Keep the parliamentary term as it is

Rumblings about extending our three-year parliamentary term to four surface from time to time.

I don’t think we should change a thing, more so in the era of coalition governments under MMP. And it shouldn’t matter which side of the fence you sit.

The length of the term should be inversely proportional to the power the government wields.

If a government can change legislation under urgency on a whim without regard to facts, policy or even the truth, and remove safeguards that any right-thinking person believes should be there, then that government shouldn’t stick around for longer than the existing term.

If a government has to give due consideration to the demands of the citizenry, and go through the usual democratic processes such as select committee hearings before a bill becomes law, or before a repeal takes place, then maybe people will have sufficient trust in that government to reward it with a longer term.

Aotearoa is in the earlier category.

What we certainly don’t want, as Thomas Beagle noted on Mastodon, is for a deeply unpopular government to remain in office for a long time. He notes that the Conservative Party in the UK lost public support in November 2021, plummeting to ‘derisory’ levels in September 2022—and doesn’t have to face a General Election till January 2025.
There’s some chatter about Green Party co-leader Chlöe Swarbrick becoming prime minister by 2026. There is a great deal of appeal for a politician who started off in the fashion world, ran for mayor of a major New Zealand city, came third, and was then offered a place in the Green Party. This sounds incredibly familiar.

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