Saturday, October 21, 2017

Across the ditch

Labor leader Jacinda Ardern will become the next Prime Minister of New Zealand. Ardern, 37, will become New Zealand's third female Prime Minister, after Jenny Shipley and Helen Clark. While she will not be that country's youngest ever Prime Minister, she follows in the footsteps of other youthful world leaders, such as the 45 year old Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, and France's 39 year old President, Emmanuel Macron.

Ardern assumed the Labour leadership back in August, so she has risen rapidly to the top of New Zealand politics. Younger party leaders seem to have a built in appeal to younger voters. Younger voters, engaged by social media and other mass media, typically tend to think that just because something is new, they automatically assume that newness means superiority. I have gleaned from social media discussions that they often arrogantly perceive older voters as being backward looking and ignorant. This is chronological snobbery. 

As a conservative, I will watch Ardern's career with great interest. While she may prove to be a competent and capable leader, I hope that the younger voters who supported her haven't put style over substance. She has already flagged that her government will make significant investments in social programs. That all sounds well and good, but as Australians know all too well, these programs are often mismanaged and rorted.

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