According to the Herald (which, helpfully, doesn’t provide any details) a new survey from the Business Council for Sustainable Development shows “strong support for extending the period between general elections.” Referenda in 1967 and 1990 strongly rejected a four-year term, has public opinion mysteriously shifted? Do you think four years is a good idea?
Myself, I’m undecided. On the one hand, constant electioneering clearly doesn’t lead to good government. John Key, for example, has governed this entire term for the purpose of getting a second term and the results in every area – from the economy, to health, to education, to crime – have been disastrous. Perhaps, a four year term would give more time to govern and that would mean better governance… perhaps.
On the other hand, we need better accountability – the actions powerful need to be held to public judgement more, not less. There are heaps of things that ought to be done to make Parliament and the Government more transparent and accountable. Extending the term to four years doesn’t work in that direction.
Actually, I’ve just argued myself to a conclusion. On balance, I’m in favour of keeping three year terms.