Thanks for your question, Marty.
In most cases, to become a politician you need to get elected to a parliament or council by convincing people to vote for you.
There are 9 parliaments in Australia—the federal Parliament in Canberra and 1 for each of the 6 states and 2 territories—and over 500 local councils.
Each parliament or council will have its own rules for election, but generally these will include:
- a minimum age limit (usually 18 or over)
- citizenship requirements (and, in some cases, being a resident of your electorate or voting area
- being of good character (such as not having a serious criminal conviction)
There will be an organisation to manage elections which can explain all the requirements. The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) runs federal elections and each state/territory has its own electoral commission to run state/territory and local elections.
To be a politician you normally need to:
- be a good communicator
- enjoy talking to, working with, and helping people
- have good decision-making and negotiation skills
- be interested in current affairs and politics
- be prepared to work long hours
It will also help to get elected if you:
- are involved in your local community
- know the people and issues in your area
- have ideas and solutions to problems
You may decide to join a political party—and work with others who have similar views to yours—or you can seek to be elected as an independent.