Why is Jacinda popular and can she turn Labour’s fortunes around?

By   /   August 1, 2017  /   15 Comments

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Jacinda is a product of her generation, and because most of the pundits are older than her, they judge her by their own generations combativeness and cynicism.

Which is why they don’t get her.

It’s offical, Jacinda is the new Leader and Kelvin is her Deputy.

Jacinda has had no hand whatsoever in  the move against Little and was genuine in her loyalty. She will claw back voters who the Greens have picked up, appeals to female voters who voted for Key and makes a huge impact on the youth vote.

Kelvin likewise had no hand in moving against Little and he will be the first Maori to ever be Deputy leader of the Labour Party and will give him real muscle against Hone in Te Tai Tokerau.

Some on the Left and in the media feel that Jacinda is underwhelming in some way. That intellectually she isn’t hard enough, in the House not combative enough and everyone always asks ‘yeah but what has she done’.

This is a very narrow narrative, and I think it’s written by mainly older pundits.

I think that what Jacinda represents is a generation and cultural shift from Gen Xers and Boomers.

Jacinda is the first political representation of Gen Y. The thing that makes her so unique is her total lack of Ego. She is conscientious to a fault, she’s part of a Generation that was taught empathy and compassion and consideration for others and recycling.

Always with the bloody recycling.

Put bluntly.

Baby Boomers – “Me, me, me”.

Gen Xers – “Why me, why me, why me”.

Gen Y – “Why you, why I, Why us”.

She’s part of a kinder Generation taught and brought up in a culture that was desperate to be inclusive of others and that ignoring inclusivity was the greatest sin.

This is why she is so widely popular. She brings with, she doesn’t talk down to, she is all about getting agreement to move forward because that was how decision making was being taught in our education system.

Jacinda is a product of her generation, and because most of the pundits are older than her, they judge her by their own generations combativeness and cynicism.

Which is why they don’t get her.

I think her skills to quietly bring together and find unoffencive ways to work alongside each other for a common good came incredibly early for Jacinda.

In 2008, Jacinda was the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.

Can you imagine the idealogical schisms in the bloody  International Union of Socialist Youths? It would be like the NZ Twittersphere on Meth and Marx.  Half of them would be denouncing the other half for arguments no one could remember while fringe groups were posting pipe bombs to class traitors.

I think growing up in a generation that prized inclusivity, such a position would demand skills that needed to be implemented from day one. Finding ways to get things done without shouting would have been a skill any successful President of the International Union of Socialist Youth would require.

Jacinda as a Gen Y brings a totally different skill set to the table and her popularity has to do with her reflecting those values on inclusivity.

Suggesting it has to do with her looks is just the most ridiculously shallow reading of her as a person.

She could well be what Labour needs, the questions are does she have enough time to turn Labour’s fortunes around, and can she survive the factional machinations of the Labour Party to survive a possible defeat?

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15 Comments

  1. Sam Sam says:

    Labour had there best results under Michael Savage. Meeting that bar should be secound nature.

  2. Red Buzzard says:

    re “Why is Jacinda popular…”

    …she is NOT

    • CLEANGREEN says:

      We all have to concentrate now on getting the opposition Parties together around a meeting of the willing of a “Grand coalition forum” to put a strategy to take over as a new Government on 23rd september.

      That is Jacinda’s most important role now is to get those other two parties around the table as they did back in 2014.

      They were then dubbed as “A government in waiting”.

      http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2014/04/10/time-for-the-greens-to-stay-cool-cunliffes-best-shot-at-being-pm-is-to-unify-the-opposition/

    • Richard Christie says:

      Agreed, she most notable by her almost complete absence from the public eye since becoming deputy and she has no track record of leadership.

      Martyn has an amusing obsession/hang-up in regard to generational differences.

      Ardern’s elevation to leadership is a pure punt. We’ll all just have to wait and see how she fares.

  3. Rosemary McDonald says:

    “Jacinda has had no hand whatsoever in the move against Little…”

    ” Kelvin likewise had no hand in moving against Little ….”

    Evidence please, Martyn.

    This is Politics….no friends, no loyalty.

  4. Michal says:

    ‘….Jacinda is underwhelming in some way. That intellectually she isn’t hard enough, in the House not combative enough and everyone always asks ‘yeah but what has she done’.’

    I think she is totally underwhelming, but frankly I think most of them are – the only hope is Twyford.

  5. Michal says:

    ‘In 2008, Jacinda was the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth.’

    So what did she actually do as President… honestly this is a nonsense

  6. patricia bremner says:

    I see Hooten has dissed Jacinda as a “flake”

    Well he is true to form!!!!! Waited 11 minutes after her appointment!!!!

    For that reason alone, I am back on board!!!!!

    KEEP LEFT!!!! DONATE ENROL VOTE

    These trolls are NOT going to win. Not while I’m here!!!!!

    Once again, thank you Andrew Little.

  7. patricia bremner says:

    I see Hooten has dissed Jacinda as a “flake”

    Well he is true to form!!!!! Waited 11 minutes after her appointment!!!!

    For that reason alone, I am back on board!!!!!

    KEEP LEFT!!!! DONATE ENROL VOTE

    These trolls are NOT going to win. Not while I’m here!!!!!

    Once again, thank you Andrew Little.

  8. HC says:

    Wow, we have our female version of Justin Trudeau, the young male Canadian PM, she is called Jacinda.

  9. mosa says:

    Jacinda Adern is the kiwi version of Canada’s Justin Trudeau
    Personable , attractive and young.

    She will get cut through and will carry an election loss and survive.

    This is about the next three years in or out of government but when she will get a mandate to lead the country.

    Kelvin will bring the Maori vote back and just make the difference in some key seats with this new line up……but is it real Labour.

  10. Nick Morris says:

    I don’t think we have to have a go at Boomers or Gen X people to validate Jacinda’s elevation. She has been selected. She has strengths. She probably has weaknesses. Like everyone. We support her and wish her well. She may ultimately be replaced by a millennial, or a Bernie Sanders.

    Let’s leave generational definitions to the Lifestyle Magazines.

    However, speaking from the point of view of the Boomer generation: a generation marked by unprecedented success for movements of the Left; battling for the right to be oneself, but also battling prejudice and demanding rights for the disadvantaged and alienated throughout society and the world; battling to avoid nuclear annihilation…..
    you’re welcome.

  11. Peter says:

    National is panicking, which is very clear from all the negative comments on this post. All the National “plants” on this blog are coming out with negative comments – but all are irrelevant. Jacinda is about to soar – hold onto your hats!

  12. Siobhan says:

    Bernie and Corbyn aren’t exactly Gen Y.
    Zuckerberg pretty much is.
    Hilary Clinton had good support from so called ‘progressive’ females.
    Generational labels, and gender, are handy, but they are not the be all and end all.
    This isn’t just about Jacinda…its about the people who encouraged/allowed Andrew Little, a nice guy, a sincere guy, and a guy with a solid background… to destroy his political chances.
    From the outside this looks like a coup, one Jacinda and Andrew have both been pushed into playing out.
    Now the question is…do these behind the scene people want “progress’ or ‘business as Usual’.
    and, excuse my tin foil hat…but I wonder about Free Market, Centrist Helen Clarks role in all this.

    • Sam Sam says:

      The Wellington consensus amongst Clark/Shipley/Bolger/Moore/Palmer are fronting #500Now campaign. Any involvement they have in the political arena can said to be promoting increased numbers of Refugees. Any other intrusion into politics should be viewed through this lense.