Saturday, October 17, 2020

Jacinda Arderns Labour party landslide victory In New Zealand

She certainly is one of the most powerful women and an achiever at that ! .. ..

According to the recent 2020 global rankings by the Passport Index, New Zealand  secured the top spot, meaning that people of the country who have it are in the possession of the most powerful passport in the entire world. In New Zealand General elections were held today  to determine the membership of the 53rd New Zealand Parliament. The previous parliament was elected on 23 Sept 2017 and officially dissolved on 6 Sept 2020. The opposing National Party, led by Judith Collins since July 22nd, was defeated in a landslide by the Labour Party.    This reportedly is the first time a New Zealand political party has secured a majority of seats under the MMP voting system, and the largest political win for one party in New Zealand history.

John Reid, the former New Zealand captain, selector of the national team, ICC match referee and the 1959 Wisden Cricketer of the Year,  died in Auckland at the age of 92 years and 133 days. Before his passing, he was the fifth oldest living Test cricketer, and the oldest from New Zealand.  Reid made his debut for New Zealand against England in Manchester in 1949. He played 58 Test matches and scored 3,428 runs before retiring in 1965. One of his six hundreds came in the second innings of the Christchurch Test against England in 1963, where he scored 100 out of New Zealand's innings total of 159. That total still stands as a record for the lowest innings score to feature a hundred. An allrounder who bowled fast-medium, Reid took 85 Test wickets and also was a handy wicketkeeper, standing behind the stumps in the final Test of his debut 1949 series against England. Reid, who gave up on dreams of being a rugby player due to a heart condition, was New Zealand's captain in their first-ever Test win, against West Indies in 1956, which came in the country's 45th game, 26 years after their first.

In the covid environ, West Indies is set to tour kiwiland.  Left-handed batsmen Darren Bravo and Shimron Hetmyer and allrounder Keemo Paul are back in the West Indies Test squad for a two-match series in New Zealand but Shai Hope has been dropped.  Shai Hope has been tipped for "a tremendous future in Test cricket" despite being dropped from the West Indies Test squad for the tour of New Zealand. Hope, now aged 26 and a veteran of 34 Tests, has long been viewed as one of the most talented batsmen in the Caribbean.  



While the World is battling Corona, perhaps New Zealand has come out trumps ~ by its geography, the demography and the stern measures of the ruling Government.  That has reaped rich benefits for the incumbent Labour party ensuring a landslide victory.  Jacinda Ardern has led the Labour Party to a landslide, crushing Judith Collins and the National Party along the way, claiming a “mandate to accelerate”. By midnight, the centre-left vote in New Zealand was edging 57 per cent. Not only was this a huge result for Labour, which looks like it may govern in its own right with 49 per cent of the vote, but also the Greens, which were tracking at about 7.6 per cent per cent of the vote. "Our plan is already in action and already working, but after this result we have the mandate to accelerate our response and our recovery, and tomorrow we start," Ardern said in her victory speech.

It is the worst result for National since 2002, with 26.8 per cent by midnight. In line with the pre-election polls, ACT had a strong showing with 8 per cent.  New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won Saturday's general election in a landslide and secured three more years in power after the country stopped the spread of coronavirus. With more than 90 per cent of ballots counted, her centre-left Labour Party had won 49 per cent of votes, enough to secure 64 seats in the 120-seat parliament, the country's first majority since 1996. 

The centre-right National Party had only 27 per cent of the vote and 35 seats, a disastrous result for the main opposition party which suffered its second-worst tally in its 84-year history. Voters have rewarded Ms Ardern, 40, for her successful handling of Covid-19 after the country extinguished the disease with only 1,883 cases and 25 deaths recorded. As the pandemic began to gather pace across the globe, the PM in March opted for a draconian lockdown and sealed off the country's border to all but returning citizens while shuttering non-essential shops and bars.  Coupled with New Zealand's obvious geographical advantage - an island with a sparse population - the virus was not allowed to spread to the same extent it has done so rapidly in other nations.

In a unifying victory speech at Auckland Town Hall, Ms Ardern said: 'Tonight's result has been strong and it is clear that Labour will lead the government for the next three years. 'We will build back better from the Covid crisis. This is our opportunity to take on poverty and inequality. Let's step forward together.' As the room full of Labour members whooped and cheered, she added: 'New Zealand has shown the Labour Party its greatest support in almost 50 years. 'We will not take your support for granted. And I can promise you we will be a party that governs for every New Zealander.'

Ms Ardern's partner Clarke Gayford, father of their two-year-old daughter Neve, kissed the prime minister on stage and said: 'I am extremely proud.'   Opposition Leader Judith Collins conceded defeat, saying: 'Boy we knew it was going to be tough.' She said she has phoned Ms Ardern and congratulated her on the 'outstanding result for Labour'        .   New Zealand has a mixed-member proportional system where parliament is made up of directly elected constituency MPs and also list MPs, the number of which is determined by party vote share.Ms Ardern declined to say if she would continue in coalition with the Green Party or govern alone, saying: 'I'd rather wait until all the results come in.'

In her second government, Ms Ardern will be under huge pressure to reduce child poverty and advance her progressive agenda after struggling to make significant reforms during the past three years of coalition.  The Greens and Labour are currently in a three-way alliance with nationalist party New Zealand First, which is on track to take only two per cent of votes and lose all its seats, putting leader and foreign minister Winston Peters out of parliament for the first time in 35 years.   The election was postponed by a month after a new outbreak surfaced in Auckland, but this has since been quelled with no active cases in the community.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

17.10.2020@ 10 pm. 

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