She says: People tell me all the time that they are dissatisfied with what we are doing and how we are doing it.
Up to 50 per cent of young Australians are now ambivalent at best about democracy, which is a very unhealthy place for this nation to be in.
Reynolds can quantify the gap between her own motivations as a centre-right political activist and the community she serves.
‘A lot of younger voters today don’t really identify with left or right,’ she says.
A couple of up-and-coming politicians, Nationals MP Andrew Broad and Labor’s Pat Conroy, both from the class of 2013, with parliamentary offices adjoining one another, decided to see what common ground could be found on energy policy.
They decided to use a House of Representatives committee to gather facts and develop some ideas about modernising the energy grid.
This shift can create a genuine crisis of purpose for traditional politics.
‘We’ve got to find new ways to engage with voters on things that actually matter to them.’ When I asked Andrew Giles whether or not he agreed we were entering post-partisan or post-tribal territory, he said: ‘I’d like to think we can be ideological and post tribal, which goes to the core of our challenge.’ So while we might be inclined to see our politicians as uniformly self-indulgent, narcissistic, destructive and unfulfilling, there are still people in the system thinking about contemporary challenges—people who haven’t forgotten the voters are out there.
But while I am deeply concerned about the state of our politics, and worried by the deep anger and disaffection that bubbles around it, I also need to acknowledge that there are plenty of people in politics who are attempting to go to work and do their jobs.
This year I’ve watched ministers such as Simon Birmingham avoid the intrigues and the naysayers and attack his portfolio challenges.