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Four Year Terms = More ‘Chris Bowens'

ADH Staff WriterMarch 15, 2024

Politicians across the divide are pushing for longer Federal terms.

Their unity should have you worried.

Next time someone tells you we should have fixed four-year terms in Canberra, mention the name “Chris Bowen”.

Everything sounds like a great idea until you’re stuck with a protected dud inside a dud government.

When I hear “give us four-year terms” – I hear, “give us Chris Bowen for longer”.

No thanks.

Really, the only upside of our current system we get a chance at hitting the flush button before they do us too much damage.

Politicians like power. No-one gets into the game to sit in Opposition.

So …. Anthony Albanese supports four years term.

John Howard supports it. Kim Beazley supports it. Even Peter Dutton backs the concept.

When all sides agree on something that gives them more – that should set up alarm bells.

Really, the only thing they fear is the voting public.

Notice how talk of longer terms always comes from within the political bubble?

Seriously, when was the last time you heard anyone in the real world complain that they didn’t want a chance to toss out a badly performing regime?

It’s cool to pretend that you can’t stand elections but there is truly nothing more gratifying then being able to vote a drop-kick into history.

Three-year terms keep them sharp and give us a circuit-breaker.

To change the system, you’d need to put it to a referendum.

It’s been tried before.

Bob Hawke asked for longer terms with a vote in 1988.

Australians buried the idea.

No state supported it and, nationally, YES attracted just a third of support.

The argument is always, ‘there’s no time for any major reform to happen inside three years’.

That reflects more on quality of people in the game than it does reality.

For example, the Howard Government managed to pass the GST in 1999/2000 – and risked their political future on it at a general election.

Howard also overhauled gun laws – admittedly with mixed success … but it did happen.

Hawke and Keating profoundly changed the country’s economic structure in the mid-80s.

Like them or loathe … they were no ‘Chris Bowens’

If you’re good enough, it’s amazing what political leadership can achieve.

Before we go trying to overhaul the Constitution – how about promoting some quality people into high office.

And leave ‘the Bowens’ where they belong.

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