ACT News

Strong views on voting changes and Australian political parties feature in new interactive exhibition

Around 40 per cent of respondents want caps on political advertising and donations.

Australians have strong views on changes they want made to the political system.
Australians have strong views on changes they want made to the political system. Photo: Andrew Meares

University of Canberra research to be unveiled on Wednesday shows just how badly political parties are viewed by some Australians.

The strong views on changes to the political system will be released at the Museum of Parliamentary Democracy at Old Parliament House.

Researchers say more than half older Australians think MPs should be allowed a free vote in parliament and one in four Gen X and Gen Y voters think "none of the above" should be an option on ballot papers.

The research was conducted by the museum in conjunction with the Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis at UC and will be included in a new interactive exhibition, Power of 1: does your vote count?

The exhibition explores different generational attitudes to our political system and looks at views on democracy, compulsory voting, the way people engage with political issues and their satisfaction with the current political system.

Around 40 per cent of respondents call for caps on political advertising and donations.

The exhibition will be updated every three months with results and stories from visitors being added to the survey data.

Museum director Daryl Karp says the new exhibition is ground-breaking because it has been curated by Australian people and will continue to change as people visit the exhibition.

 "This is new ground for museums in Australia," she says.

"It is a truly interactive exhibition where we are encouraging all Australians to contribute their views, either online or at the exhibition."

Professor Mark Evans, director of the Institute for Governance, says the survey shows some remarkable similarities in some views on politics between generations, but stark differences in the way they engage.

"The survey shows younger generations are as engaged with democracy as our older generations but they engage in entirely different ways," he says.

"You are more likely to find young Australians engaging in crowd-sourced funding for a cause or joining an online advocacy group than marking in protests."

The survey of 826 people was representative of all states and territories and four Australian generations – builders, born between 1925 and 1945; baby boomers, 1946 to 1964; Generation X, 1965 to 1979; and Generation Y, 1980 to 1995.

The exhibition opens on Wednesday with the museum publicity inviting visitors to immerse themselves in an experience curated by the Australian people.