Disenfranchised young deserve respect, Sue Bradford

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It is shocking that over a quarter of young voters have failed to enrol for the general electionsays MANAs Social Wellbeing spokesperson Sue Bradford.

News out this morning that 26% of those aged 18-24 are not enrolled to vote is a wake-up call to all of us.

When young people dont think its worth voting, or registering to vote, they are sending us older ones a clear message that things must change.

Successive Governments cant keep turning on young people and making life hard for them, then expect them to believe in their system.

I suspect that John Key and Phil Goff may well have been turned off politics too if they had been treated the same way in their youth as young people are being treated now.

MANA believes that its high time Parliament and Governments went through a total shift in how our democracy views and treats young people.

A good start would be to lower the voting age to 16 and introduce Civics education into schools from primary level right through.

If young people understand how our political system works, and feel they have a voice in shaping it, I believe they will be far more likely to participate in elections.

And in turn, if 16 and 17 year olds could vote, political parties would make much more effort to enact programmes which help young people, rather than alienate and frustrate them.

MANA believes that the needs of young people must be made a priority through a series of changes, including:

  • Lowering the voting age to 16 and including civics education in the school curriculum from primary school onwards.
  • Ending youth unemployment by focused Government support for job creation, alongside free access to quality training and education, including trade training programmes for young Maori (and others).
  • Abolishing discrimination in the benefit system which sees young people 18 -24 granted less to live on than those aged 25 and over, despite living costs being identical.
  • Working towards ensuring that in future graduating students enter the workforce free of the burden of student debt.

Contact: Sue Bradford 027 243 4239 or (09) 837 0416

MANAs national spokesperson on issues of Social Wellbeing

5 COMMENTS

  1. Sue Bagshaw, A General Practioner, from Christchurch, was pivotal in turning around the life of my previosly suicidal son,. (from persistant bullying,poverty.and undiagnosed Dsylexia…)..with virtually no funding from the government,she helps foster a sense of connection,and hope in vulnearble under 25 year olds.Many of these youth are only TOO AWARE OF THE LEGACY OUR GENERATION IS leaving for our planet, environment,and future generations……Time and energy stretched carers, let alone with added health restraints( 1 in 3 now suffer from cancer)mean they are increasingly left to their own devices…….PEER PRESSURE..bombardment from advertising,lack of oppertunity to obtain apprenticeships,heavy fees for student loans… and unliveable mimimal wages offer all but the most priveleged, the road to where????????WAKE UP POLICY MAKERS,CONSULTANTS,POLITICIANS,
    Listen to teachers, youth workers, the legal professionals,aid agencies at the front line,…….WITHOUT HOPE,even the most promising amongst us….in dis-illusionment, can, and do behave out of charachter,, PLEASE GIVE OUR YOUTH A BETTER DEAL. AND BLESS AND SUPPORT SUE BRADFORD & SUE BAGSHAW>

  2. An economics teacher at a local school made a statement that he had never failed a single student before, but had recently failed an entire class. That class had insisted that socialism worked and that no one would be poor and no one would be rich, a great equalizer.

    The teacher then said, “OK, we will have an experiment in this class on the Socialism plan”. All grades will be averaged and everyone will receive the same grade so no one will fail and no one will receive an A…. (Substituting grades for dollars – something closer to home and more readily understood by all).

    After the first test, the grades were averaged and everyone got a B. The students who studied hard were upset and the students who studied little were happy. As the second test rolled around, the students who studied little had studied even less and the ones who studied hard decided they wanted a free ride too so they studied little.

    The second test average was a D! No one was happy.

    When the 3rd test rolled around, the average was an F.

    As the tests proceeded, the scores never increased as bickering, blame and name-calling all resulted in hard feelings and no one would study for the benefit of anyone else.

    To their great surprise, ALL FAILED and the teacher told them that socialism would also ultimately fail because when the reward is great, the effort to succeed is great, but when government takes all the reward away, and gives to those who do nothing, no-one will try or want to succeed.

    It could NOT be any simpler than that.

    Remember, there IS a test coming up. The next election.

    These are possibly the 5 best sentences you’ll ever read and all applicable to this experiment:

    1. You can not legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

    Can you think of a reason for not sharing this? Neither could I.

  3. Once again Sue Bradford demonstrates her ability to bend the truth with her analysis of the low enrolment of youth, it is because of youthful apathy and disinterest rather than sending the establishment a message of disillusionment.
    Her (and the Mana’s Party) reason for lowering the voting age is their belief they are likely to pick up more votes from the politically immature rather than involving the youth in the political system.
    Populist electioneering unfortunately is far more prevalent within MMP due to the scrap for each vote from the smaller parties, having said that the two major parties are also not immune to this either but not to the same extent.
    Sue, you should have given up your political career after you were snubbed for the leadership by the Greens and worked at the coalface for the lower socio-economic people, as you did stuff all for them when you were a MP no matter how much you talk it up.

  4. Youth, who become dis-illusioned with the world around them, who see injustice, and remain powerless to right the wrongs, become disconnected. The world, as we see it, becomes irrelevant to them. We don’t need to lover the voting age, we don’t need to teach them more – specially not more of the same they have already seen – we need to get real enough to show Youth that we, ourselves, still believe, and are prepared to do the hard yards to prove to Youth that by using the system, they can follow our example, and bring about change.

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