Whats so special about 5 years?


untitled (107)Our MPs are on campaigning leave (or a few are already on holiday, taking advantage of the cheaper holidays before the state Schools broke up). This is to be added to their previous unexpected 19 days break in May when David Cameron sent them back to their constituencies to prepare for an election, because there was no Parliamentary Business for them to carry out. What he failed to point out was that he and Nick Clegg were busy behind closed doors, consulting the opposition and Internet Service Providers, creating the toxic Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (DRIP) which he then asked them to pass in a day. As someone has pointed out, now is not a good time to be a rebel MP. A rebel MP is unlikely to get the support of the party machine in getting the vote out for May 2015. Hence they did as they were told.

So there we have it. There will be almost no business in Westminster, even after the Party Conferences in late September. We are in effect in the dying minutes of a 5 year Parliament that has run out of steam. According to at least one member of the Lords, he and several of his colleagues feel that a 5 year fixed Parliament is a mistake and he would like to see the fixed term element removed and the power returned to the Prime Minister to call an election when it suits the party concerned. As someone who is very critical of some of our Parliamentarians who seem to abuse the power that they have on trust from us I too have a view. These men and women seem to make too many rules and decisions in a manner that suits themselves (DRIP is a case in point).

My view is that a fixed term Parliament is a good thing generally, but accept entirely that the coalition has run out of steam. In reality few Parliaments have previously run the full 5 years, and so perhaps one change could be to reduce the term to 4 years. This would of course cost the country 5% more over a period of time, but it might avoid the cost of paying for so many men and women to do nothing as we have at the moment. It would be a great deal more taxing for a Parliament to achieve its objectives in 4 years and would concentrate the mind of the Parties concerned. It is also consistent with the term of Mayors and Councils. However there is a need for our Parliament to be ended when things have clearly gone off the rails. My view is that instead of a PM calling a General Election without any reference to anyone other than their own spin doctors and election tacticians, that it is we, the people who should have the power to call on the Sovereign to end the Parliament. There are already safeguards for the Government to end a term if it can get the Opposition to agree. However we also need a National right of recall. That would help redress the balance of power in our democracy.

About ianchisnall

I am passionate about the need for public policies to be made accessible to everyone, especially those who want to improve the wellbeing of their communities. I am particularly interested in issues related to crime and policing as well as health services and strategic planning.
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