Right now, it’s fair to say that the world is being “led” by incompetent “leaders”. However, while Trump, Putin, Johnson, and Scomo are busy making headlines about everything they’re doing wrong, everyone has been gushing over New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden.
Dealing with everything from terrorist attacks and natural disasters to making light work of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jacinda Arden has achieved an almost god-like status over the past few years, not only among her NZ followers but all over the world. However, as the election looms closer, will Ardern still be leading in a few months time?
With an election looming, what are the chances that Jacinda Ardern will be re-elected as New Zealand’s Prime Minister for another four years?
Since being elected leader of the Labour party and subsequently the Prime Minister in 2017, Jacinda Ardern has achieved so many things for New Zealand, all while being celebrated as one of the world’s most authentic leaders.
In four years, Ardern has made significant strides for the country and delivered on a number of her promises including improvements in the health, housing, transport, crime and corrections, environmental and welfare sectors. Along with the political leadership expected of any National leader, Ardern has also faced several unexpected obstacles which have demonstrated her strength and ability as a leader.
This included the Christchurch Mosque Shootings where 51 Muslim people were fatally shot and 49 injured across two mosques in Christchurch. Of course, Ardern received even greater praise for her unconventional yet effective approach to COVID-19, where she introduced the “widest-ranging and toughest border restrictions of any country in the world” and ultimately eliminated the virus from New Zealand. To top it all off, Ardern has been leading the country and achieving all of this as a new mother and as the youngest female Nation leader in history.
The New Zealand Prime Minister #JacindaArdern has elevated #care to a principle of governance – leading a country with peace & love while responding to violence and pandemics,transcending #GDP to embrace well being
Love and care nourish humanity,hate & greed spread inhumanity https://t.co/dYqXfMqMaA
— Dr. Vandana Shiva (@drvandanashiva) July 14, 2020
As an Aussie that hasn’t seen good leadership in years, it’s hard not to yearn for a Prime Minister like Jacinda Ardern. But, what do New Zealanders have to say about the Labour leader?
Ardern’s profoundly visible leadership was reflected in opinion polls from April to June of this year, showing Labour on top with over 50% and even as high as 59%. Even if you don’t know too much about politics and polls, you should understand that Ardern is feeling confident at this point in time.
Despite her seemingly overwhelming popularity, The National Party will not be going out without a fight. Earlier this month, a new opposition leader emerged, and her polarising approach to politics has already posed some risk to Ardern’s reign. However, contrasting from Ardern’s compassionate and empathetic stance, The National Party are making a more cut-throat approach.
Judith Collins earned the nickname “Crusher Collins” when, as minister of police in 2009, she proposed punishing unrepentant boy-racers by destroying their souped-up vehicles in a car-crusher. If that doesn’t depict the stark difference between these two leaders, we don’t know what will. And of course, Collins has taken fancy of the nickname, even including a subtle reference to it when she was elected as opposition leader:
“I am hoping that the National Party can crush the other lot when it comes to September 19.”
If only “Crusher” Collins would come down half as hard on power abusing perverts as she does on young couples buying their first home eh.
— Evie (@eviekemp) July 20, 2020
Collins immediately comes across as confident and assertive and has made several jabs at Ardern, which quickly point out the different qualities that each leader possess. While many New Zealanders value the gentle kindness of Ardern, others are calling for “less talk and more walk” and that is what Collins is claiming to deliver. But with just a few short months before September 19, will she make an impression on her country that is large enough to sustain a victory?
If Collins is to succeed against Ardern, she will need a great economic plan and have the ability to quickly and effectively convince a lot of people. While this sounds like a big feat, there is certainly no guarantee that everything will go to plan. Here’s hoping that Ardern has another four years to keep changing both her country and the world.