- Date published:
10:31 am, September 16th, 2017 - 6 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour - Tags: #ChangeTheGovt, generational change, jacinda ardern, let's do this, Martin van Beynen
Martin van Beynen has been touring the country. He’s of English’s generation, but he can feel the winds of change blowing.
Martin van Beynen: A changing of the guard is on the way
As the Kingswood Election Tour winds its way up the North Island – as I write we are on our tenth day of the road trip tuning in to regular folks – it strikes me that something has indeed shifted in New Zealand.
It has obviously been happening for quite a while but sometimes these subterranean societal shifts are hard to detect, especially by people like me who are being left behind.
As we approach the closely fought election in which the race is between somebody about my age and someone exactly 22 years younger than me, it’s become clearer that New Zealand is indeed ready to cross over into something new.
That’s why I think Jacinda Ardern is going to win the election or at least get more of the party vote than National.
And even if I am wrong about that, the ground has still shifted and what she represents is in the ascendant. If not this time, it will be the next.
What she stands for is a different sort of New Zealand.
Under her, we can see the country becoming less male orientated, more diverse and tolerant (ironically she stands for less immigration), more open to changes like the legalisation of cannabis and euthanasia and less blaming of the poor and dysfunctional. Ardern stands for Māori language and redistributing money from the financially comfortable to the battlers and the losers.
She stands for a New Zealand that some will see as painfully politically correct and others will regard as less derogatory or patronising of people traditionally seen as different.
In other words, a country that is more Scandinavian than American or Australian.
The shift she represents is obviously generational. She gets student debt and the difficulty of buying a house.
She’s more sensitive to mental health problems and the issues youth face in finding their way. She’s prepared to make some economic sacrifices to do New Zealand’s bit for fighting climate change. On the divide between rural and urban she’s in the latter camp, where, fortunately for her, all the votes are.
Perhaps the strongest historical parallel to the current situation is the rejection of Muldoonism in 1984 …
Read on for plenty more, and voices of the people, in the full piece on Stuff.