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A Pinch of Politics

-with Natasha Tziakis

Resignations can be awkward sometimes, but nothing is more awkward than hanging around after that resignation.

Andrew Little, former leader of the Labour Party, stepped down from his leadership position on August 1 following dismal poll ratings and a caucus meeting.

I’ve recently started making the joke that Labour’s leadership changes as often as the Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. The thing separating Little from Hogwarts is that he died a social grisly death, not by magic, but by words.

These words often slammed him because he was too honest, idealistic and a bit robotic. His honesty and idealism is what I admired about him. Little was always the first to step up to the plate to admit he was wrong and, seemingly, strived for the most positive future for New Zealander’s. Yes, the policies under Little’s leadership left a little bit to be desired, but he always seemed to try his hardest.

This was ultimately his undoing.

In an interview with One News on July 30, following dismal results from a Colmar Brunton poll, Little said, “I would be lying if I hadn’t thought about that [standing down].” With his honesty and by owning up to the polls, he essentially became defeated in most people’s eyes. How can a political party leader potentially lead New Zealand if they are already doubting themselves?

Jacinda Ardern, Little’s successor, has been with the Labour party for nine years and has quickly moved through the ranks. Ardern has proven herself time and time again. Now her biggest concern should be whether 51 days enough time for her to build the Labour Party back up in the minds of the public. Campaigning and getting herself onto the 6pm news would be the biggest advantage for Ardern as she will gain more exposure and be at the forefront of people’s minds.

Following the announcement, the one question I have is that why now? Why didn’t Little resign earlier to give Ardern a better chance at leading Labour to a potential success? Or why didn’t he hang on and then resign after the election was over? What tipped Little over the edge?

I think that we all have to remember that, just as with Metiria Turei on the heels of her recent benefit fraud announcement, politicians are people as well. And they will doubt themselves, they will get tired and over it all and they will want to give up, whether that comes to fruition or not. is another story. Although we all need to keep in mind our humanity and kindness when discussing politicians, we also do have a right to be angry as they are the people we are placing our trust into and advocating for.

Regardless of what happens now, Ardern is under a lot of pressure and this will be a defining time in her political career.

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