Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Its November 26

The Prime Minister has just announced that this year's election will happen on November 26. Good. I'm in favour of fixed election dates, and this is the next-best thing: an announcement so early as to remove all uncertainty. It doesn't solve the problems around the government being able to deal themselves a new hand (rather than work with the one we gave them) if they fall out with their coalition partners - but it does prevent any gaming of the system around electoral finance or to maximise their chances of returning to office.

Of course, grace and favour is not enough; while an early announcement is good, I'd like to see a legally fixed election date to remove all of these uncertainties. But that would require getting politicians to agree to limit their own power. And as we saw with MMP, that's a very difficult thing to do.