A new era of post baby boomer politics

Jacinda Ardern’s rapid rise to the top in politics this year has perhaps signalled the beginning of a new era in New Zealand politics, where there is a sudden surge in influence of politicians who weren’t born in the fifties or sixties (of last century).

Other politicians on the rise in Government, like Grant Robertson, James Shaw, David Clark, Megan Woods, Chris Hipkins, Tracey Martin and Julie Anne Genter are all new age MPs.

The odd one out of course is Winston Peters, but surely his career is just about over.

If old school National MPs slip away this term, as some of them should (like Bill English, Gerry Brownlee, Steven Joyce)  then that will leave the way for younger MPs like Simon Bridges, Nikki Kaye and Chris Bishop to wave the baby boomers goodbye and take over.

While many baby boomers may like to be given choices over their end of life if they are unfortunate enough to face an awful death, it is the influence of younger MPs who are leading the push to get the bill passed.

In his closing speech in the first reading of the bill – End of Life Choice Bill first reading – David Seymour rebuttal – David Seymour said:

I felt when I was listening to Bill English’s contribution that we were talking at each other from different ages. The age that a blanket prohibition on all end of life is required as the cornerstone of our law may have been a good argument in 1995. It may have even been a good argument in 2003.

It is not a good argument today because, as Chris Bishop so ably outlined, we now have almost a dozen jurisdictions around the world that have designed a law that does give choice to those who want it and protects those who want nothing to do with it whatsoever.

We are like ships in the night: one speaking from 1995; the other speaking from 2017 when so much of history has moved on.

The baby boomer ship hasn’t sunk yet, but it is sailing into the political sunset.

The sudden generational change is in part fortuitous – Seymour’s bill was drawn from the Members’ Bill ballot. But that was necessary because old school politicians and parties wouldn’t risk promoting it – Andrew Little deemed Maryan Street’s End of Life Choice bill “not a priority” and dumped it, so Seymour picked it up.

Little was also instrumental in the rise of Ardern, stepping aside as Labour was listing badly.

Old and middle aged are becoming dirty terms in some quarters. The dismissing of experienced opinions as now worthless is perhaps understandable but is often over the top and unwarranted.

But there is now doubt the influence of baby boomers dropped significantly over the last six months, and is likely to continue to fade.

I’m happy to see a new generation of ideas, enthusiasm and governance largely take over. The younger politicians have an opportunity to make a mark, and make New Zealand a better country in the modern era. They will no doubt have challenges but I think we will be in good hands.

However as a baby boomer I am not digging my grave yet, despite supporting an enlightened approach to euthanasia.

I will still give my two bobs’ worth of  opinions for a while (that’s showing my age). I’m not exactly a technophobe, I have grown up in the age of computers, having worked with them for over forty years (I wrote my first program on punch card in 1972), printing a conversion chart from Fahrenheit to Celsius – that also ages me a bit, but y memory isn’t shot, I still remember the calculation of minus 32, times 9 divided by 5.

But this is just baby boomer reminiscing about an era that is now becoming history, last century history.

I’ll keep chugging away here for a while yet, but if any youngsters want to contribute here with their two hundred dollars worth of opinion I’ll welcome a new era of ideas and angles.

And that’s what we are going to get in Parliament over this term and beyond – a new generation in politics. Revitalisation and different approaches in dealing with difficult issues are an essential part of a thriving country.

It won’t be that long until we have MPs who born in this millennium – it is possible next year, or next election. Chloe Swarbrick was born in 1994. I hope I don’t need to make an end of life choice before I see that happen.

 

54 Comments

    • Gerrit

       /  December 16, 2017

      I think Bill English comment was not from a different age but a different religious belief. Catholic, be they old or young would be against this bill as their belief systems are fixed.

      • Gezza

         /  December 16, 2017

        Maybe only some. I was raided a Catholic & went right through the Catholic education system in the 60’s & early 70’s. The Popes of those times were dead set against contraception. None of the girls of my age paid any attention to them, as far as I can tell. They were all on the pill as soon as they could get it.

        • Gezza

           /  December 16, 2017

          😡 *raided = raised!

          • Pickled Possum

             /  December 16, 2017

            raided = something to be seized or suppressed.

            Yes Sireee!!! bro, that is an apt description of some peoples time with RC church.

            raised = lifted. 😎

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 16, 2017

              Raised-reared.

              I would say that with Bill English, it’s religious and not age-related.

  1. Blazer

     /  December 16, 2017

    Chris Bishop is touted as a Nat M.P with a big future.I don’t wonder he is in favour of a bill shortening life….his C.V as a pro tobacco lobbyist speaks for ..itself.

    • “his C.V as a pro tobacco lobbyist speaks for ..itself.”

      I don’t know what relevance that has now.

      Bishop worked hard in his first term as a list MP. He was part of a cross-party group initiated by Jan Logie to look at and advocate for LGBTI rights.

      He succeeded with his Compensation for Live Organ Donors Members’ Bill that will “will ensure that live organ donors receive compensation of 100 per cent of their earnings for up to 12 weeks after the operation”.

      And he won an electorate off Labour against the third term, Ardern revival trend.

      • Blazer

         /  December 16, 2017

        can they transplant…lungs these..days?

        • robertguyton

           /  December 16, 2017

          Bishop was a pro-tobacco lobbyist? So was Todd Barclay; have these men no conscience at all? Why does National attract such people?

          • Blazer

             /  December 16, 2017

            what else would you expect from a party that relies on…’smoke’….and…mirrors.!

          • Do you think the Organ Donor Act is bad? Do you think advocating for LGBTI rights is bad? Voting for marriage equality?

            If you condemned every politician for something they had done in the past there would probably be none to praise. You’re practising ‘what about’ dissmania.

            Regardless of his pre-politics CV I think that Bishop is one of the top prospects for being an inclusive positive politician.

          • Zedd

             /  December 16, 2017

            @RG
            Yes the Natl MPs have constantly attacks the Greens for their pro-cannabis reform stance, whilst they have in their ranks at least one TOBACCO lobbyist; this industry is reportedly responsible for >5k deaths in NZ annually.. do they really think thats OK, because ‘Its a Legal substance’ ?
            NO sez I 😦

          • Yet, neither of them smoke….hmm it’s about choice isn’t it. They don’t belong to the “mushroom” cultivation rooms of society. Strange isn’t it to think people have all sorts of choices. A foreign concept to Nanny knows best I know.

            • Zedd

               /  December 16, 2017

              @Trav

              I agree its about ‘Choice’ BUT for over 40 years in Aotearoa/NZ the ‘pot-smokers’ have been effectively denied this, with the WAR on Drugs B-S that still goes on & on & on……. as does the misinfo. around it 😦

              Roll up for the REEFERendum Sez I&I 😀

  2. Ray

     /  December 16, 2017

    I guess for some baby bombers it will be difficult to let the young take over because with our sheer weight of numbers we have have occupied the bull pulpit of world opinion for decades.
    Look at what we did with pop music and then as we males lost our hair we made baldness trendy, young men shaved their heads!
    And now as we become retirees who knows what will happen, though that might explain the Labour $700 payout to keep the most wealthy cohort warm next winter, ’cause we vote!

    • Blazer

       /  December 16, 2017

      as the song goes…’you better not grow old…or you’re gonna feel..the cold’.

    • Blazer

       /  December 16, 2017

      didn’t even realise Bradbury…had kids…Ray.

  3. PartisanZ

     /  December 16, 2017

    I look at it like this: If they’re prepared to look after us in our retirement, after what we’ve done to the world we COULD HAVE BEQUEATHED THEM … I’ll count myself f%*ken lucky!

    Its also incredibly interesting that the general direction they seem to be taking us is back towards the world we could have bequeathed them.

    Long may they run …

    Long may we all …

    • Gezza

       /  December 16, 2017

      Odds are they’ll go the same way we did. Convinced we were all gonna reject The Establishment Way – of our Olds’ Generation – & change the world for the better into a more caring & sharing place.

      Look at Tim Shadbolt as a prime example. Once a hippy protester & young, bolshie writer of Bullshit & Jellybeans. Now he IS part of the establishment.

      • PartisanZ

         /  December 16, 2017

        Back towards the world we could have bequeathed them …

        In careful, measured steps … not slash and burn like Rogerednomics … keep the baby, use the dirty bathwater to water the garden … until the synthesis of capitalism & socialism makes sense … (I won’t call it “the Middle Way”) … and peaceful progression takes the place of violent dialectic …

        Everyone’s place is definitely HERE, within an ‘establishment’ that is flexible, diverse, responsive and inclusive.

        It’ll need a new name …. *Prostablishment* or something …

        Jeez, I wish I could get paid for coining all these new words! [#121]

        • Gezza

           /  December 16, 2017

          🤔 You still owe me $1.57 for “Partiword”. 😕

          • PartisanZ

             /  December 16, 2017

            Call it quits eh? Since I gave you the very valuable idea of coining new words? 🙂

            • Gezza

               /  December 16, 2017

              Ok – but I only had one. And it was the best one so far! 😎

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 16, 2017

              Nah … I don’t think it was the best word … but it was the first and only *Gezzaism* so far … *[#123]* :-/

            • Blazer

               /  December 16, 2017

              Gezza..is ‘begezzled’..by his own..brilliance.

            • Gezza

               /  December 16, 2017

              Well, of course, I’m normally not one to criticise, as you know, but you two are bloody whingers! (No offence.)

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 16, 2017

              To be called a “bloody whinger” by you is the highest honour Gezza …

            • Gezza

               /  December 16, 2017

              Jesus! If that’s your highest honour, that’s pretty sad, Parti. Surely you must have got a certificate or a Gold Star for something? 😳

              I’ve even got a Certificate of Niceness: 😐

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 16, 2017

        Human nature doesn’t change but technology does and provides new ways to express it. English’s world view was just as foreign and obsolete to me in 1970 as it is now. The decline of religion since then owes far more to technology than to philosophy.

        • PartisanZ

           /  December 16, 2017

          Interesting comment Alan … but had you even heard of von Hayek, von Mises, Rothbard and Friedman in 1970?

          It gets expressed in new ways … recycled … rebranded … What those fullas want is a return to the Golden Age when a big cattle rancher could sweep the prairie clean first of Injuns, then of little shepherding families, and plantation owners took “all the risk” acquiring and keeping slaves.

          Anyhow, since the outlook is all doom, lets call it *distablishment*? [#122]

          Has religion declined? What do you mean by religion?

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 16, 2017

            Friedman, yes, the others probably not. But I admired Hume and Popper (who had taught briefly at my university).

            I mean church attendance and belief in deities and their dogma by decline of religion (in developed countries absent large influxes of religious immigrants).

            • Gezza

               /  December 16, 2017

              Yup. The Christian Religion is on the way out. Catholic & Anglican Church attendances here have been declining – it’s mainly immigrants eg Cambodians, Filipinos who’re making up the Catho numbers now in Welly, I was told by a senior Marist priest around New Year. Christianity has had its ups & downs but has massively influenced Western democracy, culture & values – in a generally good way for most people overall – & has now done its best work. Science & logic & New Age superstitious theories will eventually prevail over Biblical superstition in the future. We need to make bloody sure Islamic superstition doesn’t replace it.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 16, 2017

              Being a hard-core scientific methodist, I can only say Christian CHURCH Religion is or appears to be on the way out.

              Does a person who worships Christ, reads the Bible, prays and meditates ‘religiously’ in private remain a Christian?

              Do heavily armed [or belief-system ‘armoured’] Christian Fundamentalist ‘prepper’ communities remain Christian?

              If so, we don’t know how many of either of them there are? Nor the range of possibilities in-between?

              Christian Church doctrines inimical to life have massively influenced Western culture and values – which, for instance, were very bad for 100 million Native American peoples – while source Christianity is massively at odds with Western culture and values.

              Neither has much to do with so-called ‘democracy’ IMHO, which is essentially an appease-the-masses derivative of tyrannical Monarchic Feudalism.

            • Gezza

               /  December 16, 2017

              Yeah. I know. Still, you generally see nothing but what’s wrong with “democracy” & Western culture, Parti. They don’t suit you. But democracies evolve, & so have Western culture & values over the centuries, there’s no one-size-fits-all democratic system, there’ll never be a perfect system, you seem to tar everyone who’s quite happy with democracy with the brush of the few historical evildoers, which is wrong, & you haven’t come up with anything better that’s likely to get everyone’s agreement to replace these systems yet, imo.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 16, 2017

              In order to repair your car you have to know what’s wrong with it …

              Our democracy’s ‘evolution’ is not keeping pace with the exponential rate of ideational* evolution via ICT. Our present system is based on the need for an elected ‘representative’ to ride a horse to the nearest representatives’ assembly …

              One factor holding us back is therefore almost certainly the search for a “one-size-fits-all” democratic system. We might instead create a multi-size-fits-all aggrecratic* system. Some combination representative, expert, citizen & ‘open source’ governance format?

              There’s also Aotearoa New Zealand’s undeniable need for a consociational Constitution to facilitate true power-sharing biculturalism.

              “Everyone who’s quite happy with democracy” … You’re kidding me, right? Is that why everyone on here complains about it so much?

              NOTHING in our present-day ‘democracy’ gets everyone’s agreement …

            • Gezza

               /  December 16, 2017

              NOTHING in our present-day ‘democracy’ gets everyone’s agreement …

              Neither does whatever you’re talking about. A lot of what you seem to propose doesn’t appeal or work for everybody here either. If you can’t sell an alternative proposal to everyone, or at least a majority of voters, nothing will change. Why should it?

              Meantime, life goes on & things keep working. Our democratic system is actually reasonably flexible & capable of corrections via the electoral system. Compromise is possible. Incremental change. These are strengths of our current system already. That’s why it has endured, thru various twists & turns.

    • It’s far, far too early to think that this band of incumbents will take us anywhere but to a place called more of the same.

  4. sorethumb

     /  December 16, 2017

    It’s nothing to do with a new age (IMO), it has to do with complexity (diversity). Andrew Little was dour, with a face like an old fence post. Jacinda Adern was like mum arriving on the scene to sort things out. John Key was the same he was one of us (although only on the surface). Once anyone like that starts throwing around activist ideas people are polarised.
    Winston looked old and tired but his best selling product was opposing immigration and a united peoples. He fluffed it thinking he could be everyman’s politician and the dwarfs who walk behind him can no longer raise a ripple.

  5. sorethumb

     /  December 16, 2017

    Bill English opposed Seymours Bill because he is RC. Nothing to do with his age.

  6. Pickled Possum

     /  December 16, 2017

    “The odd one out of course is Winston Peters, but surely his career is just about over”.

    To be, or not to be; that is the question:
    Is Hamlet asking whether people should exist or not.

    The youngsters of today are more enamoured with Winston than their parents ever were.
    From the korero I have had with some.
    Winston has his purpose in NZ politics;
    a gate keeper for our land, our social duty, our little world. Amen.
    Whether we agree or not, a mixed bag of MP’s just has to be good for us.

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 16, 2017

      @Possum – “Whether we agree or not, a mixed bag of MP’s just has to be good for us”

      CommentoftheWeek so far IMHO …

    • sorethumb

       /  December 16, 2017

      They always say “the baby boomers will die out”

      • PartisanZ

         /  December 16, 2017

        “We have never even begun to understand a people until we have found something that we do not understand. So long as we find the character easy to read, we are reading into it our own character.”
        ― G.K. Chesterton, What I Saw in America

        “We need a new, deeper appreciation of the ethnic histories of the American people, not a reduction of American history to ethnic histories.”
        ― Steven C. Rockefeller, Multiculturalism

        “If the humanities were science, the vocabularies of the world’s languages would add up, not overlap.”
        ― Thorsten J. Pattberg

        “In the real world, equal respect for all cultures doesn’t translate into a rich mosaic of colorful and proud peoples interacting peacefully while maintaining a delightful diversity of food and craftwork. It translates into closed pockets of oppression, ignorance, and abuse.”
        ― Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Nomad: From Islam to America: A Personal Journey Through the Clash of Civilizations

        • Gezza

           /  December 16, 2017

          Ok. That’s a lot of quotes. I can get several unrelated messages out of each of those, so – in a nutshell, the point you are trying to make with all of those quotes is – what?

          • PartisanZ

             /  December 16, 2017

            Think about it …

          • Gezza

             /  December 16, 2017

            I did. And I don’t want to waste any more time on it. One thing I learnt in 33 years of writing, in all different kinds of styles, was that if if you are trying to get a point across, & your message is not understood by a reader or listener, the reader isn’t stupid – it’s the writer who’s failed.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 16, 2017

              My point is there’s a variety of things to think about or consider in the decolonization, multiculturalism discussion …

              You always retain the option of not bovering to read my comments …

            • Gezza

               /  December 16, 2017

              Ok. So … what’s the plan?

              What are you hoping to achieve in respect of all of those 4 things you are talking about?

              What are you going to start with, & what do you or someone else need to do to give effect to whatever it is you want to achieve?

              Because philosophising doesn’t equal actually doing anything – and it’s the doers, the people with a plan, who people listen to.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 16, 2017

              And I recognize I should take my own advice and not bover with sorethumb or Anonymous Coward or KiwiGuy or whoever it is …

              Signing out of here again. I have other ways of and forums for communicating about this sort of stuff which have potentially positive outcomes.

            • Gezza

               /  December 16, 2017

              Ok.