The shorter and shorter Parliament (III)


With greater perspective than ours, professor Ned Franks reviews the state of Parliament’s sitting.

*From 1969-1973, Parliament sat an average of 163 days/year
*1974-1978, 156 days/year
*1980-1983, 139 days/year
*1984-1988, 163 days/year
*1989-1993, 115 days/year
*1994-1998, 124 days/year
*1999-2003, 115 days/year


The shorter and shorter Parliament (III)

  1. Ned Franks has also shown how this trend correlates with the declining success rate on government bills over the same period:

    [youtube R4BFnBObexk youtube]

    • I'm assuming that a majority government with a majority in the Senate, would most likely have more success at getting their bills thru Parliament.

  2. Is it possible that since the advent of the Parliamentary calendar in the early 80s, the House's time has been used more effectively? I.e. do MPs get more business done over fewer days?

  3. Interesting what one can do with statistics. Those appalled by the brevity of the current session of parliament seems oblivious to the somewhat shorter sessions of the past (5 days being, I think, the shortest).

    The long sessions of the seventies and eighties should, perhaps, be looked on as the anomalies, not the shorter sessions of the current decade. The average lenght of sessions in the 1950s was, for example, 90 days and that of the parliament of 1911-1917 (in the midst of a war) 81 days.

    It is the notion that the Commons must sit in perpetuity that is the novel idea – and one that has not really received much justification.

  4. Quick – crosstab against the performance of the TSE over the same time cohorts!

  5. So not an unusually short parliament after all?

    • No, it seems not.