This chapter offers a critical perspective on one of the oldest and most consistent claims made for compulsory voting in Australia, namely that it would encourage greater citizen engagement with, and understanding of, the political system. The chapter focuses on the development of political knowledge and skills of young citizens and how they become equipped to vote in elections once they turn 18. It first provides an international overview of political knowledge before analysing the types of political knowledge Australians require in order to make informed political choices. It subsequently considers how young people might access this knowledge, and examines potential barriers to people’s ability to become informed. It finally offers a critical discussion of current challenges and considers potential ways of improving the political knowledge of Australia’s youngest voters.
|Title of host publication||A Century of Compulsory Voting in Australia|
|Editors||Matteo Bonotti, Paul Strangio|
|Place of Publication||Gateway East, Singapore|
|Number of pages||22|
|Publication status||Published - 2021|