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Justice Minister calls for five year parliamentary terms

DPA/The Local · 14 Nov 2009, 11:58

Published: 14 Nov 2009 11:58 GMT+01:00

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“A longer legislature period would promise more continuity and allow bigger projects to be better handled,” Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, from the pro-business Free Democrats, told the paper.

Experience showed that in the last year of an election cycle, new ideas often weren’t given full and mature thought, she said.

Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger is a senior political player who was also justice minister under former Chancellor Helmut Kohl between 1992 and 1996.

An extension of the term of the Bundestag, Germany's lower house, has been canvassed in the past. Bundestag President Norbert Lammert has repeatedly demanded an amendment to the constitution to increase the term, arguing it would improve the parliament’s ability to get things done.

Lammert used his opening address to the new parliament on October 30 to raise the issue, pointing out that some German states and the EU parliament had five year terms.

Story continues below…

Britain and France’s parliaments are elected for five years, while the US House of Representatives has two-year terms the US Senate six-year terms. Australia’s federal parliamentarians are elected for just three.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:42 November 14, 2009 by Victor Scicluna
In my opinion this is a great idea, democracy is a very good form of government but we need politicians to be able to get their ideas through, four years means a year wasted in learning to govern, a year making mistakes and when things finally start taking shape we need to start polishing our image for the next round.

Unfortunately in ploitcs one needs to do unpopular decisions and when a politician is more worried about his next job he/she can`t really be effective.

In the private industry we have seen what happens when we keep changing managers every two or three years, each of them takes short term decisions to make their term popular but at perhpas the cost of destroying a business in a year or two.
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