Four-year fixed term

Prime Minister John Key favours a four-year fixed term for government:

. . .“I think it makes a lot more sense to know when the date is and it makes a lot more sense to have it for four years,” he says.

But Mr Key would need either 75 percent support from MPs or the majority in a referendum. . .

It would probably be easier to get the majority vote in parliament but it should be possible to persuade the public of the benefits.
The main argument against a longer term is that it would reduce the damage that could be inflicted by a bad government.
But we rarely have a one-term government so in effect have at least a six-year term interrupted by an election.
A four-year term would save money for taxpayers, parties and candidates, with three elections in 12 years instead of four.
It would also reduce the frustration and disruption of a shorter election cycle.
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.
Another year between elections would improve efficiency, save money and give voters a better idea of whether new policies were working before they chose to stick with a government, or not.

3 Responses to Four-year fixed term

  1. Andrei says:

    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.

    Now there’s an argument for having an election every year – keep the change and action depredations of the government to a minimum

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  2. Alwyn says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Andrei on this.
    Personally I think the best time we had was after the 1996 election when they spent a couple of months with only a caretaker Government.
    Unfortunately they then gave Winston Peters all the baubles of office he asked for.

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  3. Paranormal says:

    The alternative view is that if we’d had 4 year terms, we’d only have had to put up with Clarkula’s Liarbour for 8 instead of 9 years…

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