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Politics doesn't have to be about old people in suits

Politics doesn't have to be about a bunch of old people in suits

Singer Lorde’s message to first time voters to have their say has been enthusiastically backed by Palmerston North City Council.

“Politics doesn't have to be about a bunch of old people in suits, talking about issues that aren't relevant to youth,” Lorde said.

In the 2011 election 42 per cent of 18-24 year-olds did not vote - compared with just 5.2 per cent of those over 65 and we are determined to change that outcome.

The council is backing Lorde’s message and has organised a number of ways of encouraging people to get out and vote on 20 September.

One is a blackboard initiative, “Before I vote I would like to know?” for people to post their questions and comments.

The black boards will go up at Community Living Rooms:
· Roslyn Library

· Te Pātikiki Library

· Ashhurst Library

· Awapuni Library

On Saturday 30 August the Mobile Library will visit Hokowhitu Shopping Centre, Highbury Shopping Centre and Celaeno Park in Kelvin Grove.
“With an average age of 33 we are one of the youngest cities in Aotearoa and traditionally young people haven’t exercised their right to vote. This project, while small, is aimed at lifting the profile of voting, of questioning your politicians and of getting involved,” said Cathy McCartney, manager community engagement.

“We heard Lorde when she said politics doesn't have to be about a bunch of old people in suits, talking about issues that aren't relevant to youth. The black boards and the community meeting are deliberately aimed at under 30s.”

All you need to do is pop your questions on a blackboard and we’ll get politicians to face-up and answer those questions in a public forum in the Living Room of City on Thursday 11 September at midday.

“We’re also very supportive of other initiatives aimed at young and first-time voters, such as apps designed by Massey University’s Design for Democracy groups, AskAway and On the Fence.”

Cathy McCartney says the initiative is wider than just the coming general election. A cross-Council team will focus on increasing voter participation in both local and national elections over the next two years.


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