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World Ardern Landslide Is a Vote for Covid Competence

05:50  18 october  2020
05:50  18 october  2020 Source:   bloomberg.com

Judith Collins: The opposition leader taking on Ardern in New Zealand's election

  Judith Collins: The opposition leader taking on Ardern in New Zealand's election The woman running against Jacinda Ardern is a tough-on-crime veteran politician who admires former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and won the nickname "Crusher" due to her bold policy on illegal street racing. © Fiona Goodall/Getty Images National leader Judith Collins speaks during the TVNZ live leaders debate on September 22, 2020, in Auckland, New Zealand. When New Zealanders head to the polls on Saturday they will decide whether to elect 61-year-old Judith Collins, leader of the center-right National Party -- or give progressive 40-year-old Ardern a second term as Prime Minister.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has won a landslide victory in the country's general election. With most ballots tallied, Ms Ardern 's centre-left Labour Party has won 49 The vote was originally due to be in September, but was postponed by a month after a renewed Covid -19 outbreak.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ’s Labour Party was poised for a landslide victory in New Zealand’s general election on Saturday, and possibly the “This is a historic shift,” political commentator Bryce Edwards of Victoria University in Wellington said, describing the vote as one of the biggest swings in

(Bloomberg Opinion) -- For governments facing a growing wave of coronavirus cases as fall turns to winter, there’s a stark lesson in Saturday’s stunning election victory for New Zealand’s incumbent Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern: Voters really want their governments to suppress the pandemic.

A landslide victory means Ardern could govern with the first outright majority since her country adopted proportional representation in the 1990s, with her Labour party on track to win the largest share of the vote in 70 years.

That’s a remarkable turnaround. At the time New Zealand went into one of the world’s most stringent lockdowns in late March, she’d been mostly trailing the opposition National party in opinion polls for nine months.

Elections in New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern wins historic election

 Elections in New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern wins historic election New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and her Labor Party have achieved a historic victory in the Pacific nation's parliamentary election. The center-left party won 64 of the 120 seats in the vote and can thus rule alone in the future. This has never happened in New Zealand since the current electoral law was introduced in 1996. © dpa Jacinda Ardern (r), Prime Minister of New Zealand, and her partner Clarke Gayford take part in an event of the New Zealand Labor Party on election night.

COVID -19 global data. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said that her party will lead the nation for the next three years. The Labour Party leader has managed to get 49.2 percent of the votes after two-thirds of the ballots have been tallied, and her allies in the Green Party have 7.6

With most votes counted, Ardern ’s liberal Labour Party was winning 49% of the vote compared to 27% for its main In late March this year, when only about 100 people had tested positive for Covid -19, Ardern and her health officials Labour Minister David Parker said it was a landslide win for his party.

Shutting down the economy at a time when there’d been just 102 cases was a political gamble, but one that’s paid off. The toughest restrictions lasted just a month, and despite a small flare-up of cases in August, life is now normal enough that Ardern’s partner shared home-cooked snacks with reporters gathered outside her house waiting for the election result:

Quarantine is still in place at the border and people are exhorted to wash their hands and wear facemasks on public transport, but the level of formal restrictions now is lower than in Sweden, which has followed a more laissez-faire approach.

Visits to retail and recreational venues, which are down compared to pre-pandemic levels by 28% in the U.K. and 16% in the U.S., are up 4%, according to location data from Alphabet Inc.’s Google. After wobbling during the country’s two brief lockdowns, credit and debit card spending in retail stores was running roughly in line with last year’s numbers by September.

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WELLINGTON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern 's Labour Party was on track for a landslide victory in New Zealand's general election on Saturday "This is a historic shift," political commentator Bryce Edwards of Victoria University in Wellington said, describing the vote as one of the biggest

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today won a landslide general election Credit Ardern has already faced a string of challenges as Prime Minister of New Zealand - but has been applauded "People were very grateful and very happy with how weve handled COVID , they like the shape of the

The argument against lockdowns has always been that they do damage — especially to people on lower incomes who are least able to make the adjustments, like working from home, that have helped white-collar workers cope.

That’s true, but it’s all the more reason to make the shock short, sharp and early. Half-measures just prolong the crisis and give the epidemic an opportunity to resurge in future. Are Europeans and Americans, now facing another wave of infections, really in a better public health situation than citizens of China, Taiwan, Vietnam and South Korea, whose governments dealt aggressively with the pandemic at an early stage?

chart: Too Little, Too Late © Bloomberg Too Little, Too Late

In Australia, case numbers were running at similar levels to those in the U.K. when the main epicenter in Victoria state imposed strict lockdowns in late June. The country is now seeing daily case numbers in the single digits, compared to the tens of thousands being reported in Britain, and Victoria’s premier has maintained majority support in polls despite months of severe restrictions.

Who the hell are non-voters? We polled them and found the 6 kinds of people who don't vote.

  Who the hell are non-voters? We polled them and found the 6 kinds of people who don't vote. If "did not vote" was a presidential candidate in 2016, it would have received 100 million votes and won in a landslide.Now, at 31, she says she's not planning to vote in the upcoming presidential election and has grown skeptical of the impact her vote can actually have.

Jacinda Ardern is on track to be re-elected as the prime minister of New Zealand, after the Labour party looked set for a landslide victory in the general election, attracting so many votes that it It is an extraordinary night for Labour, which now might not have to rely on a minor party to form government.

As prime minister, Ardern inspired love and trust; now she has to do something with it.

“The argument is strong for countries adopting a so-called zero-Covid strategy” like that in New Zealand, a team of authors in Singapore, Hong Kong, the U.K. and Norway argued in medical journal The Lancet last month.

Given the apparent political dividends, it’s surprising that more governments haven’t attempted such a policy. President Donald Trump appears to be heading toward a historic defeat in next month’s U.S. presidential election. Less than a year after a landslide election win, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson is within a whisker of being overtaken by the opposition on poll averages. Even Sweden’s historically dominant Social Democrats have seen their poll standing sliding since the summer, as the promise of growing immunity has receded.

New Zealand clearly has some inbuilt advantages. It scores highly in surveys of public trust, as do the Nordic countries and (surprisingly) China. Societies led by women — a quality it shares with Taiwan and Germany — also seem to have coped particularly well.

At the same time, the politics is far from straightforward. Ardern’s Labour Party was in coalition with the Trump-style New Zealand First party and depended on votes from the left-wing Greens to get legislation through parliament. Despite the country’s geographic isolation, lockdown isn’t a particularly easy choice. Among wealthy countries, few are more dependent on tourism as a share of gross domestic product.

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At that time, New Zealanders suspected or confirmed of having the Wuhan coronavirus ( COVID -19) were simply told to stay home and self-isolate. And those who refuse testing while inside a government facility will have to stay there longer than everybody else, according to Ardern .

Ardern Speaks After Landslide Election. Listen to article. National has been in disarray, changing its leader twice this year and suffering a string of scandals that eroded its claim to be a stronger team than Labour and a better economic manager.

Trust in government also isn’t a given, but a long-term project that countries need to work at fostering, as my colleague Noah Smith has argued. Take the U.S. After plummeting from postwar highs during the turbulent 1970s, trust rose strongly under the Reagan and Clinton administrations, just as economic growth delivered benefits to ordinary people, according to a long-running survey from the Pew Research Center.

That’s a telling correlation. As in many previous pandemics, much of the strongest push against social distancing measures has been on behalf of businesses that suffer most immediately from a locked-down economy. That motivation can be salutary when infections are on the wane — but when disease is running rampant, you risk a situation where the state fails to take necessary control measures for the sake of the economy, while citizens reduce their activity anyway for fear of infection. As my colleague Tyler Cowen has argued, none of us will get back to a free and open economy unless we first deal with the pandemic.

Governments have a choice whether to act on behalf of their citizens or not — and with interest rates at historic lows, there’s little stopping them from borrowing the money to make it through this crisis. With more than a million dead, their passivity in the face of this outbreak has had a terrible human toll. When elections roll around again, voters won’t thank politicians who were prepared to sacrifice them for the sake of a smaller budget deficit.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.

For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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