Premature ‘influential’ accolade for Ardern

Time Magazine has named Jacinda Ardern as one of the 1o0 most influential people in the world for 2018. Given that we are only in April this is premature – and I think it is far to soon to judge Ardern’s actual influence outside the celebrity circuit. At least she hasn’t been given a premature and ultimately undeserved Nobel prize as per Obama.

Time: Jacinda Ardern by Sheryl Sandberg

Just 11 countries out of almost 200 are led by a woman. Let that number sink in. That’s how hard it is for a woman to rise to lead a nation.

Last October in New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern did it.

She was already a political prodigy. In 2008, she was elected the youngest member of the New Zealand Parliament. Now she’s the youngest female Prime Minister in the world. At a time when conservative politicians are ascendant across Europe and the U.S., she’s proudly progressive—with a raft of plans to fight economic inequality, address climate change and decriminalize abortion. She wasn’t supposed to win: she entered the election late, and her party’s approval ratings were low. Then a wave of “Jacindamania” swept the land.

And she’s expecting her first child this year.

In a world that too often tells women to stay small, keep quiet—and that we can’t have both motherhood and a career—Jacinda Ardern proves how wrong and outdated those notions of womanhood are. She’s not just leading a country. She’s changing the game. And women and girls around the world will be the better for it.

Sandberg is the COO of Facebook and author of Option B and Lean In

‘A raft of plans’ does not make a successful Prime Minister in New Zealand, let alone an influential world leader.

Fighting economic inequality and addressing climate change are lofty aims, but Ardern and her government are yet to prove that they can make a real difference on either. They may, but we are unlikely to be able to judge that to any degree in 2018, or probably 2019.

By the end of 2020 we will have time to see whether notable progress has been made on inequality and climate change (but both are long term projects), and whether Ardern has influenced New Zealand voters enough to win a second shot at continuing the reforms she has talked the talk on, but has barely stood up let alone walked the walk.

Other younger leaders that initially caused a stir, Emmanuel Macron of France and Justin Trudeau in Canada, have since found the going tough.

Funnily Ardern has written praise of Trudeau in the Time 100 influencers list.

There will be a few names globally that will become etched in our history books. They will be the names that mark the shift in our political landscape, when younger politicians took the reins and heralded a different type of politics. Justin Trudeau will be one of them. Youth alone is not remarkable, but winning over people with a message of hope and warmth, tolerance and inclusion, when other politicians the world over choose an easier route—that is remarkable.

Trudeau’s tenure as Prime Minister of Canada has hit speed bumps. As has Macron, but he also gets a good write up:

Just under a year ago, a 39-year-old underdog shook up French politics to become the youngest-ever President of the French Republic. His movement, built from scratch in just a few months, quickly doubled down by winning a large parliamentary majority, giving the new government a mandate for change.

Using this unique window of opportunity, President Macron has swiftly begun to implement an ambitious set of reforms intended to boost economic growth, reduce high unemployment and transform France into a more dynamic, competitive and inclusive economy. His vision of a strong Europe also has added fresh momentum to the integration effort—which has become all the more critical in our increasingly fragmented world.

Challenges abound. Migration, terrorism, climate, digital transformation and inequality are forcing new fault lines on our societies. But based on the policies he has implemented to date, I am convinced that Emmanuel Macron can help create the multilateral solutions that will make the planet a better place for all.

Also on the list of influencers are Donald Trump, Robert Mueller, Sean Hannity, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. Plus a number actors, performers and sports people.

Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Kim Yong Un, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin don’t feature at all.

 

29 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  April 20, 2018

    Time is wrong, Pete is Right!

    • Gezza

       /  April 20, 2018

      At last you see the light.

    • Gezza

       /  April 20, 2018

      (I think he’s wrong spelling Kim Jong Un as Kim Yong Un even though it’s pronounced like that but I’m saying nothing)

      • Maggy Wassilieff

         /  April 20, 2018

        No, the Korean ㅈ(jieut) is pronounced as a soft G (like Gee in Gee-up, horsey), and written in English as a J.

        The Y sound in Korean is given by 4 different Hangul symbols but ㅛ would be used for Yong
        (용).

        • Gezza

           /  April 20, 2018

          Ok, fair enuf. So’s the G in Gezza. I heard someone on Aljazeera pronounce it as Young Un. They were in Pyongyang so I thought that must be right. I’ve emailed them.

          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  April 20, 2018

            Get me their address; I’ll put them right next time I’m passing through.

            • Gezza

               /  April 20, 2018

              London or Doha?

            • Maggy Wassilieff

               /  April 20, 2018

              Oh, I thought you meant you had heard a Pyongyangian pronounce the Dear Respected’s name.
              I’m not interested in the mispronunciations of some foreign journo.

            • Gezza

               /  April 20, 2018

              Ok. I won’t mention it then. 👍🏼

            • robertguyton

               /  April 20, 2018

              “I’m not interested in the mispronunciations of some foreign journo.”
              Who cares?

  2. Blazer

     /  April 20, 2018

    it’s not Vogue magazine….David…are you there…David?Bol.

    • David

       /  April 20, 2018

      She is a young female pregnant leader of a country which makes her most unusual as far as influence goes if she inspires young girls that is fantastic.
      I dont see her as any great thought leader or transformational figure either during her long years in opposition or so far in power. She doesnt seem particularly driven so is more like a Trudeau than Macron who is dealing with an awful Islamist/migration issue, trying to reform their economy, deal with Russia and the EU.
      She may surprise but I doubt it with choosing motherhood over being PM.

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  April 20, 2018

        Why do young girls need to be inspired ? That is not very flattering to them, that they haven’t the gumption to do things without someone to inspire them !!!

        • robertguyton

           /  April 20, 2018

          With you, Kitty!

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  April 20, 2018

            It’s as if they need to have their hands held and be encouraged to achieve anything, which I find rather patronising.

            • David

               /  April 20, 2018

              Well the women all seem to be about empowering each other, every publication now seems to have a section on supporting and celebrating other women so I just guessed women need that sort of thing.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  April 21, 2018

              One can’t empower someone else; that must mean that they can disempower them.

              I find that sort of writing incredibly patronising and insulting !!!

  3. Blazer

     /  April 20, 2018

    ‘Angela Merkel, Theresa May, Kim Yong Un, Bashar al-Assad and Vladimir Putin don’t feature at all.’…they were on for the last 3 years.

    • I can’t see them on the 2018 list. Have they suddenly got no influence any more?

      • Blazer

         /  April 20, 2018

        yes they still do…there are over 7 billion people in the world,they are still in the top …200.

  4. High Flying Duck

     /  April 20, 2018

    The list is not based on Power or achievements apparently. It is simply a list of those whose “time is now” and who have “influence” whatever that may mean.
    On that basis Jacinda probably should be on there, as she ticks off a few liberal boxes without having any actual substance as yet.

  5. Alan Wilkinson

     /  April 20, 2018

    Time magazine once had influence too. Now it’s a bit of an anachronism and old world curiosity publishing puff pieces to try to get attention.

    • Blazer

       /  April 20, 2018

      which publication can you recommend..New Scientist,Economist??

      • David

         /  April 20, 2018

        Not the bloody Economist, I read it weekly for 25 years and now its a bloody awful leftist rag infested with globalist, climate changing vegans.
        Time magazine,s numbers are looking pretty grim but its just another liberal elitist left leaning New York based rag.

        • Griff

           /  April 20, 2018

          Hell knows what you read.
          Yesterday you said Scientific America was like zero hedge .
          Your problem is reality has a well known liberal bias.

          • David

             /  April 20, 2018

            Not me Griff, must be a different David yesterday haven’t read either of those things.
            Your reality may have a liberal bias but we probably define liberal differently.

        • robertguyton

           /  April 20, 2018

          So, David, what do you read???

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