3 years or 4 years? [Poll]

Voters are evenly split over whether or not we should have a 4 year parliamentary term. Personally I prefer a 4 year term, but the old saying goes that 3 years is too short for a good government and 4 years is too long for a bad government.

That said I think we are ill served by the 3 years term, essentially meaning we only get action from our government for about 18 months per term.

Voters are almost evenly split on whether the parliamentary term should be extended from three to four years in the latest poll – a narrow margin believe it should stay at three years despite general agreement among politicians that a move to four is warranted.

Just over half of those asked in a Herald-DigiPoll survey said they believed the three-year term should stay, while 48 per cent believed it should increase to four years. 

The issue is being canvassed as part of the Government’s Constitutional Review and last month both Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader David Shearer voiced support for a four-year term with a fixed election date. Supporters of it have called for a referendum in the 2014 election so any changes can be made from 2017.

The independent panel charged with advising on the Constitutional Review began a six-month period of consultation last month and will then make its recommendations to the Government.

Mr Key has said any such change would be made only if there was sufficient public support, likely to be determined through a referendum.

I think our constitutional review process is deeply flawed and designed to deliver outcomes the political elite want rather than the rank and file voters of New Zealand.

Views are changing and I think it is inevitable that we will see a move to a 4 year term. However I’d like to see some increased checks and balances introduced…the first of which should be opening parliamentary services to the Official Information Act.

What do you think?

Our parliamentary term should be

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.