OPINION

COMMENT: Impressionable youth bombarded by election campaign negativity

There have been some interesting conversations and tricky questions in my house over the past fortnight regarding the election and the state of Australian politics.

While sitting in this role, we see, hear and research all manner of announcements, pledges and accusations from all sides of politics.

However, for a curious eight-year-old bombarded with television and digital advertising during an evening's TV viewing or iPad gaming, the political landscape is a much different beast.

"So why can't Bill Shorten be trusted?" Miss 8 asks after yet another Clive Palmer harangue.

"Who's ScoMo and why is he ambitious for that man beside him," she asks after seeing the footage of our Prime Minister professing his loyalty for Malcolm Turnbull, two days before he took his job.

"Why would they take money away from hospitals and schools?"

Nothing is ever that black and white (or UAP yellow) but trying to explain Australian politicians' penchant for negative politics to an eight-year-old is tough - and not a little disheartening for what she faces in her future.

I explain that you can't always believe what you hear from politicians - especially during an election campaign. Their claims should be taken with caution and researched further to check their validity. Context is important when a party's entire policy is condensed into a single sound grab denouncing it as the end of the world for pensioners/young families/homeowners/insert focus group here.

"Will you be voting for Clive Palmer? He's the main one I'm seeing on the ads.

"You should vote Green because it's a lovely colour."

If only things were that simple - red, blue, green or yellow. But there are all those shades of grey in each to consider.

I want to do what's right for the country right now. But also what's right for the country my daughters are inheriting. Will Australia ever move away from negative politics and give people leadership and ideals worth voting for, rather than against?

Will we see major political parties prepared to fight for what matters for our future rather than dump their leader at the first sign of falling poll numbers?

Looking into Miss 8's bright inquisitive eyes I sure hope so. The cynical journalist in me reckons it won't be this weekend though.

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