THE YOUTH WING OF THENEW ZEALAND LABOUR
Revitalise Our Democracy
Our democracy is not in good shape. At the last election,
nearly 1 million New Zealandersfelt so disengaged from the political process that they did not vote.
This was the lowestvoter turnout over the last 100 years, and saw just 74% o registered New Zealanders casta ballot. There is something dramatically wrong with our politics when one in our Kiwisare so distant rom the political process that they reuse even to take part.For a nation like New Zealand, which once boasted some o themost engaged citizenry and the highest voter participation inthe world, this is a disaster. New Zealand was once home toone o the most active and courageous surage movementsin the world, hundreads o thousands o brave woman andmen who ought hard to make their voice heard. Today, thatlegacy is at risk.However, this isn’t just a disaster in terms o civic pride. When1 million Kiwis don’t vote, they have no voice in government. Iwe want to build a airer, more progressive New Zealand, weneed to get more New Zealanders engaged in the politicalprocess.
The best research is showing that, if we want to increase voter participation, the bestapproach is to lower the voting age to 16,
alongside the introduction o a world classcivics education.
Voting At 16 – Increasing Political Participation.
This is because, as voter behaviour expert Eric Plutzer says, “virtually all major works on[voter] turnout have concluded that voting behaviour is a gradually acquired habit”
.What this means is that i someone votes in their frst election,they are likely to continue to vote in uture elections.
Theconsensus of social science research is that voting in oneelection makes people anywhere from 30 to 45% more likelyto vote in future elections
So, i we are serious about boosting political participation, weneed to do everything we can to make sure people vote intheir frst election, as it is vital or ensuring they will develop apositive habit o voting in uture elections.What we also know rom the research is that i people voteor the frst time while they are 16, they are signifcantly morelikely to vote. This is because, at 16, there are more social structures in place around peopleto encourage them to vote, rom schools to parents to peer groups.
“There issomethingdramaticallywrong with ourpolitics whenone in fourKiwis refuse totake part”
Vote Yes on Remit 10
“Voting inone electionmakes peopleanywhere from30 to 45%more likely tovote in futureelections”