Young People Voting

Young Person: Use Your Vote – By Olivia Boyd

Please read Olivia Boyd’s article – Young Person: Use Your Vote

It can be easy to be apathetic and uninterested about whether or not to vote in our general election as the issues we are facing as a nation might seem insurmountable or we may think one person doesn’t make a difference. Many people might also be well and truly over all the politics and are perhaps disappointed with the decisions that have been made from our nation’s capital at various times. But with so much at stake in our nation at the moment, we need to participate in the democratic process and vote for the best of the options for forming a government that will provide the best outcomes for our country.

In the 1987 general election, one candidate won the Wairarapa electorate on the night by a margin of a single vote. Even though he was later removed from holding the seat due to another recount that found he had in fact lost by 34 votes, this story just goes to show that even though you may think that your vote is just one among the thousands, your vote does count. You never know just how close the outcome may be. It’s also the vehicle that we have in our democracy to use our voice.

We have heard a lot about the different crises affecting us over the last year or two—the cost of living crisis, the housing crisis, the homelessness crisis, the covid crisis, the child poverty crisis, the mental health crisis, and the climate crisis—to name just a few. In the coming months, politicians will propose many different solutions to fix these things or, at the very least, set us on a track that will determine the wellbeing and economic prosperity (or not) of our nation in the years to come.

This will be my first election voting, and I’ve been looking forward to this for the last few years. I will be voting according to what values the different parties hold that will govern their policy decisions, and for candidates that have the kind of qualities and integrity that those who lead our nation should have. Here is what I’m looking for (and hoping to find) among the parties and candidates:

– Policies that support New Zealand families to make decisions for themselves and what is best for their own children.

– A high value for supporting life from conception to natural end of life. It’s my hope that our MP’s who also hold a high value for protecting life, will have the courage to reflect these values in the direction they vote in Parliament.

– Addressing the pressing economic, health and education issues in the short to medium term, as well as setting a sustainable course for the future for New Zealand families to thrive and raise children according to their deeply held beliefs and values.

– A high value for freedom of speech, conscience and expression, and policies that protect these rights.

– A voting track record for existing MPs that strengthens families, and what policies they have (or haven’t) supported that promote life and family.

– What the overall policy direction is between the various parties, the nature and amount of intervention they plan on having into the lives of everyday kiwis, and what course they are setting our nation on.

Everyone will have a differing list of priorities depending on exactly where you sit on the political spectrum. No politician or party is ever perfect or will ever meet all our preferences and priorities, but we need to look at which parties and candidates are the best options and carefully consider how we vote. The immediate issues are important, and we’ll be hearing a lot about them in the coming months. But so is the longer term direction of our nation and what will best serve us in the years to come.

Olivia Boyd is our teenage guest writer who is very passionate about supporting the pro-life movement and ending human trafficking. Upon completion of her High School education, she intends to study law and psychology. She has an interest in human rights and social psychology, and is an active member of the PragerForce group for students and young professionals. Olivia will be contributing articles to Family First this year as part of her Duke of Edinburgh award.

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