Should Ireland have a fixed term parliament with elections held every four years (instead of every five)?
Such an act was recently introduced in the UK under the fixed term parliaments act 2011.
Fixed-term Parliaments Act 2011 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Introducing a fixed term parliament would remove the right of the Taoiseach to call an election at a time of his choosing. This, I believe, should not be the prerogative of any member of any TD.
Secondly I believe a four year term is just about right from which a new government must be formed and/or seek a new mandate. Five year parliaments should be a thing of the past as such long terms were introduced at a time of when the world moved at a much slower pace. Longer 5 year parliaments also only suit politicians in power with large majorities.
Obviously there would have to be some sort of in-built mechanism to dissolve the Dáil (with an early general election) in the event of a no confidence in the government motion passing.
I would also add in the fact that no new government can be formed without a general election. . . In other words Labour wouldn't be able to do what they did in 1994 and switch sides from FF to FG without an election.