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Fixed term Parliaments

Yesterday's Hansard carries a fairly desultory exchange on this topic, with the shocking news emerging that "The Electoral Commission advises me that it has not held any recent discussions on fixed-term Parliaments".

My instinctive reaction is that no matter how irritating it sometimes is that an incumbent PM can choose his or her time to go to the country, enforcing fixed terms would be unwelcome in that we could end up with hobbled and useless minority administrations. However, a cut of a year in the electoral cycle to render de jure the current de facto four year term has the makings of a half way decent idea.

Meandering a bit, the Chartist demand for annual parliaments used to make me stretch my eyes, and I cannot help but wonder at some of the oddities that might have thrown up - an SDP administration in the early eighties perhaps, a Hague administration if an election had happened during the fuel strikes and so on. It is worth noting that all of the other Chartist demands became law eventually, although there are times when I wonder about equal sized electoral districts, given the substantial advantage Labour derives from out of date constituency boundaries....
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Anonymous some guy said... 9:07 am

In Norway they have fixed 4 year terms for the Storting or Big Thing & it seems to work OK.

I favour a States-General, but like all self-respecting cranks, I refuse to explain what I mean and just grin in a superior fashion.  

Blogger hatfield girl said... 9:34 am

This comment has been removed by the author.  

Anonymous Anonymous said... 10:51 am

I think every democratic country except UK has fixed terms. Though in most of them there is a possibility for early elections in the case that there is no majority behind a government, and the parties in the parliament can't agree of a new one. Or sometimes also because of other similar crises.  

Blogger Ed said... 12:05 pm

I think reducing the maximum term to 4 years is a good idea - or electing a quarter of all seats annually. That would keep the government on its toes and let people have their say a bit more regularly.  

Blogger Ed said... 12:05 pm

Oh yes, and speaking of the Chartists - didn't Screaming Lord Such get most of his policies through too?  

Blogger CityUnslicker said... 11:00 pm

electing a quarter annually would be too difficult to achieve with all the variation across the country.

We need a lot more than messing about at the edges, we need a republic for a start.

I saw the Queen said she was upset to hear about all the people flooded. I am sure they are very consoled to know this.  

Blogger Croydonian said... 8:33 am

CU - We'll end up upsetting 'mania at this rate. Given the Windsor Castle fire, I suppose she has been in the same position of asking the public purse to fork out for damage to private property, where responsibility for same was hers....  

Anonymous some guy said... 9:14 am

The lower House (Chambre des Communes) in US is elected every 2 years. The result has been gerrymandering so that only a few seats change hands, which is disappointing for the Croy & this guy.  

Anonymous Somchai, Thailand. said... 1:06 pm

The trouble is that too many lazy, self-indulgent people in UK don't know the true value of a good monarch and don't deserve one.

There are few enough good monarchs. They need so many talents including patience, determination, discretion and lots of courage.

If you don't have politicos with integrity - and who has? - a good monarch is a brake on their rapacity. We have some of that - you don't. But don't knock it because you don't have it or the capacity to recognise what yours could have been. Recalls words such as baby and bathwater.

You are a tiresome, blinkered bunch who should get out more.  

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