Get ready for Jacinda Trudeau. Or Kate Ardern. Or something

Here in Canada, where there are flirtations with switching from first-past-the-post to MMP, the New Zealand election outcome – or, rather, the lack thereof – might sway them to think it’s not such a good idea.

However, that the Labour Party leader might be a female equivalent to Trudeau is certainly getting folks overseas – especially those on the news desks at the New York Times and the Guardian – interested.

Being likened to the celebrity prince of Canadian politics isn’t necessarily a compliment for Ardern: at home, he’s often regarded as more smile than substance; who, in cringeworthy style, stages his photobombs and whose rise to power was helped greatly by his dad having held the top office in the 1980s.

Fascinating that overseas journalists are expecting New Zealand to elect a young(er and mostly) vacuous leader like Justin Trudeau.  And they are excited about it.   For the media, it appears that running a country isn’t something to be done well by dull people like Bill English – media want to have something to write about, which is why they promote this faux celebrity.  

It’s a cliché to say English is a steady set of hands, but his prime ministership, while undoubtedly bland, would bring comfort to political leaders in Australia, the UK, China and US. And it shows every Kiwi kid that if you can wait 15 years, dreams finally do come true.

Ardern, on the other hand, has potential to be a celebrity leader – though she’d almost certainly baulk at political pin-up status.

If Peters now decides that National’s got the moral mandate to govern – or if it simply offers him a sweeter deal – there’s a silver lining for Ardern: she’ll have three more years to keep growing Labour’s support base and prove herself as a leader, without eing hit on by Donald Trump.

Jacinda’s sun had started to set in the last two weeks of the election period as people got past the smile and “relentless positivity” and realised there was nothing behind it.   Imagine how she’ll go for 3 years?   I don’t have to guess – I know.

It is actually possible for her to be a celebrity leader heading an otherwise dull party.  Her problem is that she’s heading up a bunch of political idiots.  As we’ve seen over the last nine years, the only time Labour’s popularity went up is when they said nothing.  Christmas holidays were their best times to regain support.

The same people are behind Jacinda.  And she doesn’t have the gravitas to properly lead them.  She is very much the political pin-up girl.

– Laura McQuillan is an expat Kiwi journalist in Canada. She was formerly a political reporter in New Zealand for Newstalk ZB, RadioLIVE and NZ Newswire.  RNZ


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.

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