Hello again from Massey’s Residential Political Expert, and by ‘residential’ I mean I write these articles from inside The Residence, everyone’s favourite Wellington bar.
I don’t have any time to lose unfortunately; we need to get straight into it. Last time I promised a part two, detailing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and how she has been doing so far which has been a bigger job that I expected; so, let’s get started.
Jacinda took New Zealand by storm in 2017 when she was announced to be the leader of the Labour party and then was elected into power as Prime Minister. While everyone was riding high when she was first introduced, The Guardian now claims that New Zealand is grappling with a “hangover from Jacindamania”, meaning the golden night-out is over and we all need to wake up, get a Mac Attack combo and blue powerade in order to face the day. But, should Jacinda join us in this brand new day or should she be replaced by our least-favourite grandpa Winston Peters?
One thing Jacinda has going is her likeability. She is always well composed and speaks confidently (apart from the time she forgot the Treaty of Waitangi articles). She almost has 300k likes on Facebook and 302k Instagram followers which immediately makes her more popular than all of my favourite podcasts and musicians (Courtney Barnett having well under 300k likes on Facebook is a tragedy and should be fixed ASAP). Jacinda has delivered speeches at the UN, been interviewed by Stephen Colbert and was on the second episode of the short lived but surprisingly enjoyable New Zealand political panel show ‘Banter.’ She has certainly tried to win over every demographic, which of course includes an international audience. The most international coverage our politicians have received in the past has been when John Oliver roasts them on Last Week Tonight or when John Key made that cringey appearance on David Letterman which we all chose to forget, so Jacinda’s positive coverage has been an awesome change of pace.
But what has she been up to? She made the first year of university free[ish], so chances are you’re here thanks to her. Surprisingly, this did not solve New Zealand’s problems and people are still unhappy; there have been teacher’s strikes, nurse’s strikes and I saw a Burger King strike too. Labour probably doesn’t have anything to do with that last one, but I mean their attempt at intervening couldn’t HURT, could it? Jacinda promised to fix the housing crisis but recently came out to claim it is “not easy,” to which I’d like to respond: no shit. Every politician makes big promises in order to secure votes, but unfortunately they don’t always deliver; which is something true of Labour at our current state. There is still time of course, but a wise horseman once said “I’m not afraid of commitment, it’s the following through on the commitment that I take issue with,” and that could be the subtitle for any politician’s autobiography.
If you’re ever dumb enough to read the comments on Newshub and Stuff articles you’ll find the typical argument: National supporters complaining about Labour not doing anything they promised and Labour supporters complaining that Labour hasn’t been able to do anything because they are fixing up ‘the mess National left behind’. So this begs the question; despite her extreme popularity, has the Labour government just pulled a Fyre Festival and been all talk and no follow through this whole time?