1. what’s a democracy

It’s… very complicated. Here’s a video.

2. yea but how does it work?

Again, it’s complicated. So again, we’ll use a video.
These are from Canada, which has a really similar system to us. There’s some difference though, and we’ll explain them below.

how our democracy works

  • Voting

  • Rights

  • Parties

  • The Queen

How our government works

  • Levels of Government

  • Their roles and responsibilities

  • What they make laws on

  • Their titles

Translations

We tried to find Australian videos for this segment. Unfortunately, all the Australian videos are painfully boring. Luckily for us Canada has a similar government structure and much more fun and engaging videos. Just be aware for these small differences:

Provincial/Territorial in Canada = States or Territories in Australia.
Local/Municipal governments in Canada = Local Councils in Australia.
Our State pollies are called MPs or MLCs (depending on which house they’re in).

Step 3 - Ok but how do i democracy?

The most effective way to participate in democracy is to vote.

Our voting system can be pretty confusing though, considering we don’t actually vote for the Prime Minister or the Premier.
Again, let’s lean on Canada for an awesome video to explain how elections in our democracy works.

Before you watch though, it’s important to note two distinct differences between us and Canada

  1. What they call ‘Ridings’ we call ‘Electorates’

  2. They vote with a ‘first past the post’ system, but we have a ‘preferential’ AND ‘proportional’ system (explained below).
    So basically…. ignore everything from 1:10 - 1:33 in the video.

OK, so if you really want to know what happens to your vote, read and watch this bit. If not, keep scrolling (we understand)..

Notice how they used ‘first past the post’ voting? Check the videos below. We don’t use first past the post voting because it has some pretty important flaws (explained on the left). Instead, we use the preferential/alternative vote method (explained on the right).

(Important note: In Australia you have to number ALL the boxes for your vote to be valid).

There’s also a whoooooole different voting system for the senate/legislative council/upper house/the red one.

Step 4 - sure, but does voting even matter?

Yes.
Check out this nifty video about how young people smashed the election open in the UK, and what it means for Australia:

you can change the game

When young people flex their democracy, good stuff happens.

Are young people and democracy friends?

Kind of.
Young people and democracy can get along just fine. But democracy can’t exist without politics.
And politics can sometimes treat young people pretty poorly. And that can affect the way young people participate in votes. Which sucks.

The cyclical relationship between young people and politics

Look, we made flow charts to explain what we mean:

negative relationship between young people and politics
positive relationship between young people and politics

so basically

When politicians engage effectively with young people, OR
When young people organise and act in a way that is impossible to ignore, THEN
Young people can change the game when it comes to democracy.

how do i democracy between elections?

That’s probably the best question you can ask.
During elections, they make promises.
In between elections, they make decisions.
And it’s the decisions that impact your lives the most.
So how can you influence there decisions?

Drive change tool kit

Young people have ideas, questions, concerns, opinions and experiences that are unique to them. You are the expert in your own life. But we know that it isn’t always clear how to turn those thoughts in to real action.

So we designed the Drive Change Tool Kit.

Basically, it’s a set of super simple questions to help you explore the tools and techniques you can use to effect, or be involved in, decisions that affect your life.

It explores things like how to define the issue, how to set a goal, figuring out who can help you, and what tools and platforms you can use to launch your idea forward.

how boycotts work

boycott

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protest

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