Not Enough in the Tank

19 January 2023


Cogito Ergo Non Serviam

Ardern Quits as New Zealand PM

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that five years in the job was enough for her. The PM guided her nation through a global pandemic in a way that took advantage of the country\'s relative isolation from the rest of the world, and she kept the death toll to as close to zero as anyone could have hoped for months. At the same time, she has has some trouble with inflation, just like everyone else, and her housing plans have not come to fruition. As with most politicians, her results are a mixed bag, but it is definite that the mixture comes out in favor of the good.

It is the duty of every government, first and foremost, to protect is citizens. New Zealand suffered a terrible massacre of Muslims in Christchurch while she was PM. She responded with sensitivity and political nous. She donned a headscarf, visited the Muslim community and informed them that all of New Zealand was mourning with them (perhaps, not all, but one must allow poetic license while comforting the distraught). Then, unlike her American counterparts, she passed legislation banning assault rifles, the kind the murder of 51 people in Christchurch used.

When a volcano erupted on White Island killing 22, her government brought charges against GNS Science, the country\'s earth-science research agency. The charges were eventually dropped, but the charges led to an investigation that developed information that will assist in preventing future loss of life. Was bringing charges overly-dramatic? Probably, but options were few.

It was Covid, though, that made her a world leader of the first order. New Zealand is a long way away from just about every other country in the world. Closing the border on the continents still leaves a porous boundary. An island nation thousands of miles from the nearest big country (Australia) allowed her to shut down the travel to New Zealand and contain the virus elsewhere. Indeed, Australia and New Zealand held a rugby match with 40,000 fans while the rest of the world was wondering if a visit to grandma would violate health rules and/or get the old girl sick. In a nation of 5 million, there have been fewer than 3,000 deaths of of today. Had America done as well, there would be more than a million fewer dead there.

New Zealand has a general election coming up, and Ms. Ardern and her Labor Party are lagging in the polls. The unkind might say she is jumping because it is more dignified than being pushed. If Ms. Ardern were of a different political character (say, like Boris Johnson), this might be a legitimate complaint. One believes her emotional statement at the news conferences yesterday was the simple truth.

She said, "I have given my absolute all. I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple." She also stated, "I am not leaving because I believe we can\'t win the election but because I believe we can and will, and we need a fresh set of shoulders for that challenge." She added, "You cannot and should not do the job unless you have a full tank, plus a bit in reserve for those unplanned and unexpected challenges that inevitably come along." Quite so.

The final word goes to Christopher Luxon, leader of the opposition. Upon learning he will be fighting the next general election against a different Labor leader, he tweeted, "On behalf of the National Party, I offer to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern our thanks for her service to New Zealand. She has given her all to this incredibly demanding job and I wish her and her family all the very best for the future. Thank you Jacinda."

© Copyright 2023 by The Kensington Review, Jeff Myhre, PhD, Editor. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written consent. Produced using Ubuntu Linux.

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