Whatever your age, exercise your right
Alot has been written during this election campaign about the generations – millennial Jacinda Ardern vs baby boomer Bill English; smug oldies in their big houses while the grandchildren can’t afford to buy a house; and even older oldies drawing a universal pension paid for by taxes on their children and grandchildren.
Clearly the boomers, millennials and generations X and Z have different concerns, and tend to vote differently as a result.
Despite benefiting from the welfare state and enjoying free love and pot-smoking in their youth (well not all, but a lot of them), many baby boomers are now quite conservative.
Gen X-ers probably a little less so, and the millennials, despite never knowing anything but postRoger Douglas fiscal conservatism, tend to be quite liberal.
Electoral Commission figures show enrolments by under-30s are well down on 2014. But if Ardern can inspire the young to vote, and vote Labour, then this election could indeed see a ‘youthquake’.
But would that result mean a generational change in government if Labour, possibly supported by the Greens, won? Short answer: yes.
The real business of government in New Zealand is decided by half a dozen or so senior Cabinet ministers. Look at the ages of the top six candidates on each party’s list, and you get the picture. The average age of English’s inner circle is 54. In Labour, it’s 47.
The only way you’ll see a real oldy in government is if New Zealand First gets to be the decider – led by 72-year-old Winston Peters (too old even to be a baby boomer) and his 63-year-old deputy, Ron Mark.
Have your say, exercise your democratic right, whether you’re a baby boomer or millennial. You’ll be working for New Zealand.