Bribery is just fine with Heather du Plessis-Allan

Heather du Plessis-Allan has hit on a solution for getting young people to vote.

She thinks it is perfectly ok to just bribe the little so and sos.

There are signs that young Kiwis are also getting angry. We’re experiencing something of a generation war. Millennials are angry at baby boomers for hogging the country’s housing stock, taking the pension at 65, and getting a free education. At this point in time, millennials have none of the above.

They aren’t angry, that would require them to actually take a position on something. All that is just beltway stuff, most young people just wonder where their next drink, joint or root is coming from.

But anger by itself won’t mobilise youth. What really make the difference are freebies.  

Bribe them she means.

There’s a theory that young people don’t vote because they don’t care. That, or they’re too distracted by Facebook.

That theory’s wrong.

No it’s not. If you can make a bald claim, so can I.

Young people don’t vote because they get nothing out of it. Politicians don’t offer them anything. For the rest of us, there’s always something. Tax cuts for the workers. Working for Families for the parents. Bridges for Northland. The last time young Kiwis got a bribe they turned up.

Helen Clark promised interest-free student loans ahead of the 2005 election and, according to former Labour president Mike Williams, young people started signing on to the electoral roll the very next day. Labour won.

Oh righto, there is a privileged stance says the adult student. Just bribe the yoof. That’s ok, despite the embedded imbalances that now exist because of that bribe of Clark’s.

So far, no single political party in New Zealand appears to have figured out what to give our young voters this year.

Let me help there Heather…they are entitled to…nothing. Famous Democrat president Francis Underwood explains.

Labour has promised three years free tertiary education but that’s fallen flat, either because they announced it too long before the campaign proper, or because education already feels free when the cost gathers no interest.

The Greens hope they’ll benefit from stacking their list with young faces and diverting their election advertising spend from TV to the social media pages where young Kiwis while away hours.

Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party is pitching furiously at millennials with promises of marijuana law reform.

Former Labour Party chief of staff Matt McCarten is dedicating himself entirely to finding and winning over the so-called “missing million” who never show up to vote.

Word has it his plans include organising music concerts at universities.

All of this is misguided. Rock shows and wrinkle-free candidates won’t persuade the youth to vote. Money will. Freebies. Bribes. Sweeteners.

Why not free guns delivered to their living room?

Heather du Plessis-Allan shows just how banal and out of touch media have become.


-NZ Herald


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