Can you be too old to represent your people?
New Zealand’s oldest person to first get elected was William Cargill at 71.
Australia’ s John Howard was 68 when he retired, and Robert Menzies was 72 when he retired as Prime Minister.
The previous US president is now 76 and will likely run again in 2024.
Winston Peters our longest-serving Member of Parliament is also 76.
The current United States president Joe Biden is about to turn 80, and isn’t giving any indication that he won’t run again in 2024.
Bernie Sanders who was Biden’s Democratic contender is 81.
British Prime Minister William Gladstone was 82 when appointed for the final time.
New Zealand Prime Minister Walter Nash was 75 stepping down from the lead role and died in office as an MP at 86.
Singapore’s nation-making leader Lee Kuan Yew was in office from 1955, Prime Minister for several decades from age 42 to 67, and an MP until he was 87.
Richard Shelby the Alabama Senator is also 87 and still serving, Chuck Grassley is still going for his people at 88, Dianne Feinstein is 88 and still going, and Robert Byrd when he quit the Senate was 92.
Then there’s Mahathir Mohammed, previous multi-term Prime Minister of Malaysia. He’s 97. He’s standing again.
Strom Thurmond, wait for it, served the people of the United States House from 1954 to 2003 and was 100 years old when he was done.
New Zealand is getting older, its voters are getting older, so its policy concerns are increasingly about ageing.
Most people running careers or businesses can’t stop to do such community representative work until after they retire at 65.
Over in Gore there’s plenty of room for young people, with 23 year old Ben Bell waiting for the final count.
Can you ever be too old to represent the people?