The Jackal: November 2022

22 Nov 2022

Young people must be allowed to vote

Let me just start out by saying that young people must be allowed to vote. Not because they are more enlightened than previous generations, but because the earlier people become voters, the more likely they will continue to participate in democracy.

We have a serious problem in New Zealand with low voter turnout. Many believe that there’s simply no point in voting, because politicians will always look after their own vested interests first. However when enough people vote for progressive change, then the status quo must change as well.

Today, the BBC reported:


New Zealand Supreme Court rules voting age of 18 is discriminatory

New Zealand's Supreme Court has ruled that the country's current voting age of 18 is discriminatory, meaning parliament must discuss whether it should be lowered.

The case was brought by campaign group Make It 16, which wants the voting age reduced to include 16 and 17 year olds.

There is no doubt that young people have the most to lose when it comes to governments dragging their feet over their ineffectual environmental policy. The same can be said for social policy, whereby both National and Labour are happy to tinker around the edges while Rome effectively burns.

Following the ruling, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she personally supported reducing the voting age to 16, but added that "it is not a matter simply for me or even the government, any change in electoral law of this nature requires 75% of parliamentarian support".

Not all parties support the lowering of the voting age.

The centre-right National party opposes the move, while the Labour party is yet to state whether it would support a change in voting age or not.

Of course the opposition are opposing any changes. They are after all playing to their core supporters, namely old rich people who are stuck in their deluded ways. Clearly National and ACT are ageist parties hell bent on repressing the young, particularly when we’re talking about young people from ethnic minorities.

In fact the news that the Supreme Court supported young people’s voting rights couldn’t have come at a worse time for National Party leader, Christopher Luxon. After proposing failed boot camps as a solution to ram raids, Luxon then got on another decrepit high horse to blame parents for their children not attending school.


Yesterday, Newshub reported:

Christopher Luxon takes aim at parents, 'culture of excuses' for truancy crisis, but Jacinda Ardern fires back

Luxon's pointing the finger at parents and has no time for excuses.

"You chose to have these kids, you have to wake up at 7am, get your kids to school at 8am," he said.

"You have now got subsidised free lunches, free breakfasts, subsidised period products, subsidised school uniforms.

"There is no excuses. What we have in New Zealand is a culture of excuses."

Last week, Luxon put principals on notice.

He told AM: "There is a mixed standard of leadership across our schools and across our principals that actually means they're not focussing as strongly on getting kids to school as they can."

Talk about a vote loser. While Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sides with teachers, parents and young people, Luxon is doing all he can to alienate entire sectors of the communities we live in. Young people aren’t the boggy men that the National Party needs to divide and conquer. Instead they will be a catalyst for change to ensure humanities survival.

The sooner our politicians realise this and vote accordingly to give young people democratic parity the better.