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#AustraliaNeedsPoliticalPropaganda

The Sunday Telegraph (September 1, 2013)

The Sunday Telegraph (September 1, 2013)

Would you like some propaganda with that?

Time to rant.

This week, my inbox was bombarded with propaganda in a last-minute attempt to secure my vote this election weekend. When I say my inbox, I’m referring to both my emails and home letterbox (yes, us Gen Y’s still can keep our eyes glued off our screens long enough to make that leisurely ten second stroll to the little numbered square/minature house/rooster).Liberal’s mailout (in the traditional letter form – perhaps representative of the party’s conservative values?) simply outlines a number of bullet points and instructions on how to mark the electoral ballot paper. The Greens’ advertisement is more thorough, with short, simple sentences to capture the attention of the lazy Gen Y eye. How better to scare the nation’s young than with a statement like “the final Senate seat in NSW is a race between me, the Shooters Party and Pauline Hanson”? Nothing more frightening than gun-toters and racists, at least to our young impressionable minds. The party also reached out via email by utilising a more personal approach – involving the recipient by calling for volunteers at tomorrow’s polling booths. Combined with an emotive excerpt from a supporter, The Greens have been tugging on our heartstrings to secure our vote (“I feel bad about not being able to volunteer for them, so I’ll vote for them instead!”).

The worst propaganda comes from Labor (no letters this time! Saving the environment, perhaps?). Rudd’s emails plea for help by producing nationalistic statements like “it’s time to rally the troops”. These words disappear into thin air when it becomes noted that within the 200-word text, a donation plea is mentioned twice, revealing the email’s true intention. And you know you haven’t communicated effectively when you need to add a side note at the end: “PS – I mean what I say: we can win this if we work together”, followed by yet another request for our pocket change. He should know that us students don’t splash our cash unless it’s in exchange for food, booze or new iPhone cases.

Despite this poor political campaigning though, I’ve seen a generational inclination towards Labor. Maybe we’re angered by the subjectivity The Sunday Telegraph sold us last weekend, with its “AUSTRALIA NEEDS TONY” headline and a full-page editorial which blatantly reeked of propaganda and demonstrated just how much we really don’t want him as the face of Australia.

I only have to glance at my social media feeds to witness the proliferation of interest of this election among my peers. Who says youth is wasted on the young? We have opinions. We will vote tomorrow, and we will get off our backsides to do it passionately. Even if it is only because we can’t yet vote via Facebook.

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