This week the Supreme Court ruled that not allowing 16 and 17 years olds to vote based on their age was discrimination. This ruling doesn’t change the law of course, but it leads to parliament deciding whether to allow young people to vote sooner.
!6 year olds on the whole are ready to vote, and so they should they will be inheriting the climate change crisis when they hit their late 40's early 50's - they deserve the right to be heard.
ACT and National can just fuck right off on this subject - self serving scumbags to a man .
Good morning, Nick,
I reckon 16 or 17 year olds should be given the vote - I think back to when I was 16 (in 1967). I wasn't (party) politically aware, but I already had the values I still hold of needing to treat people fairly, of equity being critical, of racism being an anathema, of wealth not being a way to assess worth. I couldn't have expressed them using the words I have now nor could I have aligned them with political parties, and I wasn't media savvy. But I knew right from wrong.
I have an 18 year old grandson who took part in a climate strike at his school in Scotland a couple of years ago - I'd have trusted him with a vote then and now.
Point of order: Rather than asking 'why not?', I think the question we all need to be asking, about all issues of importance is "Yes, and how?' When we ask why not, that's the answer we get - why we shouldn't do something, rather than how we can. (Note that my preference for 'Yes, and how?' goes with my disallowing the response 'Yes, but ...' when I'm facilitating problem solving sessions.)
'Yes, and how?' would be useful in finding solutions and it would also be useful in flushing out that particular policies won't work - keep asking yes, and how ... and eventually the nub of the matter gets exposed: try it with tax breaks for the most wealthy:
* 'Yes, and how will that impact middle income earners?'
* 'Yes, and how will that additional $2 per week alleviate the cost of living crisis for low income earners?'
* 'Yes, and how have previous tax breaks trickled down and improved workers' rates of pay/working conditions?'
'Yes, and how have the oil companies self regulated the clean up of their sites and environs?'
'Yes, and how have we protected our taonga species here in NZ and in other countries through logging etc'
'Yes and how is the intensification of dairying helping the environment in Central Otago and Taranaki and the Waikato?'
I could go on (and I generally do, to be fair) but you get the picture.
Cheers, Nick, and keep up the kōrero - ka pai!
I'll be honest, I would not have thought of this as one of our most pressing issues. But good on the "makeit.16" team and summaries like this post for showing me the ways I was wrong. And NACT for helping me to understand why the arguments against it are so weak. Curious that Seymor, Goldsmith etc seem happy to insult the children and grandchildren of their voters. I suspect a lot of their voters do think that their children and grandchildren are capable of voting at that age, but they worry about OTHER young people voting.
Among the more egregious Seymour comments was that he's relaxed about young people voting for local government as less harm can be done with a bad councillor. Given many of our climate critical transport and planning decisions come from a local Government I can't see how that's the case. And wasn't this the party that wanted to support local decision making? He's just flattering himself, and as so often is presenting a logically inconsistent argument. I would say he's a waste of space, but I don't think holograms really take up space do they?
Gen Z are more aware of economical problems, climate change would start more wars ( water, foid) during their lives. Time to give them the vote and Labour should support it.
Seems to me it's a point of difference between the Parties that Labour should latch on
Nick Rockel in 1984 the day after Robert Muldoon called a snap election my Economics teacher for School Certificate decided to go off the syllabus and spend the weeks leading up to the election teaching us civics. His big mistake was to say while putting up on the blackboard the policies each party had that he would start with Labour because that was the only party that knew what it was talking about. This was a mistake because after being asked by him to be the one of the four people he selected to promote each of the parties that ultimately influenced the election result I chose to argue the case for National and duly won the mock election. Muldoon clearly needed me at the time to be his campaign manager. This was followed by me staying up late with Dad to watch the election night special, then three years later voting Labour saying that they were the best of a bad bunch, then three years after that helping cause the vote to split at the left in my electorate by voting the Green candidate, which resulted in me getting one of only two National MPs who crossed the floor over the benefit cuts and mother of all budgets and formed a party that became part of the Alliance which included the Green party. Then in 1993 I voted for MMP and the local Labour candidate hoping my special vote would cause the National candidate which won it on the night in 1990 and a by election 2 years later to lose it again on the specials but that time she was third time lucky and then 3 years after that at the first MMP election the Alliance finally got my party vote, while the Labour candidate got my electorate vote and all this after I asked the very pertinent question why would I need to vote NZ First to get National out of power? I won't go into how I called each election correctly from 1999-2020 with my vote only wishing that another 0.14% voters like me had voted Mana in 2011, which would have meant National would have not been able to have a majority with Act and United Future. But I will say if Muldoon hadn't called a snap election and the election occurred in November as scheduled just after my 16th birthday and if I had been eligible to vote and if I got the civic's crash course from my teacher without him revealing his voting preference and him instead including teaching us the difference between FPP and MMP I probably would have voted Labour like I did 3 years later.
I believe in the value of having young people vote: with more exposure to public issues they will bring a fresh immediacy to the result. It is surely about their right to be involved in issues that will impact on them.
well said Nick, love it. Thanks, and keep coming.
Yes agree Nick the voting age needs to change. I relate to your electorate voting as I lived and voted for many years in a rural and always National seat. The MP had represented the electorate for so long I always imagined he had to be shown where to sit, told when to vote and which door to go through to cast his vote correctly. To my mind a perfect example for allowing 16/17 year olds to vote and my 18 year old grand daughter is certainly so ready to cast her first vote next year. Thanks again for a most lucid and thoughtful post.
While I agree with most of what you've written, Nick, I have to say I'm not totally comfortable with being compared to Hitler. My generation has certainly fucked things up but we're I no way monsters like he was.
Excellent! Such good points made. The Hitler analogy hits home. Thanks, Nick.
Thankyou Nick. You give the strongest argument for 16 and 17 year olds being able to vote.
Can we encourage all your readers to actively spread the message and donate to Make It 16.
We have to get this passed in parliament by 75 per cent. Talk to our local national and Act MPs .
Let’s ‘Michael Moore’ it together.
Mother & Granny
We need transformational change.....
But I thought we had a transformational Govt already............
Give the young people the vote. I suspect most won't bother - maybe I'm being a grumpy old man. But one thing I am sure of - with a 5% threshold - it will make no difference at all.