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Australians have red-carded our political system, and what this means

As if it weren't already painfully obvious, it's now official that Australians have had enough of everything politics.

As if it weren't already painfully obvious, it's now official that Australians have had enough of everything politics.

This week, the Australian National University Election Study that interviewed a few thousand people following the Federal election found that public trust, confidence and satisfaction with our democracy have dropped to all time lows: only one quarter of respondents expressed confidence in the government.

The finding confirmed the sentiments of many voters who snubbed the major parties during the Federal election and Orange by-election earlier this year. With elections due in Western Australia, South Australia and Queensland within the next two years, it's a trend we can expect to continue in 2017 and 2018.

ANU's study also found that 1 in 5 Australians don't feel allegiance towards a political party, or identify as a Labor, Liberal or Greens voter. While hopefully a wake-up call for those parties, it's also confirmation of the fertile ground that exists for independents and minor parties with a fresh philosophical offering.

A case in point is One Nation. Buoyed by anti-establishmentarian sentiment, the party launched aggressive pre-selection campaigns, unveiling 36 candidates to run in the Queensland election where polls show double-digit support for the party. Meanwhile in WA, where One Nation polled better than The Nationals in the Federal election, the party is determined to go hard and hold the balance of power in the Senate, undeterred by the recent falling out with WA Senator Rod Culleton.

The public's red-carding of the major parties have vast and complex implications for policy formulation and therefore our democracy. Parliaments will be increasingly fragmented and parties that represent the majority will continue to be at the whim of minority groups.

There will also be some policy and business uncertainty while those who engage with elected officials start to decipher and understand the many new personalities and philosophies that enter parliaments across the country over the next two years.

At Advoc8, we are strong believers in the power of technology to help policy professionals navigate through uncertain times like these - it's why we do what we do. If you'd like to know more about what a Government Relationship Management tool does and how it can help you, contact us here.

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