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Mana: Labour fears future - fails to support Vote 16

Mana: Labour fears future - fails to support Vote 16

Mana Social Wellbeing spokesperson Sue Bradford says the newly released Labour Party youth policy is a perfect example of how fossilised the old parties have become.

'They go through the same trite old stuff about tackling youth issues but carefully avoid addressing how to give young people more say in their own affairs.

'Mana supports giving 16 and 17 year olds a vote so that their voice - and their needs - will be taken seriously at the highest levels of Government.

'I bet you wouldn't see National pandering with its youth rates policy to the greedy old codgers that control the business and financial sectors if 16 year olds could actually vote.

'I reckon National has let youth unemployment - and rates of disengagement from formal education - hit their present levels because 16 and 17 year olds don't vote - so they are expendable.

Ms Bradford says she is pleased Labour acknowledges the need for civics education in schools but says this is only part of the answer to encouraging youth engagement with our democratic processes.

'Labour love to talk about being bold and facing up to the hard issues but they are actually scared of their own shadows and run away from changes that would make a real difference.

'I found the same thing with the Greens who prevented me from introducing a private members bill for Vote 16 back in 2007.

'Mana understands the need to involve rangatahi in decision making at an early age. We know who will be running things in the future, and it won't be the old white over-privileged bunch who are in charge at present.'

'It will absolutely serve the mainstream parties and their supporters right if future generations choose to ignore their needs when they are old, in the same way this generation of politicians are wilfully ignoring children in poverty, and young people who are powerless and unemployed, in favour of propping up a rotten system that favours a privileged few.

Sue Bradford - Mana candidate for Waitakere, national spokesperson on issues of Social Wellbeing

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