CAcinda Ardern has brought words like “kindness” and “empathy” to political debate in her native New Zealand. As one of the youngest politicians ever to assume the office of Prime Minister, she took office on the premise that politics should not only be about power, authority and power.
But it would be a mistake to interpret her resignation announcement as merely a sign of weakness. This is also true even though she herself justified the move by saying that she simply lacked the strength for additional years in government responsibility.
The confession itself proves the opposite, but it fits with the image Ardern wanted to project of herself. She did not want to leave as a political failure, but rather as a person whose strength lies in publicly admitting weakness. It should serve as a reminder to those who cling to their positions until it comes to a bitter end.
Their departure is a loss for New Zealand. Even without him there would have been elections. New Zealanders will likely decide for themselves that “the time has come,” she said. In this sense, I acted according to a creed that stemmed not from politics, but from entertainment: it is best to end a performance on a high note.
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