Jacinda Ardern is New Zealand’s youngest female prime minister. She is only 37 years old and is being called a rock star politician. She is being compared with the likes of America’s Barak Obama and Canada’s Justin Trudeau. Her youthful, laid back but confident style has led to “Jacindamania” across New Zealand.
The island nation of New Zealand recently held elections. More than two million New Zealanders voted on September 23rd, 2017. New Zealanders vote every 3 years to choose their members of parliament. The NZ parliament consists of 120 seats and the leader of the majority party (61 seats) generally becomes the prime minister. Unfortunately, none of the contesting parties won a majority this time. The two biggest parties had to garner support from smaller groups to win a majority in parliament.
Jacinda’s Labour Party only received 46 seats but they successfully formed a coalition government (alliance) with the Green Party and the New Zealand First Party. Jacinda Ardern was sworn in as the prime minister.
Jacinda’s interest in politics began very young. She joined the Labour Party when she was just seventeen years old. She also worked under United Kingdom’s prime minister Tony Blair and New Zealand’s ex prime minister Helen Clark. She was elected to the New Zealand Parliament at the age of 28. In July 2017 she became the leader of the Labour Party.
In her campaign, Jacinda promised to lift children out of poverty, provide free education and cut immigration amongst other things. She has struck a note with the public and they believe her leadership will help bring sweeping changes. Under her leadership, the Labour Party’s rating has been the highest in the last ten years.
Over the next 3 years, Jacinda has a lot of promises to fulfil.