Revisiting a discussion about the length of parliamentary terms

So political consensus was in the air at Waitangi this year... at least around a four year parliamentary term. Q+A revealed that most parties were in agreement on this at the end of last year and I wrote about it then.

While many New Zealanders' instinctual dislike of politics and politicians could make this a high hurdle to clear – and has done twice in the past when it's been unsuccessfully attempted – our embrace of MMP shows we can get our heads around these sorts of constitutional issues. We are out of step with most other democracies and when Winston Peters, Metiria Turei and Peter Dunne agree on something and are willing to act in concert, it's at least worth a look!

The panel reviewing our constitutional bits and pieces will report on this later in the year, but I thought it was worth reviewing my previous post, as in the thread Jon Johansson wrote about a discussion he had with the PM and offered some sage thoughts, while Andrew Geddis offered his wisdom and made a prediction. So it's worth a revisit here.


Comments (3)

by Will de Cleene on February 07, 2013
Will de Cleene

The price is not right. Not while they're diddling the MMP and OIA reviews, among other things.

by Kyle Matthews on February 07, 2013
Kyle Matthews

To quote from your original article Tim:


"First, Don Braid argued that our three year electoral cycles were too short. Short terms, he said, led to short-term thinking. Given the time he’s spent up in China in recent years leading Mainfreight’s successful expansion into Asia, he’s got a taste for the five-year plans and politicians thinking about the next generation rather than the next election."


Can probably cross that one off. :)

by stuart munro on February 09, 2013
stuart munro

Four years is generally a good idea, but given the turgid and unresponsive quality of government we suffer even under a three year system, significant reforms need to be in place beforehand.

These might include impeachment referenda, a halving of seats, a limit on lawyers in the house (they tend to outweigh all other skillsets), and perhaps a staggered electoral cycle, whereby a quarter of MPs face elections each year.

No chance of any of that however. Pikes and firearms are the only way to root out corruption as entrenched as that which has captured the NZ political system. They're a bad lot and an international disgrace.

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