BY EMILIO LANERA
Ruby O’Rourke, an independent candidate for the electorate of Macnamara, plans to create a political party just for young people.
Having spent the past week cycling around her electorate to promote her current campaign, Ms O’Rourke is already making plans for the 2022 election.
“25 per cent of the country is (aged) under 19 and we are not nurturing the young people,” Ms O’Rourke said.
“I think the most important opportunity is to give [young people] a voice of enablement and accountability,” she said.
Ms O’Rourke has reserved the names ‘Young Australian’s Party’ and ‘Young People’s Party’ and said she wants to start a global movement.
“I want young people to march on parliament all around the world,” she said.
Ms O’Rourke said she would take a leading role in the party and has a few people interested in being a part of the founding team, but is still figuring out the finer details on how the party will run and launch globally.
Although the main focus of Ms O’Rourke’s party would be to give young people a voice, she does want older people to join as well.
“One of the issues with the young people movement is that it can be patted on the head, it can be disrespected, it can be patronised. We need older people to be part of it so we validate young people,” she said.
Radio host for 3CR's Tuesday Breakfasts, George Maxwell, welcomed the idea of starting a party for young people.
“I think that young people is a demographic that is not heard enough,” Ms Maxwell said.
An Australian Parliament trends report revealed since Federation in 1901, the average age of members of Parliament has been between 47 and 52.
In the current parliament only 2 per cent of members in the House of Representatives and 6 per cent in the Senate are aged 18-34 years.
“Our parliament is dominated by old white men,” Ms Maxwell said.
The radio host said she would like to see more diversity in parliament including more queer and trans people, people of colour and those with disabilities.
“I don’t imagine myself joining politics but I would definitely support a party that was trying to bring fresh voices into the space,” she said.
A record high 88.8 per cent of young people are enrolled to vote in tomorrow's election.