Life experience vs youth

creative_canberran 28 March 2012 41

Earlier this month, the ACT Greens announced their 2012 election line up. Among the candidates, 20 year old University of Canberra student, real estate agent, drag queen and comic Johnathan Davis. By his own admission he’s scraping by, living at home, dividing his time between studies, part time work and his, various and colourful extra curricular activities. And there’s of course Wyatt Roy in the Federal Parliament.

Today Twitter brings word that NSW Labor loyalist and former ANU Union Chair Ben Dugan is to run for the Queanbeyan City Council. Readers of RiotACT have seen his name appear on here a few times, once because of his plan to rebrand ANU Bar (never happened) and his founding of an education foundation (not sure where that went).

I don’t want to focus on these individuals, but want to throw out there the issue of life experience vs youth. What do people think about running local and territory government while still studying, or with very little experience beyond study. Is there such a thing as too young, or is it desirable vs stale politicians jaded by the political machine?


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johnboy johnboy 3:32 pm 28 Mar 12

I think a small number of young politicians is no bad thing.

Although the idea that there’s a monolithic “youth” political viewpoint is incredibly insulting to young people.

Roslyn Dundas was an excellent MLA during her tenure for example.

But there can be too much of a good thing.

Diggety Diggety 3:39 pm 28 Mar 12

johnboy said :

Although the idea that there’s a monolithic “youth” political viewpoint is incredibly insulting to young people.

+1

CrocodileGandhi CrocodileGandhi 3:43 pm 28 Mar 12

As a youth, I’m far too busy thinking about interwebz, petty crime and how often I’m going to change my job to worry about politics.

c_c c_c 3:48 pm 28 Mar 12

johnboy said :

Roslyn Dundas was an excellent MLA during her tenure for example.

That’s true, and impressive to see what she’s done since.

She later described her time in the Legislative Assembly though as a learning experience, which set her up for other roles including ACTCOSS.

I guess one has to wonder whether she would have enjoyed more longevity had it been the other way around? She only lasted one term, with the phrase “inexperience” often used, even by herself I believe, after she lost her seat.

neanderthalsis neanderthalsis 3:48 pm 28 Mar 12

I don’t think that youth should exclude one from politics. I do, however, despair at the modern form of professional politician that we have seen emerge, predominately on the left but also on the conservative side, of student unionist, turned political staffer, turned Member for Upper Apparatchik.

carnardly carnardly 4:13 pm 28 Mar 12

a part time real estate agent only scraping by and living at home with the wrinklies? I’d wait till he gets into the real world I think.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 5:17 pm 28 Mar 12

Give the kiddies a voice. Why shouldn’t the concerns of 18-30s be represented in this way?

I agree an over representation would probably not be a good thing, aside form that I think it’s good to see.

The point about inexperience may have some merit, but no more so than the theory that if you’re deemed mature enough to be given the responsibility of voting you should be mature enough to be elected.

buzz819 buzz819 5:33 pm 28 Mar 12

Some young people might have a better pulse on society then older people, adversely, some young people might have a more idealised view on what society wants, but you can say the same of older people as well.

Ben_Dover Ben_Dover 5:57 pm 28 Mar 12

Holden Caulfield said :

Give the kiddies a voice. Why shouldn’t the concerns of 18-30s be represented in this way?

When I vote for a representative, I vote for someone to represent my views.

Having a token kiddie MLA may be a good thing theoretically, but would you want one representing your constituency?

Having a MLA for the Uni may be feasible.

I’d definitely want a more serious and grounded MLA than some 20 yr old flibbertigibbet representing me.

ka1042 ka1042 6:55 pm 28 Mar 12

I don’t know Jonathan Davis but I wish him all the best in his endeavours. He has alot of drive and I believe that he will be a bonus in the Assembly.

Alderney Alderney 7:04 pm 28 Mar 12

If you’ve seen the young liberals in action you’d support any call for banning under 30’s from representative office.

ka1042 ka1042 7:08 pm 28 Mar 12

carnardly said :

a part time real estate agent only scraping by and living at home with the wrinklies?

I’d wait till he gets into the real world I think.

You obviously don’t read the Canberra Times. I would suggest this young man has been out in the real world. He has looked after himself quite well after leaving home at an early age. He works, studies and is standing for election in the ACT Assembly. Even though I don’t vote Green, I wish him well in his endeavours. I admire anyone who stands for election no matter what side of politics.

MWF MWF 8:32 pm 28 Mar 12

buzz819 said :

Some young people might have a better pulse on society then older people, adversely, some young people might have a more idealised view on what society wants, but you can say the same of older people as well.

*than

Did you really mean to use the word adversely? Do you know how to use a dictionary or a thesaurus?

Some young people…

milkman milkman 8:57 pm 28 Mar 12

When people make a big deal of ‘life experience’, all I hear is ‘unqualified’.

broudie17 broudie17 9:05 pm 28 Mar 12

@c_c, I’ve noticed a very, very strong pattern in your Riot Act postings of making critical or dismissive comments about Johnathan Davis since his preselection, which makes me suspect you have some undeclared motivation in writing posts like this.

To give but a few examples, you made: the first comment in response to the Greens preselection annoucement (immediately critical of Johnathan Davis’ preselection); a sardonic comment about there being no transvestite comedians in the Liberal line-up (again, the first comment); and now a story directly criticising JD for his lack of experience and, as you describe it, his “various and colourful extra curricular activities”.

Given the examples given which suggest you have an unusually focused motivation on Johnathan Davis, I feel I’m entitled to ask you: what is your real agenda? Are you a politically-motivated young Liberal or young Labor member? Are you the member of any political party? Or are you just a disgruntled individual who has an axe to grind against Johnathan? Lay out all the cards on the table so we can examine your postings with the full information.

And in the interests of disclosure and fairness, I am a very good friend of Johnathan, and admire him for his hard work and confidence, and for his energy in putting himself into the public area. This posting, however, is a personal initiative and has no connection to Johnathan Davis.

sophomoric sophomoric 10:31 pm 28 Mar 12

Duggan did indeed have the bar revamped, which was what he was elected to do. A google search will reveal where his charity efforts are up to. I have no interest in his campaign for council, but your obsessive focus on a gaggle of ANU student politicians is bordering on creepy.

el el 10:45 pm 28 Mar 12

student, real estate agent, drag queen and comic Johnathan Davis.

No, sorry – Due to my personal beliefs there’s no way I could possibly vote for a real estate agent. It’s just disgusting and immoral!

c_c c_c 11:02 pm 28 Mar 12

broudie17 said :

@c_c, I’ve noticed a very, very strong pattern in your Riot Act postings of making critical or dismissive comments about Johnathan Davis since his preselection, which makes me suspect you have some undeclared motivation in writing posts like this.

To give but a few examples, you made: the first comment in response to the Greens preselection annoucement (immediately critical of Johnathan Davis’ preselection); a sardonic comment about there being no transvestite comedians in the Liberal line-up (again, the first comment); and now a story directly criticising JD for his lack of experience and, as you describe it, his “various and colourful extra curricular activities”.

Given the examples given which suggest you have an unusually focused motivation on Johnathan Davis, I feel I’m entitled to ask you: what is your real agenda? Are you a politically-motivated young Liberal or young Labor member? Are you the member of any political party? Or are you just a disgruntled individual who has an axe to grind against Johnathan? Lay out all the cards on the table so we can examine your postings with the full information.

Firstly, calm down. Secondly, you’re kidding right?

In the past month, I’ve made several comments on RA about Zed Seselja being a “low altitude flyer” with no ideas, little community involvement, who makes rather nutty suggestions about what he would be capable of in power.

Several of those comments attacked Zed Seselja’s criticisms of Greens MLA Shane Rattenbury’s refusal to speak against the attacks on the CSIRO and Pace Egg Facility.

A number of other comments referred to Zed’s statements about Cotter Dam, and just today his comments about ACT power costs.

I would also direct you to comment #1 on a recent article critiquing the Liberal’s choice of candidates: http://the-riotact.com/liberals-officially-announce-their-team-for-the-act-election/68497

Right or left, gay or straight, blue collar or white collar, I don’t care. It’s what a candidate brings to the table, their experience, professionalism and focus among other things. Personally, I don’t think age is a key factor, because some never grow up while others grow old before their time.

Let’s consider Johnathon,

Did he make a compelling statement about feeling ready to represent his community? No.

This is what he said:
”I don’t like to say no to an opportunity,”

A commendable notion but it’s a more eloquent form of the teen phrase “like, whatever.”

He’s a first year policy student, so if he did get elected, he’d be a part time MLA or have to quit Uni (since I don’t know any Unis that allow 4 year deferments). He’s not serious about it, he’s doing this for a laugh, which the Canberra Times goes on to clarify:
“If he does make the preselection cut, his goal this time around is simply to support Ms Bresnan’s re-election by campaigning on policies including affordable housing and childcare in Brindabella.”

So he’s not even a real candidate.

Territory elections roll around every 4 years, meaning the next election would be around the time he’s graduated and maybe done honours.

Much smarter to wait till then and put in a proper effort, because admitting upfront you’re not really running is as stupid as Val Jeffrey saying he only ran on CAP’s ticket last time to prop up the Libs. A good way to not be taken seriously.

And being a fair, non partisan person, I’d also say repeat candidates like Gulia Jones should take a hint.

c_c c_c 11:19 pm 28 Mar 12

sophomoric said :

Duggan did indeed have the bar revamped, which was what he was elected to do. A google search will reveal where his charity efforts are up to. I have no interest in his campaign for council, but your obsessive focus on a gaggle of ANU student politicians is bordering on creepy.

I said rebrand, not renovate, try to read more carefully.

He announced plans for the Union to rebrand the bar, new name and identity. It was reported on RiotACT (http://the-riotact.com/a-new-name-for-the-anu-bar/38887), which is where I heard about it, and was also in Canberra City News.

Never happened.

As for charity efforts, as I say in my post not sure where that’s out. A Google search brought up their Facebook, but no longer shows their website.

When I finally found it, and clicked on “What we do” – every initiative says “Coming Soon”
http://www.raisinghope.org.au/#!what-we-do

I did do some checking before I posted, own website can’t say what they’ve done. Their Facebook thanks someone for helping them make a promo film, but otherwise is just links to articles around the internet. Again, no insight about there it’s at. If you know more, please share.

But look these two people just happen to be the most prominent local examples.Article isn’t meant to be about them specifically, but about the broader question.

At a time when party elders are both saying the two parties need younger blood, and are also saying they need more people with real world background, not just people moulded by the machine.

Bramina Bramina 11:28 pm 28 Mar 12

buzz819 said :

Some young people might have a better pulse on society then older people, adversely, some young people might have a more idealised view on what society wants, but you can say the same of older people as well.

Yeah, I think back to when I was a 20 year old and I really had no clue, not to say that others won’t.

But then I look at some older pollies who can’t use a computer – seriously how can run a country in the 21st century without understanding computers.

I guess you need diverse abilities and views.

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