Electoral Law Review: Keep Parliamentary term 3 years!


Seeing as we are seriously going to do this Electoral Law Review, let’s argue it out.

I say Keep Parliamentary term 3 years!

Here are the arguments for 4 years.

It will allow the Government to plan better and get more long term results with 4 year terms.

Accountability will occur via Opposition Chairs of Select Committees, which is an excellent idea which we should actually adopt but I say we stick with the 3 year term with that Select Committee adaptation.

I say 3 years because our Parliament is a unicameral legislature which makes it the most powerful Parliament in the Westminster tradition.

Under urgency you can literally read a bill into law within a day!

That’s enormous power and to allow that power to go unchecked by the people once every 3 years feels like a recipe for abuse.

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The reason little gets done in 3 year terms is because the public service block reform and change for their own agendas. A party that actually had a 100 day legislative plan could force change but that takes courage.

Lengthening the term will just allow the Wellington Mafia to entrench their interests further.

Politicians need to be brave and use the powers this Parliament provides rather than lengthening the dates between accountability!


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  1. They (MPs) are in the top 1% in terms of income in NZ according to a Government review, with Jacinda from announcements, taking home the 4th highest salary in the OECD.
    This review is more about extending their income package for an extra year, than public service…based on their performance (lack of)…

  2. Only if we can have a one-party system.

    Elect MP’s by region. No colours. Just debate the policy up or down.
    So that the policies, good policies survive longer than the MP’s.

    And then there’s probably no need for list MP’s too.

  3. Agree Denny…List MPs are nothing but a scam, get rid of them…3 years is long enough for the voters, and Government — they (the Government) must earn your vote…that extra year would give the Government less desire to make things happen in a timely fashion…except for pet projects, or pay rises for themselves.

    • Totally agree that List MPs are leeches. There definitely needs work around that. Perhaps that List MPs cannot be ministers, or (a more complicated proposal, if MMP wasn’t complicated enough for some people), the list ranking is set by the percentage you earned from your electorate.

      So every member will have to be on a electorate ticket but someone who got 40% in a losing electorate seat, would rank higher than someone earning 35% At least this way the ‘people’ will have some say in the make up of parliament rather the individual party’s. Also it gives some chance that a poor MP can get sacked, unlike now where the party just pushes them further up their list, so they won’t miss out.

  4. One day you suddenly earn 250
    ..350K because you are in govt. Can you see where this heading? I mean, once Labour are gone what are these clowns going to do for a decent living? Student Union? Probably…

  5. I do not mind 4 years – plan, deliver on it and then be accountable. Some poor performing governments get two terms because of public inertia.

    Greater SC scrutiny fits better with a 4 year term.

  6. Stick to 3 years and do away with government pensions. Why on earth does John Key need a government pension for life and free air travel for he and his wife, when he’s worth over 60 million?

  7. Problem is that when in opposition no political party plans to be the next government, ready to have the feet under the treasury benches with well thought out policies, strategies and action plans. Hitting the first day in office ready to run.

    Instead we get, like Labour in 2017, having spent nine years in opposition, “waste” the first three years trying to sort out just what their policies should be, never mind where and how to implement those policies.

    If eliminating child poverty was an election promise surely during the preceding nine years, sitting on the chuff collecting massive salaries, strategies and workable action plans would have been written in a manual somewhere ready to roll before breakfast the first day after election victory?

    National has fallen into the same trap. No forward planning with sound and believable electable policies.

    Political parties do not need longer terms to implement their policies, they need to spent the time in opposition planning to be the next government.

  8. Three years is more than enough for the members of the parties in parliament to work for their donors , vested interests and themselves but never for many of our destitute people.

    The whole edifice is rotten to the core and now they want even more time to inflict cruelty and damage to many in our communities while they sit and pontificate and collect their perks and salaries and continue to enrich themselves with their property and other investments and then promise things like a brighter future and build back better and my favourite ” don’t put it all at risk New Zealand and stay the course ”

    And the all important personal ” legacy ” which is enshrined with a knighthood.

    I am sure that we will end up with the extra year because it suits them but not the electoral commission’s advice to strengthen MMP and make it fairer.

    No to extending the current mandatory sentence.


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