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Non-voting New Zealanders and the right to democratic participation

Non-voting New Zealanders and the right to democratic participation

Everyone has the right to take part in the government of his country....The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections.... (Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 21)A million eligible New Zealanders did not vote in the recent election – the lowest turnout in percentage terms in 120 years. Only 77% of eligible New Zealanders aged 18-24 had joined the electoral roll by the deadline. (NZ Herald story)

A similar trend in Europe has been one of the factors behind an increased commitment to ‘education for citizenship’.

As the UK-based Citizenship Foundation says:
The values of democracy, justice, equality and inclusion have been long fought for, but are easily neglected and abused. This is especially true when faith in politics is low and economic times are tough.
The best way to guard these values is to develop well-informed, educated citizens with the confidence and appetite to take part in society; to question injustice and to drive change.
The best way to guarantee a brighter future for all is to create a society in which we all understand our rights and responsibilities and in which everyone is equipped – and ready – to play an active part.
This is one of the core purposes of the Human Rights in Education initiative. If you would like to be part of a team working on education for citizenship, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated (Monday, 19 December 2011 13:07)