Compass Youth would like to commiserate with the New Zealand Labour party who were defeated by the National Party in elections earlier today. NZ Labour leader Helen Clarke has lead a progressive Government that showed just what a progressive Government could achieve in power and how limited the achievements on 'New Labour' in the UK have been. Despite strong growth and pro-social reforms it looks like the global economic downturn that has affected New Zealand particularly strongly cost NZ Labour the election. The right wing opposition won 45% of the vote, against 34% for Labour, leaving it just short of an overall majority. It will be able to govern with the help of two smaller parties - the United Future and ACT parties - and will also look for support to the Maori Party. According to official figures, National is set to win 59 seats, Labour 43 and their allies the Greens, with 6% of the vote, eight, in the 122-seat parliament.
Despite this setback for democratic socialists and social democrats worldwide we would like to offer our sincere congratulations to Jacinda Ardern, the President of the International Union of Socialist Youth, good friend of Compass Youth and now an elected Labour MP in New Zealand!
Jacinda said during the election campaign: "Labour has strengthened families through the 'working for families' package, supported students by removing interest on student loans, made healthcare more accessible with cheaper doctors' fees and prescriptions, assisted older people by lifting the rate of superannuation, and overseen the lowest unemployment rate in decades. I want to be part of the Labour team that continues to reduce inequalities in our country, further strengthens our public services like health and education, builds a truly clean, green and sustainable country, and maintains principled foreign policies."