Four year term for our MPs

By Heather McCracken

The proposal for a four-year parliamentary term, which has found support with politicians on both sides of the House, met a fairly ho-hum reaction when we took a mini-poll in Masterton this week.

Most didn't seem to think it would make a great deal of difference to them.

It's not a proposal that has found a great deal of public support when put to a vote in the past.

The disadvantage of a longer term, and the reason behind some of the opposition, is that we have to wait an extra year before being given the chance to chuck out a disappointing Government, or one that hasn't lived up to its election promises.

But there are a lot of sound reasons behind a longer term.

One would be that we are giving that Government a more reasonable time to achieve those election promises, and reducing the pressure to rush through legislation so they can be seen to be ticking off boxes before the next campaign.

It also means we can expect our politicians to spend more time working and less time campaigning. Under a three-year term, the Government has barely got their feet under the table before they're busy door-knocking and kissing babies again.

There's also the reduced cost of having elections less frequently.

I think increasing the term by a year will have very little impact on the way people vote.

But perhaps some may give a little more consideration to who they're endorsing, and whether they've performed well enough to get another four years.

- Wairarapa Times-Age

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