Elissa in the ValleyLast night I took to the Valley streets to encourage youth to enrol to vote.

Joining me was The Greens candidate for Ryan, Paul Swan and convenor of the Bayside Branch of the Queensland Greens, Jeff Poole.

The three of us drew energy from the spirit of the Valley Fiesta to target teenagers who had just or were about to turn 18.

Many of those we approached proudly proclaimed a big ‘yes’ when asked if they were enrolled. Others said they were too young to vote. Those who hadn’t yet enrolled happily took from us an enrolment form and some stayed to ask a few questions.

Sadly, there were those who didn’t want to enrol, some because they didn’t believe it would make a difference and others because they were worried about getting fined should they slip up and forget, or not bother.

One girl said she didn’t believe that people should be ‘controlled’. I explained that government was not meant to be about control and doesn’t have to be about control; that members of government were there to represent the interests of the people, including her. She said, ‘Yes, but it never works that way’.

Some might say ‘Well she’s obviously an anarchist’, but from her explanation and understanding of the role of government, I believe she is perhaps an example of the disillusionment that young people can feel if they’re not listened to. What disappointed me the most was that she seemed like a very together, happy, eloquent and opinionated young woman – and no doubt had a lot to contribute to the future of the world.

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