Monday, November 08, 2004

Term limitations

I was rather shocked to find out that a very good friend of mine thought that all conservatives were for lifting term limitations. I really don't know where this idea that all conservatives think alike comes from, but then I'm more of a moderate and am used to disagreeing with both sides - as well as ignoring the fringe element of both parties.

Anyway, my reasons for why we should not only keep term limitations for the presidency, but also add it to a few other elected positions that don't already have it.

  1. It allows other qualified people to do the job and take care of issues that maybe the previous official was weak in. Everyone has a slightly different focus and skill set. Changing candidates without necessarily changing parties allows us to have a more rounded approach to the needs of our regions. Most parties will stand behind the incumbant no matter what, when there may be someone who would be better for the voters condemned to stay on the sidelines until the another party candidate gets them out of there. Some of these people never get a chance to represent the voters.
  2. It makes crony-ship less likely, since lobbyists will have to reforge relations with the new guy. Also keeps the influence of past favors down a little.
  3. It forces the voters to think more about who they vote for. The "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" sentiment becomes less of an issue.
  4. It gives less of a chance for pet projects to become core projects. Even if one does, it isn't as likely to stay one for decades.
  5. It keeps candidates from creating "legacies".
  6. For the Presidency itself, it's essential for us to save the candidates from themselves. Being president is hard on a person physically - just look how they all aged. (Those who weren't assassinated, that is.) It really is in their best interest that we keep them from endangering their health too much. You may think I'm joking with this one, but I'm really not. No person should serve more than two terms as President for their own good. They should do their allotted time and then spend the years after engaged in other pursuits.
  7. Ex-Presidents and others have a great ability to do more good for the country. They can take what they learned and gained in office and then apply it in ways to help the people that they wouldn't be able to do if they were still in office. Even writing memoirs helps beause it gives us some idea what makes a world leader think and a chance to better evaluate decisions made in office. And there are many charities and organizations that could benefit from the experience of such a person.

Of course, I would never be a career politician, but I do think that a person can learn a great deal by being one and use it to benefits other parts of society, if they chose to. And if it becomes more of an expectation that an expolitician uses they experiences in serving the public publicly to continue to serve the people afterwards, more would be likely to do it - if only to keep their time in office looking good.

1 comment:

Larry said...

I think term limits would be a good idea in Congress, especially in the Senate. We don't need a bunch of Strom Thurmonds. The argument most often advanced against term limits, is that it is an unconstitutional infringement upon the right of the people to elect whomever they want. It took an amendment to place these limits on the President:

From Clary-Meuser Research Network:
"In recent months two proposals have been introduced to the House of Representatives to amend the Consitution of the United States and repeal the 22nd amendment. The 22nd amendment was put place to limit the number of times a president could be in office to two terms.

The first, HJRES 11 IH, was introduced on January 7, 2003 by Representative Serrano. On February 25, 2003 HJ 25 IH was introduced. These appear to be identical. The latter proposed amendment has 7 sponsors.

It is interesting to note that of the 8 representatives who sponsored the two proposals, 6 are democrats."

I don't think we have much to worry about from these movements, as repealing an amendment is as tough a process as getting it passed in the first place.

As I said though, it would be nice to see similar limits in place on Congress. Long term Congressmen concentrate too much power in single individuals through the patronage system and membership on influential committees.

Nice blog- keep it up!
The Bastidge