy of democracy, within any nation, hinges on its ability to adapt and respond to social change. In this way, William H. Hastie’s assertion that democracy is a process which is “becoming rather than being” points to an enduring and contemporarily relevant truth; that each generation must shape democracy to reflect the changing needs of their society, nation and world.[61]

Bibliography

Primary Sources

Back, J. S. “Leaderless World: Disillusioned Youth.” Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (Newcastle), 7 December 1936.

“Principles and Practice of Democracy.” The Advertiser (Adelaide), 21 May 1954.

Secondary Sources

Arditi, Jason. “Political Donations and Electoral Finance.” E-Brief prepared for the NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service. Parliament of New South Wales website. http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/key/PoliticalDonationsandElectoralFinance/$File/Political+Donations+and+Electoral+Finance+E-Brief.pdf (accessed 15 June 2015).

Arvanitakis, James, and Siobhan Marren. “Putting the Politics back into Politics: Young people and Democracy in Australia.” Research report prepared for the Whitlam Institute. Sydney: University of Western Sydney, 2009.

Bastedo, Heather, Ilona Dougherty, Lawrence LeDuc, Bernard Rudny and Tyler Sommers. “Youth, Democracy and Civic Engagement: The ‘Apathy is Boring’ Surveys.” Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Edmonton, Alberta, 13 June – 15 June 2012. CPSA website. http://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/papers-2012/Leduc.pdf (accessed 20 June 2015).

Bentley, Tom. “Everyday Democracy: Why We Get the Politicians We Deserve.” Research paper prepared for Demos. London: Demos, 2005.

Bishop, Patrick. “Democratic Equivocations: Who Wants What, When and How?.” Paper presented at the Department of the Senate Occasional Lecture Series, Canberra, 19 April 2002. Parliament of Australia website. https://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/senate/pubs/pops/pop39/pop39.pdf (accessed 19 June 2015).

Brown, A. J. “Constitutional Schizophrenia Then and Now: Exploring Federalist, Regionalist and Unitary Strands in the Australian Political Tradition.” In The Distinctive Foundations of Australian Democracy: Lectures in the Senate Occasional Lecture Series 2003-2004, edited by Kay Walsh, 33-58. Canberra: Department of the Senate, 2004.

Chen, Peter John. Australian Politics in a Digital Age. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 2013.

Clark, Anna. History’s Children: History Wars in the Classroom. Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2008.

Cogburn, Derrick L., and Fatima K. Espinoza-Vasquez. “From Networked Nominee to Networked Nation: Examining the Impact of Web 2.0 and Social Media on Political Participation and Civic Engagement in the 2008 Obama Campaign.” Journal of Political Marketing 10:1-2 (2011): 189-213.

Coleman, Stephen. “Blogs and the New Politics of Listening.” The Political Quarterly 76 (2005): 273-280.

Collin, Philippa. “The Making of Good Citizens: Participation Policies, the Internet and Youth Political Identities in Australia and the United Kingdom.” Ph.D. diss., University of Sydney, NSW, 2009.

Collin, Philippa. “Young People Imagining a New Democracy: Literature Review”. Research report prepared for the Whitlam Institute. Sydney: University of Western Sydney, 2008.

Constitution Education Fund Australia. CEFA and the Magna Carta – Marking the 800th Anniversary in Australia. Constitution Education Fund Australia webpage. http://cefa.org.au/ccf/cefa-and-magna-carta-%E2%80%93-marking-800th-anniversary-australia (accessed 6 June 2015).

Edwards, Kathy. “Beyond the Blame Game: Examining ‘The Discourse’ of Youth Participation in Australia.” In Proceedings of the Future of Sociology, edited by Stewart Lockie, David Bissell, Alastair Greig, Maria Hynes, David Marsh, Larry Saha, Joanna Sikora and Dan Woodman, 1-12. Canberra: The Australian Sociological Association, 2009.

Erebus Consulting Group. “Evaluation of the Discovering Democracy Program.” Report presented to the Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs. Parliament of Australia website. http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_representatives_Committees?url=em/education/subs/attacb.pdf (accessed, 16 June 2015).

Evans, Mark, Max Halupka and Gerry Stoker. “The Power of One Voice: Power, Powerlessness and Australian Democracy”. Research report prepared for the Institute for Governance & Policy Analysis and the Museum of Australian Democracy. Canberra: University of Canberra, 2014.

Gauja, Anika. “The Individualisation of Party Politics: The Impact of Changing Internal Decision-Making Processes on Policy Development and Citizen Engagement.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 17 (2013): 89-105.

Haynes, Peter. “Online Voting: Rewards and Risks.” Research report prepared for The Atlantic Council. Washington DC: The Atlantic Council of the United States, 2014.

Himelboim, Itai, Stephen McCreery and Marc Smith. “Birds of a Feather Tweet Together: Integrating Network and Content Analyses to Examine Cross-Ideology Exposure on Twitter.” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 18 (2013): 154-174.

Holmes, Brenton. “Citizens' Engagement in Policymaking and the Design of Public Services.” Research paper prepared for the Parliamentary Library. Canberra: Department of Parliamentary Services, 2011.

Kroh, Martin, and Hannes Neiss. “On the Causal Nature of the Relationship between Internet Access and Political Engagement.” In Digital Media and Political Engagement Worldwide: A Comparative Study, edited by Eva Anduiza, Michael James Jensen and Laia Jorba, 160-176. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

Lawrence, Eric, John Sides and Henry Farrell. “Self-Segregation or Deliberation? Blog Readership, Participation, and Polarization in American Politics.” Perspectives on Politics 8 (2010): 141-157.

Macnamara, Jim, Phyllis Sakinofsky and Jenni Beattie. “E-lectoral Engagement: Maintaining and Enhancing Democratic Participation through Social Media.” Research report prepared for the Australian Electoral Commission by the University of Technology Sydney. Canberra: Australian Electoral Commission, 2012.

Martin, Aaron. “The Party is Not Over: Explaining Attitudes toward Political Parties in Australia.” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 26 (2013): 1-17.

Miragliotta, Narelle, Wayne Errington and Nicholas Barry. The Australian Political System in Action. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Moody, Kim. “Credibility or Convenience?: Political Information Choices in a Media-saturated Environment.” Ph.D. diss., Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, 2011.

Museum of Australian Democracy. Democracy: Quotes. Museum of Australian Democracy webpage. http://moadoph.gov.au/democracy/quotes/ (accessed 22 June 2015).

Oliver, Alex. “The Lowy Institute Poll 2015.” Report prepared for the Lowy Institute. Lowy Institute website. http://www.lowyinstitute.org/ (accessed 21 June 2015).

Parliament of New Zealand. International Day of Democracy – The Power of Youth. New Zealand Parliament webpage. http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/features/00NZPHomeNews201409151/international-day-of-democracy-%E2%80%93-the-power-of-youth (accessed 21 June 2015).

Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. “Inquiry into Civics and Electoral Education.” Report prepared by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters. Parliament of Australia website. http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=em/education/report.htm (accessed, 16 June 2015).

Schuller, Tom, and Richard Desjardins. “Wider Benefits of Adult Education.” In Adult Learning and Education, edited by Kjell Rubenson, 294-298. Oxford: Academic Press, 2011.

Singleton, Gwynneth, Don Aitkin, Brian Jinks and John Warhurst. Australian Political Institutions. Sydney: Pearson Australia, 2013, 18.

Sloam, James. “Rebooting Democracy: Youth Participation in Politics in the UK.” Parliamentary Affairs 60:4 (2007): 548-567.

Stockwell, Stephen. Rhetoric and Democracy: Deliberative Opportunities in Current Electoral Processes. Saarbrücken: Verlag Dr. Müller Publishing, 2010.

Thompson, Lester J., and John Stannard. “Australian Values, Liberal Traditions and Australian Democracy: Introductory Considerations of Government for Contemporary Civil Society.” Social Alternatives 27 (2008): 58-63.

Xenos, Michael, Ariadne Vromen and Brian D. Loader. “The Great Equalizer? Patterns of Social Media Use and Youth Political Engagement in Three Advanced Democracies.” Information, Communication & Society 17:2 (2014): 151-167.

[1] Lester J. Thompson and John Stannard, “Australian Values, Liberal Traditions and Australian Democracy: Introductory Considerations of Government for Contemporary Civil Society,” Social Alternatives 27 (2008): 58-59.

[2] Narelle Miragliotta, Wayne Errington and Nicholas Barry, The Australian Political System in Action (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 48.

[3] Gwynneth Singleton, Don Aitkin, Brian Jinks and John Warhurst, Australian Political Institutions (Sydney: Pearson Australia, 2013), 18.

[4] Mark Evans, Max Halupka and Gerry Stoker, “The Power of One Voice: Power, Powerlessness and Australian Democracy,” research report prepared for the Institute for Governance & Policy Analysis and the Museum of Australian Democracy (Canberra: University of Canberra, 2014), 6.

[5] Philippa Collin, “Young People Imagining a New Democracy: Literature Review, research report prepared for the Whitlam Institute (Sydney: University of Western Sydney, 2008), 6.

[6] Constitution Education Fund Australia, CEFA and the Magna Carta – Marking the 800th Anniversary in Australia, Constitution Education Fund Australia webpage, http://cefa.org.au/ccf/cefa-and-magna-carta-%E2%80%93-marking-800th-anniversary-australia (accessed 6 June 2015).

[7] A. J. Brown, “Constitutional Schizophrenia Then and Now: Exploring Federalist, Regionalist and Unitary Strands in the Australian Political Tradition,” in The Distinctive Foundations of Australian Democracy: Lectures in the Senate Occasional Lecture Series 2003-2004, ed. Kay Walsh (Canberra: Department of the Senate, 2004), 33.

[8] Brown, “Constitutional Schizophrenia,” 34.

[9] J. S. Back, “Leaderless World: Disillusioned Youth,” Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners' Advocate (Newcastle), 7 December 1936, 5.

[10] “Principles and Practice of Democracy,” The Advertiser (Adelaide), 21 May 1954, 15.

[11] Kathy Edwards, “Beyond the Blame Game: Examining ‘The Discourse’ of Youth Participation in Australia,” in Proceedings of the Future of Sociology, ed. Stewart Lockie, David Bissell, Alastair Greig, Maria Hynes, David Marsh, Larry Saha, Joanna Sikora and Dan Woodman (Canberra: The Australian Sociological Association, 2009), 4.

[12] Edwards, “Beyond the Blame Game,” 4.

[13] Anna Clark, History’s Children: History Wars in the Classroom (Sydney: University of New South Wales Press, 2008), 25.

[14] Clark, History’s Children, 27.

[15] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice, 8.

[16] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice, 8.

[17] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice, 8.

[18] Collin, “Young People Imagining a New Democracy, 6.

[19] Collin, “Young People Imagining a New Democracy,” 11.

[20] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice,” 10.

[21] Peter Haynes, “Online Voting: Rewards and Risks,” research report prepared for The Atlantic Council (Washington DC: The Atlantic Council of the United States, 2014), 2.

[22] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice, 6.

[23] Kim Moody, “Credibility or Convenience?: Political Information Choices in a Media-saturated Environment” (Ph.D. diss., Queensland University of Technology, Queensland, 2011), 82.

[24] Miragliotta, The Australian Political System in Action, 48.

[25] Jim Macnamara, Phyllis Sakinofsky and Jenni Beattie, “E-lectoral Engagement: Maintaining and Enhancing Democratic Participation through Social Media,” research report prepared for the Australian Electoral Commission by the University of Technology Sydney (Canberra: Australian Electoral Commission, 2012), 8.

[26] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice,” 6.

[27] Jason Arditi, “Political Donations and Electoral Finance,” E-Brief prepared for the NSW Parliamentary Library Research Service, Parliament of New South Wales Website, http://www.parliament.nsw.gov.au/prod/parlment/publications.nsf/key/PoliticalDonationsandElectoralFinance/$File/Political+Donations+and+Electoral+Finance+E-Brief.pdf (accessed 15 June 2015), 6.

[28] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice,” 10.

[29] James Arvanitakis and Siobhan Marren, “Putting the Politics back into Politics: Young people and Democracy in Australia,” research report prepared for the Whitlam Institute (Sydney: University of Western Sydney, 2009), 15-16.

[30] Arvanitakis, “Putting the Politics back into Politics,” 20; Peter John Chen, Australian Politics in a Digital Age (Canberra: Australian National University Press, 2013), 21.

[31] Aaron Martin, “The Party is Not Over: Explaining Attitudes toward Political Parties in Australia,” International Journal of Public Opinion Research 26 (2013): 4.

[32] Brenton Holmes, “Citizens' Engagement in Policymaking and the Design of Public Services,” research paper prepared for the Parliamentary Library (Canberra: Department of Parliamentary Services, 2011), 4.

[33] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice,” 5-6.

[34] Arvanitakis, “Putting the Politics back into Politics,” 10; Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice,” 8.

[35] Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia, “Inquiry into Civics and Electoral Education,” report prepared by the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, Parliament of Australia website, http://www.aph.gov.au/parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_Representatives_Committees?url=em/education/report.htm (accessed, 16 June 2015), 27 & 8.

[36] Tom Bentley, “Everyday Democracy: Why We Get the Politicians We Deserve,” research paper prepared for Demos (London: Demos, 2005), 20; Tom Schuller and Richard Desjardins, “Wider Benefits of Adult Education,” in Adult Learning and Education, ed. Kjell Rubenson (Oxford: Academic Press, 2011), 297.

[37] Arvanitakis, “Putting the Politics back into Politics,” 16; Erebus Consulting Group, “Evaluation of the Discovering Democracy Program,” report presented to the Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs, Parliament of Australia website, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House_of_representatives_Committees?url=em/education/subs/attacb.pdf (accessed, 16 June 2015), 3.

[38] Patrick Bishop, “Democratic Equivocations: Who Wants What, When and How?,” paper presented at the Department of the Senate Occasional Lecture Series, Canberra, 19 April 2002, Parliament of Australia website, https://www.aph.gov.au/binaries/senate/pubs/pops/pop39/pop39.pdf (accessed 19 June 2015), 47; Schuller, “Wider Benefits of Adult Education,” 297.

[39] Stephen Coleman, “Blogs and the New Politics of Listening,” The Political Quarterly 76 (2005): 273.

[40] Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice,” 10; Stephen Stockwell, Rhetoric and Democracy: Deliberative Opportunities in Current Electoral Processes (Saarbrücken: Verlag Dr. Müller Publishing, 2010), 206.

[41] Coleman, “Blogs and the New Politics of Listening,” 273; Evans, Halupka and Stoker, “The Power of One Voice,” 10.

[42] Collin, “Young People Imagining a New Democracy,” 6.

[43] Eric Lawrence, John Sides and Henry Farrell, “Self-Segregation or Deliberation? Blog Readership, Participation, and Polarization in American Politics,” Perspectives on Politics 8 (2010): 156; Itai Himelboim, Stephen McCreery and Marc Smith, “Birds of a Feather Tweet Together: Integrating Network and Content Analyses to Examine Cross-Ideology Exposure on Twitter,” Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 18 (2013): 154.

[44] Philippa Collin, “The Making of Good Citizens: Participation Policies, the Internet and Youth Political Identities in Australia and the United Kingdom,” (Ph.D. diss., University of Sydney, NSW, 2009), 71.

[45] Michael Xenos, Ariadne Vromen and Brian D. Loader, “The Great Equalizer? Patterns of Social Media Use and Youth Political Engagement in Three Advanced Democracies,” Information, Communication & Society 17:2 (2014): 151; Derrick L. Cogburn and Fatima K. Espinoza-Vasquez, “From Networked Nominee to Networked Nation: Examining the Impact of Web 2.0 and Social Media on Political Participation and Civic Engagement in the 2008 Obama Campaign,” Journal of Political Marketing 10:1-2 (2011): 208.

[46] Cogburn, “From Networked Nominee to Networked Nation,” 203.

[47] Cogburn, “From Networked Nominee to Networked Nation,” 206.

[48] Cogburn, “From Networked Nominee to Networked Nation,” 208; Martin Kroh and Hannes Neis, “On the Causal Nature of the Relationship between Internet Access and Political Engagement,” in Digital Media and Political Engagement Worldwide: A Comparative Study, ed. Eva Anduiza, Michael James Jensen and Laia Jorba (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 161.

[49] James Sloam, “Rebooting Democracy: Youth Participation in Politics in the UK,” Parliamentary Affairs 60:4 (2007): 549.

[50] Anika Gauja, “The Individualisation of Party Politics: The Impact of Changing Internal Decision-Making Processes on Policy Development and Citizen Engagement,” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations 17 (2013): 97.

[51] Heather Bastedo, Ilona Dougherty, Lawrence LeDuc, Bernard Rudny and Tyler Sommers, “Youth, Democracy and Civic Engagement: The ‘Apathy is Boring’ Surveys,” paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Political Science Association, Edmonton, Alberta, 13 June – 15 June 2012, CPSA website, http://www.cpsa-acsp.ca/papers-2012/Leduc.pdf (accessed 20 June 2015), 1.

[52] Bastedo, “Youth, Democracy and Civic Engagement,” 3.

[53] Parliament of New Zealand, International Day of Democracy – The Power of Youth, New Zealand Parliament webpage, http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/features/00NZPHomeNews201409151/international-day-of-democracy-%E2%80%93-the-power-of-youth (accessed 21 June 2015).

[54] Collin, “Young People Imagining a New Democracy,” 10.

[55] Alex Oliver, “The Lowy Institute Poll 2015,” report prepared for the Lowy Institute, Lowy Institute website, http://www.lowyinstitute.org/  (accessed 21 June 2015), 15.

[56] Collin, “Young People Imagining a New Democracy,” 15.

[57] Arvanitakis, “Putting the Politics back into Politics,” 19. Gauja, “The Individualisation of Party Politics,” 99.

[58] Collin, “Young People Imagining a New Democracy,” 10.

[59] Collin, “Young People Imagining a New Democracy,” 10; Bentley, “Everyday Democracy,” 20.

[60] Gauja, “The Individualisation of Party Politics,” 101.

[61] Museum of Australian Democracy, Democracy: Quotes, Museum of Australian Democracy webpage, http://moadoph.gov.au/democracy/quotes/ (accessed 22 June 2015).