Some ideas are too stupid to die

There are many ideas that are too stupid to die.  Socialism.  Supra-nationalism.  Gender theory.

However, there is one particular idea that continues to waft around Canberra like the fart of an old man who lives on a diet of cabbage and beans; the idea of fixed 4 year terms.

Fixed 4 year terms were the dream of Gough Whitlam and the institute named for him continues to advocate for it.   Last year, this intrepid correspondent reported that the Liberal Government (in name only) was looking into fixed 4 year terms.  Again.

The claims for fixed 4 year terms center on the idea that it brings stability, much like the stability it brought to the Kenneally NSW Government.  But recent Australian history aside, can someone please explain the stability currently on display in the British parliament.  Where they too have fixed parliamentary terms.

Having had his legislation blocked by the opposition and “others”, Prime Minister Boris Johnson now needs the permission of the opposition to call an election.  Permission currently withheld by Comrade Corbyn.

Howz that for stability.

And if, as the loons in Australia seek, the fixed 4 year term is codified in the Constitution, what would happen if a British type event occurred in Australia and an election could not be called?

If it’s in the constitution, what could the Governor General do?  Or would such reserve powers be available to President Red Bandanna?

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29 Responses to Some ideas are too stupid to die

  1. C.L.

    … what would happen if a British type event occurred in Australia and an election could not be called?

    Well, what would happen?
    Answer: nothing to write home about.

    A US President can’t call an election either.

  2. A US President can’t call an election either.

    The congress can remove a President. The President has extensive executive powers. And the congress has elections every 2 years not 4 (or 5).

  3. Empire 5:5

    Term limits.

    This debate is a distraction.

  4. Empire 5:5

    US Senators are elected for 6 year term, no limits.

    Klansman and Krooked Killary Klinton mentor, Robert Byrd, served for 57 years and 176 days in Congress commencing in 1953 as a Rep for 6 years and the balance as a Senator, dying in office in 2010.

    Stably corrupt.

  5. Zatara

    And the congress has elections every 2 years not 4 (or 5).

    US Senate term is 6 years. No limits on how many terms for Congress or Senate.

    President term is 4 years with a limit of 2 terms.

  6. Rob

    The US President can do almost 3 terms if taking over from a dismissed / deceased / jailed President.

  7. Zatara

    If the US President serves over 2 years as a replacement that counts as a term.

  8. miltonf

    Yep I think term limits are more important but I’d certainly oppose four year fixed terms. If the political class wants it, it’s gotta be bad for everyman. Also having had real had a real job should be a requirement for going into politics.

  9. Dr Fred Lenin

    Rob ,says a lot for politics when they speak of jailed presidents ,love it !
    We have had a few PM s wh would fit in these parammeters .

  10. Ronnie BIGGS

    Why does it have to be years ? I suggest 1000 days (the first Saturday after 1000 days).

  11. Pyrmonter

    US Senators are (now) elected in 3 staggered groups, something after the fashion of local council elections which used to be held ‘by thirds’. It is impossible to imagine the minor parties, and unlikley that the major parties, will accept election to our Senate by thirds: it would mean the election of 4 Senators, with either deadlock or a high risk of chance determining the control of the Senate as between the two principal blocks.

    The alternative is 8 year upper house elections, elected by halves. That is, that someone can spend the better part of a working life in a parliamentary house by facing the people 3 times. Review the state of the NSW or SA LegCo before getting too enthusiastic about such ideas.

  12. Beachcomber

    Agreed TAFKAS. Fixed terms for government make it easier for the ruling elites to do what they wish, with a carefully media-managed so-called ‘election’ every four years or whatever.

    We need less stability and security for the political ruling class. We need more elections, not fewer.

    Term limits for politicians are what is really needed.

  13. C.L.

    The reason nothing gets accomplished in Australian democracy is that prime ministers have – effectively – two and a half year terms. Once elected, a PM must immediately start a populist campaign for re-election. It’s why things like abolishing the ABC will never happen.

  14. Dr Fred Lenin

    Limiting the number of terms they can serve would abolish career ooliticians which could only be agood thing and would save huge amounts in paying no pensions at all . The senate should be by population not states one senator per 250,000 voters or so and elected for the same legnth of time as the house.
    State parliament would be counted in any political service .
    Local government would be unpaid and subject to limited service like other politics ,locals would be limited to garbage ,roads anf footpaths ,health inspection and building permits and inspection ,get them out of anything else .

  15. Nighthawk the Elder

    Start simple. Term limits for local councillors.

    We’ve got a couple in our municipality who have been there so long, they have carved their own snout groove in funding trough.

  16. Thomas Ray

    I have mixed feelings about this one. Term limits would help two or three terms or a combined (MP and Senate) 4 terms would help. Campaigns these days are started immediately following a candidates first election and end when the candidate retires or resigns. I think the 4 year terms are bad in that we have to suffer through 4 years of failure. The last year will almost certainly be bad no matter the party in power. The 4 year term would be good in that if the party has been bad from the outset, it will force the electorate to make a change. A change like this should be voted on by the electorate, not the parliament. No one that is sitting in opposition wants a mandatory or statutory 4 year term, only the party in power wants that.

  17. Percy Popinjay

    Klansman and Krooked Killary Klinton mentor, Robert Byrd, served for 57 years and 176 days in Congress commencing in 1953 as a Rep for 6 years and the balance as a Senator, dying in office in 2010.

    This irredeemable imbecile will no doubt “suffer” the same fate (dying in office). Currently a tick under 45 years of spectacularly inglorious tax hoovering.

  18. John A

    Beachcomber #3148948, posted on September 6, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Agreed TAFKAS. Fixed terms for government make it easier for the ruling elites to do what they wish, with a carefully media-managed so-called ‘election’ every four years or whatever.

    We need less stability and security for the political ruling class. We need more elections, not fewer.

    Term limits for politicians are what is really needed.

    Witness as a prime example the PDR of DanAndrewstan aka Victoriastan or Union-stan.

  19. Empire 5:5

    I have mixed feelings about this one.

    One term limit. Ministers of the Crown entitled to stand for re-election, once.

    A practical alternative to sortition in a constitutional monarchy. Give them 4-5 years. Corruption is a capital offence.

  20. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    Term limits. Sortition. Recall voting. Participation at the local level.

    Demarchy, or democracy, as the classical greeks liked it.

  21. Rockdoctor

    Fixed terms support left of centre parties. Why right of centre parties support stuff like this miff’s me.

    Agree with some of the above, especially recall election. Hey, good luck with getting the turkeys to vote for Christmas however…

  22. Truth n Justice

    Should be one year terms. They would be constantly in election mode and unable to change or do anything. Imagine how much better off we would be now if we actually had annual terms – there would have been no carbon tax, no Paris agreement, electricity would be cheaper and the government would quickly have learnt to keep out of our lives generally.

  23. Nob

    Truth n Justice
    #3149245, posted on September 6, 2019 at 9:15 pm
    Imagine how much better off we would be now if we actually had annual terms

    The bureaucrats would be even more powerful.

  24. Zatara

    Fixed terms support left of centre parties. Why right of centre parties support stuff like this miff’s me.

    Because flushing toilets is a good, nay essential, best practice.

  25. Texas Jack

    China has fixed term. Forever.
    Three year terms seem to me to invite the poll-driven crap we’ve seen here since the iPhone generation turned everyone into an activist. Pollies pulled around by 20-something advisors fretting over woke causes in such short electoral cycling, with the media almost able to pick the date of the next leadership challenge, is a great recipe for a mess. Which is what we’ve now got, despite the sanity that prevailed on May 18.
    Which is why I’d like to see four year unfixed, into the mix with federation reform to remove all vestiges of jurisdictional overlap, and senate reform to remove all vestiges of humans from that chamber.

  26. Frank Walker from National Tiles

    They would be constantly in election mode

    This is truly terrifying.

  27. Colonel Crispin Berka

    It was this issue of fixed parliament terms which highlighted 3 years ago that 53% of Queenslanders are idiots.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Queensland_term_length_referendum

    The best argument against the 4 year fixed term was not that it prevented elections from being called sooner, but that 4 years was longer than the extant premier-scheduled 3 year election cycle and therefore the banana denizens would be reviewing the performance of state government less often.

    I cannot say exactly how people made the decision to vote Yes, but I can say the published arguments for the Yes case were the most absurdly totalitarian anti-democracy cover story of recent memory. A verbatim quote from the bullet points offered by the Yes campaign: “It takes the politics out of elections.”
    You know what else does that? Having a dictator who is the only candidate to vote for. Having a single party state where all the candidates have the same policy position. The people having no choice of alternatives for representation or policy. As politics is the entire purpose of elections, nobody in their right mind would think “taking the politics out of elections” was a good goal to aim for. So of course 53% of Queenslanders voted to reduce their own voting ability.

    It’s customary at this point to claim the Queensland education system has failed, but then it is also customary to suspect this was one of several outcomes of the education system that was useful to and intended by its administrators.

  28. max

    Marx wrote that whenever capitalists accept the right of propertyless men to vote, private property is in theory abolished. “Is not private property abolished in idea if the non-property owner has become legislator for the property owner? The property qualification for the suffrage is the last political form of giving recognition to private property.”

    Show me an academic, Ph.D-holding economist who calls for a universal flat sales tax to replace the income tax, as well as the abolition of the right to vote for non-property owners — property in land or savings equal in value to a year’s income for the average resident in the jurisdiction in which he is registered to vote. Show me an economist who argues that a person’s receipt of direct government transfer payments such as aid to dependent children or food stamps should disqualify that person from the voting booth until he or she no longer receives the money. Show me his articles on these issues in the American Economic Review or any other tenure-qualifying professional journal.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/2001/05/gary-north/modern-economics-what-is-it/

    In ancient Israel, there was a national priesthood, which was assumed to be the primary agency of cultural assimilation for immigrants. This is why immigrants were allowed to become Israelites through circumcision. Political citizenship followed in three generations for Egyptians and Edomites, and in ten generations for Moabites and Ammonites. Confession, circumcision, and Passover were the initial means of assimilation. That is, the assimilation process began with religion. The same outlook long prevailed in the West, with the Christian church serving as the priesthood. The church was the primary means of cultural assimilation.

    https://mises.org/library/sanctuary-society-and-its-enemies-0

  29. Kneel

    You are enrolled to vote, you have a ticket in the “ruling lottery”.
    “Winners” serve a 5 year term – you can’t say no, and employer must keep a job for you (perhaps special permission to advertise for a fixed term replacement or whatever).
    Each year, you “move up” so that those in their fifth year are the ministers, etc.
    Only way to get back in is to win again.
    Could it really be worse than what we have now?

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