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Should Ireland introduce fixed term parliaments of four years duration?


RobertW

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Should Ireland have a fixed term parliament with elections held every four years (instead of every five)?

Such an act was recently introduced in the UK under the fixed term parliaments act 2011.

Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Introducing a fixed term parliament would remove the right of the Taoiseach to call an election at a time of his choosing. This, I believe, should not be the prerogative of any member of any TD.

Secondly I believe a four year term is just about right from which a new government must be formed and/or seek a new mandate. Five year parliaments should be a thing of the past as such long terms were introduced at a time of when the world moved at a much slower pace. Longer 5 year parliaments also only suit politicians in power with large majorities.

Obviously there would have to be some sort of in-built mechanism to dissolve the Dáil (with an early general election) in the event of a no confidence in the government motion passing.

I would also add in the fact that no new government can be formed without a general election. . . In other words Labour wouldn't be able to do what they did in 1994 and switch sides from FF to FG without an election.
 


stringjack

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Introducing a fixed term parliament would remove the right of the Taoiseach to call an election at a time of his choosing. This, I believe, should not be the prerogative of any member of any TD.
Obviously there would have to be some sort of in-built mechanism to dissolve the Dáil (with an early general election) in the event of a no confidence in the government motion passing.

I would also add in the fact that no new government can be formed without a general election. . . In other words Labour wouldn't be able to do what they did in 1994 and switch sides from FF to FG without an election.
As far as I can see, these are simply contradictory imperatives. (What's to stop a government voting no confidence in itself?)
 

ruserious

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No, imagine of the last Dáil was only in year one when the Cowen government came to what it was.
QED.
 

RobertW

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As far as I can see, these are simply contradictory imperatives. (What's to stop a government voting no confidence in itself?)
Ok fair point. . . I'd concede on that.

Perhaps allowing a maximum of two governments in a specific Dáil term. It's an unusual occurrence I suppose.
 

RobertW

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No, imagine of the last Dáil was only in year one when the Cowen government came to what it was.
QED.
Cowens government fell as he couldn't command a majority in the Dáil . . . Such a scenario would still exist.
 

ruserious

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Cowens government fell as he couldn't command a majority in the Dáil . . . Such a scenario would still exist.
Yes and if there was a fixed term parliament, we would be made to suffer him trying to form a government which would have to last the full 4 years.
 

RobertW

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Yes and if there was a fixed term parliament, we would be made to suffer him trying to form a government which would have to last the full 4 years.
No. . If you read the opening post I stated that where a government has lost a motion of no confidence an early election should be called.
 

ruserious

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No. . If you read the opening post I stated that where a government has lost a motion of no confidence an early election should be called.
Because that is so different from now?
 

GJG

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Ok fair point. . . I'd concede on that.

Perhaps allowing a maximum of two governments in a specific Dáil term. It's an unusual occurrence I suppose.
Totally agree on fixed terms. Why should the government in power have the right to manipulate the election date to try to maximise electoral advantage?

The issue of a manipulated loss of confidence in the Dáil can be dealt with easily; Allow unscheduled elections if the President cannot find any party leader who can command a majority, but the scheduled election would go ahead as scheduled anyway, when it's due. Any party playing politics with that would expect to be punished at the polls, so they would be unlikely to do it too often.

As for four/five years, I hear what you are saying about things moving faster, but things move slowly too. Look at the US, where the president is on a four-year cycle. They spend the whole time electioneering, and very little governing, although mid-term elections make this worse. We have equivalents in Euro and local elections, I suppose.

Some policies take years to come to fruition (for better or worse), five years means there is a greater chance that the right people get the blame/credit.
 

moralhazard77

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I think 5 years is too long. 4 years maximum term for the Dáil would be more appropriate in the modern age.
 

RahenyFG

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Should Ireland have a fixed term parliament with elections held every four years (instead of every five)?

Such an act was recently introduced in the UK under the fixed term parliaments act 2011.

Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Introducing a fixed term parliament would remove the right of the Taoiseach to call an election at a time of his choosing. This, I believe, should not be the prerogative of any member of any TD.

Secondly I believe a four year term is just about right from which a new government must be formed and/or seek a new mandate. Five year parliaments should be a thing of the past as such long terms were introduced at a time of when the world moved at a much slower pace. Longer 5 year parliaments also only suit politicians in power with large majorities.

Obviously there would have to be some sort of in-built mechanism to dissolve the Dáil (with an early general election) in the event of a no confidence in the government motion passing.

I would also add in the fact that no new government can be formed without a general election. . . In other words Labour wouldn't be able to do what they did in 1994 and switch sides from FF to FG without an election.
I agree with a fixed four year parliament as five years is too long. Take the lead of Americans who have their presidential elections every four years. Its just about right. The rest of your OP I don't agree with.
 

Fractional Reserve

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4 years five years makes no difference , we need term limits to stop the awful career vote buying , bribing policitian of which we have in fistfuls in the dail .
Should Ireland have a fixed term parliament with elections held every four years (instead of every five)?

Such an act was recently introduced in the UK under the fixed term parliaments act 2011.

Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Introducing a fixed term parliament would remove the right of the Taoiseach to call an election at a time of his choosing. This, I believe, should not be the prerogative of any member of any TD.

Secondly I believe a four year term is just about right from which a new government must be formed and/or seek a new mandate. Five year parliaments should be a thing of the past as such long terms were introduced at a time of when the world moved at a much slower pace. Longer 5 year parliaments also only suit politicians in power with large majorities.

Obviously there would have to be some sort of in-built mechanism to dissolve the Dáil (with an early general election) in the event of a no confidence in the government motion passing.

I would also add in the fact that no new government can be formed without a general election. . . In other words Labour wouldn't be able to do what they did in 1994 and switch sides from FF to FG without an election.
 
M

MrFunkyZombaloo

I'd go along with a 4-year term.

As well as introducing the power of recall for TDs and Senators (should they become accountable).
 

RahenyFG

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I'd go along with a 4-year term.

As well as introducing the power of recall for TDs and Senators (should they become accountable).
We could do what do they do in America and have elections for TDs and Senators every 2 years. That would put pressure on them to do their jobs properly.
 

Future Irish Leader

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Four years is too short, you need 5 years to make a lasting impression.
 
M

MrFunkyZombaloo

We could do what do they do in America and have elections for TDs and Senators every 2 years. That would put pressure on them to do their jobs properly.
I think we should be looking to Switzerland, not America. Also the Whip should be abolished.

Four years is too short, you need 5 years to make a lasting impression.
5 year parliamentary terms have already left me with a lasting impression. And it is one wherein useless nobodies snort at the trough for four years and then, with their eye firmly fixed on the next term, attempt to buy the electorate in the last year.
 

NYCKY

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I don't agree with fixed terms. Logistically, they are unworkable. The parliamentary arithmetic constantly changes, with deaths, resignations, party switching etc.

Constitutionally, the Cowen government could have run for another 15 months. Thankfully and not a moment too soon, it finally collapsed. Imagine if that government had been legally obliged to run for another 15 months. Shudder....
 

PeacefulViking

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As far as I can see, these are simply contradictory imperatives. (What's to stop a government voting no confidence in itself?)
That is exactly how they have gotten around this type of legislation in Germany and how they will probably do it in the UK as well.
 

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