Four year term worth risks

Politics is often portrayed in black and white terms – if you support this party you oppose that one.

That ignores the common ground most people and parties can find, to a greater or lesser extent.

You do have to look harder to find sensible ideas in some parties than in others but even NZ First has the odd one.

So it is with the suggestion of Asenati Lole-Taylor, an MP I don’t recall hearing about or from before, that we have four-year parliamentary terms.

There are better grounds than this:

She says New Zealand First has only been back in Parliament for eight months, and as a new MP three years is not enough time for her to advocate for the party.

Ms Lole Taylor says a four-year term would give the party, and its MPs time to explore in detail the policies that a Government introduces.

This is more compelling:

A party member, Denis Taylor, told the conference that over a 20 year period, the need for fewer general elections would save the taxpayer more than $100 million.

I don’t know if that sum is right, but elections are expensive for the taxpayer, parties and candidates. Three every 12 years instead of  four would save money for the taxpayer, parties and candidates.
There are other costs from a three-year term.
A chief executive of a charitable trust who deals with several government departments told me the short electoral cycle is frustrating and disruptive.
Everything goes on  hold in election year, there’s a hiatus as  ministers get to grips with their portfolios, then there’s change and action for about 18 months before it’s election year and everything goes on hold again.
A four-year term would give more time for policies to be bedded in and take effect.
There is the risk of more time for bad policies to do greater harm, but we have few one-term governments and more often than not have a six-year term interrupted waste expensive of an election.

4 Responses to Four year term worth risks

  1. Gravedodger says:

    Many tend to think in terms of four years resulting in it requiring longer to toss out a government but using the Clark government as a study, they would in all likelyhood been thrown out on their sorry arses in 8 years meaning no very expensive and unnecessary little train sets.
    I have moved to supporting a four year term that could result in a second year of “productive” governance between a year of settling in and a year of attempting re-election.


  2. pmofnz says:

    HP what makes you think that the kids having a longer time in the lolly shop will do any better as custodians of our legislature?

    I cannot imagine giving Key another two years to do absolutely nothing but pander to racists and implement / endorse socialist policies.


  3. Richard says:

    GD: Agree with you – there is not enough time to be productive – policy changes take time to bed in.


  4. Richard says:

    I add that the longest term for an MP should be 4 terms 4×4 = 16 yrs.


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