15 September marks the International Day of Democracy, a day established by the United Nations in 2007 with the purpose of promoting and upholding the principles of democracy.
“Democracy is as much a process as a goal, and only with the full participation of and support by the international community, national governing bodies, civil society and individuals, can the ideal of democracy be made into a reality to be enjoyed by everyone, everywhere,” the UN website reads.
This year’s theme is ‘empowering the next generation’, focusing on young people’s essential role in advancing democracy and making sure that youth voices are included in profound global decision-making processes.
Speaking about the International Day of Democracy, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres criticised the current spread of mis- and disinformation and its impact on young people. 2023’s International Democracy Day theme reflects this.
The day comes about a month before New Zealand’s 2023 general election on 14 October.
“At the election, you’ll get to vote for the parties and candidates you want to represent you in Parliament,” the vote.nz website states.
“Voting starts on Monday 2 October, and you can vote at any voting place in New Zealand. On election day, Saturday 14 October, all voting places will be open from 9am to 7pm.”
The Electoral Commission works “to provide an effective and impartial electoral system that New Zealanders understand and trust.
“Information about the locations and opening hours of voting places will be available from mid-September.”
Learn more about the International Day of Democracy here: https://www.un.org/en/observances/democracy-day
It is not too late to enrol to vote. Learn more about the upcoming 2023 general election here: https://vote.nz/2023-general-election/about/2023-general-election/