MPs on campus

March 13th, 2013 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Toby Manhire has put together at The Listener an amusing collection of photos of MPs with their youth wings at university campuses around the country.

There has been a real revival in recent years of students getting involved in politics, through their youth wings. I don’t know the numbers for the other parties but understand the Young National signed up 1,500 members over the course of Orientation Week. That’s more members than some parties have in their entire membership!

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14 Responses to “MPs on campus”

  1. cha (3,779 comments) says:

    And not a Bellamy salute was seen.

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  2. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I’m not actually sure that an upsurge in Youth Politics is entirely a good thing. For the following reasons.

    1 – I think it is pushing us further down the path towards the professionalisation of politics. A healthy democracy involves people in politics with varied interests, not people in politics whose primary interest is politics – and whose formative experiences are viewed through a political lens.

    2 – I think it pushes young people into identity politics – centred around “the Youth” – and the last thing we need is more identity politics in this country. It encourages people to advocate positions, not because they are wise, but because “the Youth” support it – despite the fact that youth usually entails a lack of experience and is marked by a preference for the abstract over the prudent.

    3 – Last of all, and this a more subjective position, in my experience youth politics is about as petty as you can get. There’s so much emphasis and jockying for positions and potemkin committees. And of course, as soon as the massive outside efforts to prop up youth politics lets up, the organisations soon collapse – because a lot of people who join political youth groups don’t do it for the right reasons.

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  3. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    And John Key, just like Helen Clark, does not have a prime ministerial NZ flag on his PM car.

    Though if the flag changes, what then ?

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  4. Ashley Schaeffer (405 comments) says:

    A progressive party like National is bound to attract students to the Young Nats.

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  5. bringbackdemocracy (393 comments) says:

    Even parties without MPs have youth wings on campuses.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1303/S00142/youth-against-redefining-marriage.htm

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  6. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    Presumably NZ First on Campus is part of the U3A

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  7. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    The people who did this on my campus were so insanely and psychopathically ambitious that it made me believe they should never be allowed into public life.

    Our political system fails because we can’t keep “them” out of it.

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  8. wrightingright (138 comments) says:

    hey now, not everybody in youth politics is in it for ambitions! some like me are just in for the good times! :-)

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  9. Redbaiter (7,603 comments) says:

    “Our political system fails because we can’t keep “them” out of it.”

    Yes, wanting to be PM at such an early age… is that latent megalomania or what?

    I so earnestly wish they would all just fuck off.

    (along with Young Labour of course, who are even worse)

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  10. wrightingright (138 comments) says:

    You’re seriously misguided if you think everybody in the youth wing of a political party has plans on becoming PM.

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  11. Redbaiter (7,603 comments) says:

    I would say there is less to prove me wrong than there is to prove me right.

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  12. Redbaiter (7,603 comments) says:

    Actually on second thoughts I am probably wrong about who is worse. At least young Labour have a belief system, and one knows what to expect from them.

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  13. Chuck Bird (4,682 comments) says:

    I would hope none of them will be going home for drinks with any MPs.

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  14. Cato (1,094 comments) says:

    I suggest an amendment to section 47A of the Electoral Act:

    47A Certain persons disqualified from candidacy
    The following persons are not qualified to be a candidate or to be elected as a member of Parliament:

    (a) an Electoral Commissioner:

    (b) a Deputy Electoral Commissioner:

    (c) a Returning Officer; and

    (d) any person who has previously participated in a Youth Parliament.

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