Four years is too long | The Jackal

7 Feb 2013

Four years is too long

Yesterday, 3 News reported:

The Prime Minister is using his spotlight at Waitangi to push the idea of a fixed four-year term for the Government, and he's got support from his political opponents.

The crowds at Waitangi are a good sounding board for politicians, so John Key's using the event to push the boat out on this pet project of his – extending the Government's reign to four years, with a fixed date.

“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.

John Key doesn't know when the date for the next election is? What a moron!

I don't think there's a valid argument to change to current three-year cycle, mainly because it reduces the publics say in the direction our country is taken.

Political parties obviously want more time to achieve their agendas, but while they aren't obliged by law to adhere to their pre-election promises, the public can be misled on what politicians actually intend.

When a government implements policy in contradiction to their pre-election promises, as they often do, then the public needs the opportunity to change the government at the earliest opportunity.

There's also the problem of the publics perception that politicians are generally lazy! When you look at how many holidays the average politician has in comparison to their pay, and the fact that parliament is usually in recess, it's a somewhat valid perception to have.

Increasing the time that politicians can sponge off the taxpayer while on extended holiday will not help rectify the public's lowly opinion of politicians.

Opposition leader David Shearer says he agrees with the idea.

“In many ways it's a very short period of time,” he says. “It's too long in opposition I have to say!”

How silly! The longer the cycle is the more time political parties will spend in opposition.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples seems in favour.

“That’s probably a good idea too. You just seem to get started and bang, it’s election time,” he says.

Three years might seem like a short time to a senile old fool, but it seems like ages when a government is underperforming and allowing New Zealand to become even more impoverished.

Three years is also a long time to allow the implementation of policies that are detrimental to the interests of the general public, and the people should have the opportunity to halt a government in its tracks when its working outside of its pre-election mandate.

Perhaps a two-year electoral cycle is preferable in that regard?

And Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says she thinks the public would support the move.

“Most of the public agree it's better for governments to have more time to implement policy rather than going from election to election.”

Most of the public agree? There's been no referendum to find out what the public wants, so it's a bit premature to declare a general public consensus on the matter.

Somebody obviously needs to remind the Greens about what it means to be in opposition... They should be opposing any and all of the dumb ideas coming from a stupid Prime Minister.

The current argument from the politicians who have a vested interest in a four year term seems to be that they want more time to laze around and perhaps mislead the public.

In my opinion, there's no increase to the democratic process by allowing a complacent and/or disingenuous government more time to languish in the halls of power.

Therefore extending the electoral cycle to four years is declined.