Among the limited list of similarities between The United States of America and Australia, there may be another new activity to add to the very small list. That strange and oftentimes off-putting pastime is the new and apparently popular activity of blaming the younger generation for literally anything.


Particularly millennials are being blamed for everything from rendering Applebee’s to be an unpopular restaurant, to the downfall of Sears’ stores, to even the housing crash. Yes, my generation is responsible for certain actions such as the influx of avocado-related everything, but blaming an entire generation of people for the housing crash is a bit ridiculous no matter your age. However, one outspoken and far-right Australian senator is making brand new claims against the voting of “those under 21”.


Senator of Queensland Pauline Hanson, the leader of Australia’s right-wing, extremely conservative and sometimes nationalist party “One Nation” has made a claim that due to the younger generation, particularly the 21 and under crowd, being naive and unable to pay taxes, shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Essentially, she proposed raising the federal voting age to the same as America’s drinking age.


(New Matilda)

This is nowhere near the first time that One Nation and Hanson herself have made controversial claims. In 2015, Hanson produced claims that certifying restaurants with being accommodating to the Islamic dietary laws known as Halal in Australia was funding terrorism and that the spread of Islam could “swamp” Australia. Also, among many other absurd comments she’s accused African immigrants of bringing diseases and infamously argued her rather xenophobic case by asking if one wished to see “your daughter or a family member end up with AIDS or anyone for that matter?”


Recently, Hanson’s newest claim isn’t one about xenophobia or anti-immigration but instead about Australians under 21 as a whole. Based on her argument, those under 21 have very little common sense and don’t pay taxes. Hanson then said that lowering the voting age would only give power to The Greens political party.


The Greens, on the other hand, believe that lowering the voting age to 16 would be beneficial to Australia. The primary reason that Hanson would accuse the Greens party of gaining from the reduction in required voting age is because the eligible voting pool would increase by “580,500 people” based on Australian census data. That high number of votes could potentially alter American politics much less Australian laws. However, over a million young individuals wouldn’t be eligible to vote anymore her claims were to hypothetically become law.  


Surprisingly the claim, which arose from the debate to change the tobacco laws to 21, had backing and support from a unique source. Billionaire Andrew Forrest, known opponent to the “big tobacco” industry has shown his support by saying that the bill will decrease underage tobacco usage and will teach maturity lessons.  


Regardless of political affiliation, requests of any way to raise the voting age of any country would only restrict voter turnout and morale to stay politically active and knowledgeable.


What are your opinions about raising the voting age in Australia? Tweet me at @CaptainKasoff and tell me your thoughts.