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Fixed term parliaments don’t work

Most governments run out of ideas after around three years. This one is no exception

By James Kirkup  
cameron and clegg

Dave and Nick in happier days

Politicians are like insects.  Specifically, the magicicada, the flying locust-like creatures that hatch every 17 years across the north-eastern US. There is a rhythm to their lives, a natural cycle that determines their actions just as surely as the ticking clock that sends salmon upstream to spawn and die.  For British politicians, this is the electoral cycle and it’s supposed to last four years.

That was Asquith’s expectation in 1911 when he abolished the Septennial Act 1715 and its seven-year Parliaments.  A…

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