Mark Baker / AP
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won her re-election by an overwhelming majority.
The victory was not surprising. Ardern’s leadership has helped New Zealand become one of the most successful countries in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic. As the election approaches, polls have shown Ardern’s Labor Party is far ahead of its closest competitor, the Conservative National Party.
With most of the votes counted, Ardern’s Liberal Labor Party won 49%. It’s Labor’s best show at least 50 years. It is also the highest score of any party since the country switched to proportional representation in 1996.
Labor Party He was expected to win 64 seats out of 120 members of Parliament, giving it the power to govern without building the coalition that typically characterizes proportional representation. The National Party won 27 percent of the vote, and won 35 seats. The liberal New Zealand ACT Party and the left-wing Green Party each won 10 seats. The Maori Party – a center-left party focused on indigenous rights – won one seat.
It is not yet clear how Ardern and her party will move aggressively to enact progressive policies. In her victory speech, Ardern acknowledged that while her party has a “very strong and clear mandate”, she has promised to be the voice of all New Zealanders.
“We live in an increasingly polarized world,” said 40-year-old Ardern Tell Hundreds of supporters cheering. “A place where people have lost, more and more, the ability to see each other’s point of view. I hope this election, New Zealand has shown that this is not what we are. That, as a nation, we can listen and we can debate. After all, we are younger than To lose sight of others. “
“Elections aren’t always great at bringing people together,” said Ardern. “But they also don’t need to tear each other apart. In times of crisis, I think New Zealand has shown that.”
The Labor victory was a major defeat for the National Party, which lost 21 seats. “We’ll take time to think, we’ll review, we’ll change.” He said Party leader Judith Collins. “Patriotism will emerge again from this loss, a stronger, more disciplined and more connected party.”
Other items on the ballot included two major referendums reflecting sweeping social change in the island nation of 5 million people. One would rationing Recreational cannabis – the first apparent effort by any country to conduct a national popular vote on whether marijuana should be approved without a medical purpose.
The preliminary results will not be announced until the end of the month, but if the measure is passed, New Zealand will join Canada, Georgia, South Africa and Uruguay in the list of countries with legal consumption of the pot at the national level. Parliament has yet to approve the measure.
The Another referendum He asks if New Zealanders support the End of Life Choice Act. This law, passed by Parliament in 2019, legalizes euthanasia for those who are mortally ill, have less than six months to live, and suffer “unbearable” suffering. It will only come into effect if approved by the majority of voters.