There isn’t much in New Zealand politics that Martyn Martin Bradbury aka Wrongly Wrongson gets right. He is wrong on almost everything.
Chris Trotter even says as much as he ticks off Martyn on his own blog for being wrong…again.
“Bomber” is part old-time preacher. (Who else greets his audiences with an all-encompassing “Brothers and Sisters!”?) But he is also a user of the very latest communications technology. Loud, brash, occasionally reckless, Martyn Bradbury may not be universally liked, or invariably correct, but his determination to mobilise the young in their own defence cannot be disputed.
His latest crusade on behalf of younger Kiwis calls for a lowering of the voting age from 18 to 16 years. This radical extension of the franchise would be accompanied by the inclusion of a new and comprehensive programme of civics education in the nation’s secondary school curriculum.
In Martyn’s own words: “The sudden influx of tens of thousands of new voters with their own concerns and their own voice finally being heard could be the very means of not only lifting our participation rates, but reinvigorating the very value of our democracy.”
Yeah, nah…and Trotter explains why.
In 1971, the Twenty-Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution declared: “The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.”
Young activists in the Democratic Party wasted little time in flexing their political muscles. At the 1972 Democratic Party Convention, an army of young delegates, veterans of the civil rights and anti-Vietnam War struggles in the streets of America, turned the tables on the old “pols” of the Democratic Party “machine”. (The same machine which, just four years earlier, had unleashed the Chicago Police on anti-war convention delegates.) Using the new party rules which the Chicago debacle had inspired, these youngsters comprehensively out-organised their much older right-wing opponents and secured the nomination for George McGovern, the most left-wing presidential candidate since Franklin Roosevelt. Read more »