Regions like Waikato that have a high proportion of young people often have low turnout. Seed Waikato released results showing two in five Waikato young people did not know how to vote, and eight out of ten felt disconnected from their council.
Some people say it’s confusing. Others think it’s boring. But running all its elections under an STV system could be the single most effective way for local government to fix its lack of diversity and woeful voting turnout, argues Hayden Donnell.
Two in five Waikato young people don't know how to cast a vote in the upcoming local body elections, and eight out of 10 feel disconnected from their council. The statistics are revealed in a survey of 283 young people aged 15-35 by Waikato-based youth charity Seed Waikato.
“Currently, young people are marginalised, especially when it comes to political discussions, even though we have ideas that we’d like to contribute,” says Rinu Vimal, Chief Doer of Things of Seed Waikato.
“In the previous general election, 30 per cent of young people that could vote, didn’t. Why does my generation believe voting is a choice, rather than a responsibility as a citizen of Aotearoa?” Co-founder and Chair of Seed Waikato, Gemma Major asked.
"This event was all about increasing youth engagement with politics,” Gemma says. “We were so stoked the event was a healthy debate, and that we had a diverse representation of political parties present. We touched on the environment, abortion, mental health, equality, education, and student allowance.”
“In the previous general election, 30 per cent of young people that could vote, didn’t. Why does my generation believe voting is a choice, rather than a responsibility as a citizen of Aotearoa?” asks Co-founder and Chair of Seed Waikato, Gemma Major.
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