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Archive => Which State? => Topic started by: Sebastian on July 07, 2003, 01:58:09 pm

Title: Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 07, 2003, 01:58:09 pm
Term limits: good or bad?
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: EMOR on July 07, 2003, 02:05:28 pm
I am for term limits. I think it gives a better representation of the population than a lone long term politician.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Dawn on July 07, 2003, 02:10:22 pm
If the playing field were level (which it most certainly isn't!), term limits are bad, IMO. Let the voters decide who will represent them. Currently the barriers to the ballot for minor parties and independents severely restrict the variety of challengers on the ballot. So many incumbents run unopposed, unfortunately, at least partly due to restrictive ballot access statutes.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Zack Bass on July 07, 2003, 02:13:15 pm

Term limits: good or bad?


Bad.  Evil.  Limits the rights and influence of the electorate.

In a libertarian State, no public office would have enough power to really matter who gets elected, but still.

Of course, if we're selecting a State to take over, we'd be served well by a State that already has a Term Limit Law.  Use it to our advantage, then repeal it.

Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 07, 2003, 02:18:14 pm
Quote
we'd be served well by a State that already has a Term Limit Law.  Use it to our advantage, then repeal it.
Will it be harder to overcome the absence of term limits or to repeal existing term limits?
Title: Re:LP-sponsored term limits initiative wins easily in Palm Beach, Florida
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:19:56 pm
LP-sponsored term limits initiative wins easily in Palm Beach, Florida
http://www.lp.org/lpnews/0212/palmbeach.html

A Libertarian sponsored term-limits measure in Palm Beach, Florida was overwhelmingly approved by voters -- proving that "Libertarians can win" when they pick the right issues.

The initiative, which caps county commissioners at eight years in office, won by a landslide margin of 70% to 30% on November 5. County commissioners are elected to four-year terms.

The vote makes the initiative "probably the most successful LP electoral effort in state history," said local LP activist Phil Blumel.

"When you choose your battles wisely, Libertarians can win," he said. "This victory, much like the near victory with the anti-income tax initiative in Massachusetts, shows that the referendum process is an effective way for Libertarians to affect public policy."

Florida LP State Chair Frank Longo agreed that the prudent selection of the term-limits issue was key to the measure's success.

"I think voters are very tuned-in to this issue," he said. "The public has traditionally reacted well to these types of ‘good government' initiatives. We're all very excited."

The victory marked the end to an effort that was launched 22 months ago, when Libertarian activists Blumel, Rick Shepherd, and Karl Dickey first agreed to organize the initiative campaign.

After submitting 55,000 signatures to qualify the initiative for the ballot, the campaign attracted more than 200 volunteers and contributors, and raised over $60,000.

Despite an attempt by the city attorney to strike the initiative from the ballot -- and vigorous opposition from the dominant local Democratic Party -- the initiative passed with flying colors, said Blumel.

"Term limits are a winner with voters, so once the ballot hurdles and legal challenges were won, the campaign was home free," he said.

What's next on the agenda for the Palm Beach LP?

"A rest!" said Blumel. "But only a short one. Several local LPers are already planning campaigns for 2004 based on what they learned this year."

Palm Beach County is located about 30 miles north of Ft. Lauderdale. It has about 700,000 registered voters and a population of just over 1 million.

To help retire the initiative campaign's $7,000 debt, send a check payable to PBC Term Limits Committee to: PBC Term Limits Committee, c/o George Blumel, 316 N. Country Club Drive, Atlantis, FL 33462.

Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:22:02 pm
With a View Towards Liberty: Editorials with a libertarian viewpoint
Editorials are the views of the author only, and do not necessarily represent the views of the members of the Jefferson Area Libertarians, or its executive officers.

Keep Virginia Term Limits
http://www.jalibertarians.org/main/editorials/200212010.html
Dec. 1, 2002
by Arin Sime


This being the first editorial to appear on the Jefferson Area Libertarians website, it is fitting that I start off by quoting Thomas Jefferson:

"Whenever a man has cast a longing eye on offices, a rottenness begins in his conduct."

Jefferson was well aware of the dangers of elected officials maintaining their power for too long. The founding fathers saw a citizen government not only as essential to the continuance of liberty in America, they saw it as a civic duty. Not a career path to enrich yourself with, but as a duty, even a sacrifice, that most citizens make at some point in their lives. Career politicians, who can make a living off of taxpayer's money, and then vote themselves great pension plans, never have to return to the private sector to make money. But a citizen politician does. The more frequently politicians are rotated in and out of office, the less incentive they have to vote for excessive raises, retirement plans, and other perks at the taxpayers expense. And the less time they have to push through legislation favoring their pet lobbyists.

Apparently Jefferson's influence still reigns in the Old Dominion, since Virginia is the only state in the union currently which doesn't allow its governors to run for consecutive terms of office. It does allow for governors to serve non-consecutive terms, but only two in the history of the state have done so (Patrick Henry and Mills Godwin).

Our current governor Mark Warner would change that however. The Washington Post reports that he is planning a campaign to get the state constitution changed, even though it wouldn't allow him to seek a second term before leaving office in 2006. Doing so would require a majority vote in two sessions of the Virginia Senate and House, and then a public referendum is held. In anticipation of a possible referendum in a couple years, libertarians should begin to make the case now that this is a bad idea.

As evidence, we need to look no further than the comments of some of the politicians on both sides of this issue.

The Washington Post quoted Richard Sharp, chairman of Richmond's CarMax group, as saying "It's time. By the time you have governor's hitting their best stride, they're in a lame duck situation." And how exactly would Richard Sharp define "hitting their best stride"? Rest assured, he means it takes governors more than four years to pass the legislation that benefits his company the most.

Current lawmakers also complained over the lack of "progress" easily gained in the current system. Take this comment from a Republican Senator, Charles Hawkins:

"It takes the governor at least a year to get his people in place. He doesn't even get his hands on the budget until the second and third years, and then he's out. I think people are becoming more and more aware that one-term governors are fine, but they really don't have a chance to finish out what they were elected to do."

Seems a strange comment coming from a Republican doesn't it? First off, aren't they supposed to be the party of smaller government, not incumbency protection? And secondly, his party's most recent governor, Gilmore, had no problem pushing through a major reform in Virginia government in only four years when he eliminated the car tax.

It seems to me that the more hurdles we put before our legislators, the better. They aren't in it to make our lives better, they are in it to increase their power and secure their jobs. Wouldn't you love to get your boss to guarantee you a job for the next eight years? Even a guarantee of a job for four years is more security than most of us have in the private sector. Which brings me to the next quote from Sharp:

"Compare it to a business. If you had to change CEOs every four years, it would be impossible."

Well, since I haven't heard anyone else take up Sharp's challenge, I will.

How many CEO's have guaranteed job security? For even four years, much less eight? Very few indeed. And yet most companies seem to survive just fine, in fact, much more efficiently than the Virginia government, which is $6 billion in the hole right now.

A company executive I know has told me that they "come into work each day expecting to be fired." Not because they are doing a poor job, but because they know that their decisions will make or break their organizations, and they will be held accountable for those decisions. That is a major motivating factor, and is part of the reason companies don't treat $6 billion as casually as our legislators do.

And yet, politicians are rarely held accountable. Incumbency re-election rates are astronomically high. In the 2002 election, U.S. House members were re-elected 98% of the time, and U.S. Senators were re-elected 85% of the time. And this was one of the most historic elections ever supposedly, with a major shift of power occurring!

So it is simply ludicrous to believe that adding a second term to the Virginia governor will increase "accountability", as former state attorney general Richard Cullen told the Post.

The Winchester Star has the best quote from a state politician on this issue. State Senator H. Russell Potts Jr., of Winchester, says that he opposes adding another term because "I like the current system. I believe it's served Virginia well." As the Winchester Star noted, "Potts is currently running for a fourth term in the Senate, despite having imposed a three-term limit on himself when first elected." If a man with his lack of honesty doesn't support this measure, then imagine how power-hungry the ones who do support it must be.

Supporters of additional terms point out Virginia's uniqueness on this issue. Personally, I think that's a great thing. Not all states should have the exact same laws, it's part of the beauty of a republic such as ours. Rather than follow other states and make it easier for career politicians, Virginia should continue to remain a leader of liberty in the United States. Just as it was in Jefferson's time.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:24:15 pm
The Jeffersonian Perspective
Commentary on Today's Social and Political Issues
Based on the Writings of Thomas Jefferson


 
Term Limits & Citizen Legislators


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Was Congress and the Office of President intended to be in the hands of professional politicians, or did the Founding Fathers mean for private citizens to become involved in politics, to hold office for a few terms, and then to return to private life?

Clearly, Jefferson considered the ultimate source of governmental power to rest in the people themselves.

"[If the] representative houses [are dissolved,]... the legislative powers, incapable of annihilation, [return] to the people at large for their exercise." --Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776.
The people perform whatever functions of government they are competent to perform and delegate to persons of their choice those functions for which they are not competent.

"We think experience has proved it safer for the mass of individuals composing the society to reserve to themselves personally the exercise of all rightful powers to which they are competent and to delegate those to which they are not competent to deputies named and removable for unfaithful conduct by themselves immediately." --Thomas Jefferson to P. Dupont, 1816.
The government of the United States, then, is essentially a people's government. It was to be run by people who were from their number and closely associated with their interests.

"All [reforms] can be... [achieved] peaceably by the people confining their choice of Representatives and Senators to persons attached to republican government and the principles of 1776; not office-hunters, but farmers whose interests are entirely agricultural. Such men are the true representatives of the great American interest and are alone to be relied on for expressing the proper American sentiments." --Thomas Jefferson to A. Campbell, 1797.



see more of article:
http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/7970/jefpco33.htm
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:27:05 pm
Why do we need term limits?

This is done by the LP and Citizens for Term Limits

Do We Have Our Best and Our Brightest
Governing Us in Washington?

Shouldn't We Have?
by Rense Johnson, Chairman, Citizens for Term Limits

Not to beat up on poor Congressman Gary Condit, who likes to play the same games former president Bill Clinton likes to play but is not as adept at them — yet while he is twisting in the wind it may be as good a time as any for us to publish a study we have had in our files for two years but never used — until now. It may help explain why so few members of Congress have thus far been publicly critical of him.

What follows was originally published by Capitol Hill Blue, an internet periodical which keeps up with the Washington scene and Congress in particular. The Libertarian Party picked up on this almost exactly two years ago and published it on its own web page with some pithy comments, most of which are too good to miss, but also a few which I have edited out because I am not willing to tar all of Congress with the same brush. We have some outstanding statesmen without whom things would be much worse. We just don't have nearly enough of them.

WASHINGTON, DC -- A new investigation reveals an astonishingly large number of wife-beaters, drunks, shoplifters, check-bouncers, business failures, and drug abusers in the U.S. House and Senate -- which ought to make Americans think carefully before turning to Washington, DC for moral leadership, the Libertarian Party said today.

"Mark Twain once said Congress may be America's only 'distinct criminal class' -- and this new study suggests he was correct," said Steve Dasbach, the party's national director. "If even half these charges are true, expecting Congress to serve as a moral role model is like asking Bill Clinton to serve as a poster boy for monogamy." According to an investigation by Capitol Hill Blue, an online publication that covers federal politics, a remarkable number of U.S. Representatives and U.S. Senators may have spent . . . time in a jail cell . . . After researching public records, newspaper articles, civil court transcripts, and criminal records, Capitol Hill Blue discovered that:

* 29 members of Congress have been accused of spousal abuse.

* 7 have been arrested for fraud.

* 19 have been accused of writing bad checks.

* 117 have bankrupted at least two businesses.

* 3 have been arrested for assault.

* 71 have credit reports so bad they can't qualify for a credit card.

* 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges.

* 8 have been arrested for shoplifting.

* 21 are current defendants in lawsuits.

* 84 were stopped for drunk driving in 1998 alone, but released after they claimed Congressional immunity.

Capitol Hill Blue did not list the names of all the individual members of Congress accused of the various crimes, but did note that some were "serial offenders" with extensive track records of fraud or violence. For example, reported Capitol Hill Blue, Rep. Corrine Brown (D-FL) has a "long, consistent record of deceit," including tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid bills, allegations of bribery, and numerous lawsuits against her. And Rep. Jim Moran (D-VA) faces charges that he beat his wife, has a history of barroom brawls while mayor of Alexandria, and has publicly stated that he likes "to hit people."

"With a rap sheet like that, you have to wonder why Americans expect Congress to solve the problem of crime -- since Congress seems to be causing so much crime," said Dasbach. "In fact, if this study is correct, the best way to cut crime may be to lock up [some members of] Congress and throw away the key."

And given the obvious economic incompetence of so many Senators and Representatives, you have to wonder why voters trust them with the federal budget, he said. "Here are politicians [some of whom] routinely bankrupt businesses, write bad checks, engage in fraudulent practices, and have bad credit," said Dasbach. "That could explain why the country is more than $5 trillion in debt, why federal programs are so wasteful, and why taxes are always going up. Are these really the kind of economically illiterate people we want to trust with our money?"

If nothing else, said Dasbach, the Capitol Hill Blue investigation may help puncture the myth that Senators and Representatives are somehow superior to ordinary Americans, or better equipped to solve the nation's problems. "By its very nature, [the kind of politics we have now] tends to attract . . . people who crave power, who want to control the lives of other people, and who think they are above the law," he noted. "This study makes that point clear -- and illustrates that when it comes to politicians, the only thing worse than their voting records are their criminal records."

And for reasons I know not, Capitol Hill Blue omitted that poster boy for moral rectitude, Teddy Kennedy, the Senator from Chappaquiddick, who left Mary Jo Kopechne drowning one night in the car he had driven off the Chappaquiddick bridge as he extricated himself and swam home, waiting until the next morning to report the event. How many years would ordinary folks get for a caper like that?

Gary Condit is not as isolated a case as some might have thought.

* * * * * *
If you too want to see our best and our brightest in Washington and the return to the kind of government the Framers of the Constitution envisioned, then please click on the Term Limits Now link nearby so you can send your message to your own lawmakers.

Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 07, 2003, 02:29:13 pm
Quote
Jefferson was well aware of the dangers of elected officials maintaining their power for too long.
Are term limits part of the Constitution?
(Republicans instituted the two term limit for US presidents with the 22nd Amendment, after Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s four term presidency 1933-1945)

Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:29:38 pm
From the LP of WI
http://www.lpwi.org/issues.html

Term Limits :

We advocate limits on the time any elected official may serve in office.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 07, 2003, 02:34:50 pm
Quote
This is done by the LP and Citizens for Term Limits
This is very poorly done by the LP and Citizens for Term Limits.
Quote
A new investigation reveals an astonishingly large number of wife-beaters, drunks, shoplifters, check-bouncers, business failures, and drug abusers in the U.S. House and Senate
What does this have to do with term limits?
Quote
"Here are politicians [some of whom] routinely bankrupt businesses, write bad checks, engage in fraudulent practices, and have bad credit,"
What does this have to do with term limits?
Quote
"By its very nature, [the kind of politics we have now] tends to attract . . . people who crave power, who want to control the lives of other people, and who think they are above the law,"
Finally something that slightly has to do with term limits. Still, it should be up to the people to get rid of bad politicians, not the system. What if a politician is NOT evil, greedy and corrupt and doing an outstanding job? Imagine that politician being forced out because of term limits and an evil, greedy, corrupt politician taking his place.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 07, 2003, 02:38:43 pm
FREEDOMROAD:

What are the arguments for (or against) term limits though? The fact that a state LP is in favor (or not) of term limits doesn't convince me. Even the LP isn't always right. :)
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:38:57 pm
What does Harry Browne thing?

"Supports term limits on House (6 yrs) & Senate (12 yrs)
Browne supports amending the US Constitution to limit the number of terms US Senators and Representatives can serve in Congress. Browne suggests a 6-year limit for the House, and a 12-year limit for the Senate. Browne says term limit legislation should be retroactive (thus affecting current office holders). "

http://www.issues2000.org/Harry_Browne_Government_Reform.htm
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:43:22 pm
From Lewrockwell.com
http://www.lewrockwell.com/block/block17.html

Famous libertarian author Walter Black writes,



The Evil of Term Limits
by Walter Block

If I hear just one more time, from a supposed libertarian, about the greatness of term limits, I think I’m going to be sick.

Yes, yes, I know all the arguments. Kick the bums out. Promote political competition. Incumbency confers Soviet style (99%) voting majorities. This way, at least we’ll get new thieves.

There is only one problem with this scenario: it runs dab smack into an important insight of Hans Hoppe’s new book, Democracy, the God that Failed: The Economics and Politics of Monarchy, Democracy and Natural Order. (My extended review of this book will appear in a forthcoming issue of The American Journal of Economics and Sociology; here, I shall comment, only, on the insights we can glean from the publication regarding term limits.)

The main message of this brilliant economist-philosopher is, of course, that the only justified political economic system is what he calls "natural order," or what is commonly characterized in libertarian circles as anarcho-capitalism, or free-market anarchism. And his contribution to this line of reasoning is superb. However, a secondary message emanating from this book is that, given, arguendo, that we must have a government, monarchism has several strong, indeed, overwhelming advantages over democracy. (Take that, pinko liberal democrats, neo-conservatives, and all other denizens of the political-economic swamp.)

And why is this you may ask (if you’ve been Rip Van Winkling it for the past several months)? Simple: a monarch in effect "owns" the kingdom over which he is in charge. As such, he can afford to take a long run view of it, and, also, can maximize his "take" by pursuing policies that prove to be of benefit to the economy, or at least do not harm it too quickly. "Why kill the goose that lays the golden eggs," might well be his motto. As king, he will likely be around in the long run, by which time, to mix metaphors, he will be able to reap what he had previously sown. If he has any desires to benefit his progeny, he would prefer to hand over to them a functioning enterprise, rather than one that has been looted for short-term benefit.

In contrast, the democratically elected head thug (sorry, I meant president) has a very different time perspective. Not for him the pursuit of policies that will bear fruit in the long run. He will not be around then to benefit from them. He has only eight years, at most. Nor can he hand over to his children the keys to the treasury. No, in order to maximize his revenues, he has to grab what he can, now, and the devil take the future. His motto might be "make hay while the sun shines," or "let’s kill the golden goose, now."

What has all this to do with our subject under discussion? Term limits are to ordinary democracy without them what the latter is to monarchy. An alternative way of putting this is that the system furthest removed from monarchy is democracy with term limits. Democracy with no term limits at all occupies a position in between these other two. The ordinary politician (with no term limit) need not take an extremely short run perspective. He knows, if he can avoid being caught in bed with a dead boy, or, if he is a Republican, with a live girl (the rules are slightly different for Democrats, given the hypocrisy of the feminist movement), he’ll be in office for a nice long while. The advantages of incumbency and all that. Why, several thieves (sorry, I meant congressmen) have been in office for decades. "In the long run they are all dead," true, but if the long run takes dozens of years, the incentive to loot and run is somewhat attenuated.

However, once introduce term limits, and all bets are off. Now, the focus is on making off with as much of the silverware as possible, in the short term specified by the term limit. Take term limits to their logical extension in order to see them for what they are: suppose the term limit were exceedingly short; not eight years, or even eight months. Suppose it was eight weeks, or, even better yet, only eight days. Can you imagine the feeding frenzy such a system would give rise to! Why, there wouldn’t even be the pretence of "public good," "making the world safe for democracy," "a chicken in every pot" or any of that other politician babble. It would be a pure race to accumulate riches, with very little pretense.

One implication of this insight: the longer the term limit in term limits, the better. A term limit of hours, days or months would be an absolute disaster. Many years is better, and decades even more so. A lifetime term limit would not be so bad, as far as these things go. Then, when we arrive at the "term limit" which affords the ability to bequeath to one’s children the crown, e.g., full monarchy, we arrive at the other end of the spectrum. The point is, given any government at all, the closer to monarchy the better. The problem with term limits is that they move us in the wrong direction. If anything, we ought to be expanding present terms of office.

Although this can only be speculative, the reason many people, even libertarians, have been fooled by the siren song of term limits is that they are still in thrall to the idea that mainstream politicians (I make an exception for Ron Paul and a handful of other libertarian office holders) are legitimate. If these politicos were seen in a true light, the last thing we would want to do is leash an unending stream of them upon us, with little or no incentive to rein in their natural tendencies to pillage. If have them we must, then let us wish them the longest possible terms of office.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:47:42 pm
Here is a good case for term limits
http://www.termlimits.org/Research/1999articles/990414dailymountaineagle.html

The Daily Mountain Eagle
April 14, 1999


If ever there were an example of why Congress needs term limits, the story of Rep. George Nethercutt, R-Wash., is it.

In 1994, the year of the Republican takeover of Congress, Nethercutt promised the voters that, if elected, he would leave office after three terms. His aggressive support of term limits helped him beat Democratic House Speaker Tom Foley whom he portrayed as the living embodiment of the perils of incumbency.

Three elections later, here's what Nethercutt has to say. Six years is "probably not enough" to do the job voters sent him to Washington to do. So he will consult with constituents before deciding whether to honor his pledge.

That is why we need term limits.

The longer a person spends in Congress, the more attached he becomes to the power and perks of Washington. The longer one serves, the more likely he is to support porkbarrel projects and budget increases and oppose tax cuts and government reform. The more years one spends on Capitol Hill, the more he wants to stay there.

While Nethercutt's reversal is troubling on a moral level — promises are not made to be broken — its silver lining may be to invigorate the term limits movement, which suffered a blow in 1995 when the Supreme Court struck down state laws limiting the terms of federal representatives.

Since that time, term limit advocates have been pushing a voluntary approach, pouring money into campaigns of self limiters, regardless of party. If Nethercutt runs again, or if any of the other 10 House members who pledged to leave in 2000 change their minds, it just might ignite public support for a constitutional amendment requiring term limits, which Congress has previously rejected.

Earlier this year, a group called U.S. Term Limits announced it would spend $20 million in the 2000 election cycle, almost double what it spent in 1998, to support term limits and educate the public about the benefits of citizen legislators and rotation in office.

As Eric O'Keefe writes in the now book, Who Rules America? "term limits is not about 'kicking the bums out.' It is about restoring accurate representation.

"The two party system still exists, but instead of Democrats and Republicans, we have an Incumbent Party and a Party of the Rest of Us," O'Keefe says. "We have the votes, but they have the power. And, they have the effrontery to use our tax dollars to perpetuate their power.

The statistics are sobering: From 1790 to 1898, the turnover rate in Congress ranged from 30 percent to 76 percent. By 1989, it was a mere eight percent in the U.S. House.

Nethercutt is not the only term-limiter who's wavering. Marty Meehan of Massachusetts says he's more effective with seniority so he may break his pledge to serve four terms. Ditto for Scott McInnis of California and Tillie Fowler of Florida.

With the exception of Alexander Hamilton, all our Founding Fathers believed in rotation of office and presumed it would occur without constitutional mandate.

John Adams put it well when he said: Representatives are "like bubbles on the sea of matter ... they rise, they break and to that sea return. This will teach the great political virtues of humility patience and moderation, without which every man in power becomes a ravenous beast of prey."

The ravenous beast is an apt metaphor to describe the federal government today.

Apparently, Nethercutt has forgotten that fact. That is why we need term limits.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:50:06 pm

Term limits certainly a good thing
http://covingtonnews.imc-media.net/gbase/Expedite/Content?oid=oid%3A2027

BY ROB JONES

It has existed since 1951 and was part of unwritten presidential etiquette since George Washington. Only after Franklin Roosevelt was elected to a third term was the 22nd Amendment needed to uphold the two-term limit.

Former President Bill Clinton has recently questioned the necessity of term limits.

Clinton recently suggested the 22nd Amendment be revised to allow for additional presidential terms. While he did admit that he felt no extreme conviction on the subject, his comment did thrust a new topic of debate into the living rooms of news watchers.

George Washington was offered the nomination for a third term and undoubtedly would have been reelected. However, he was extremely conscious of the ramifications that lifelong presidential tenure might have on the presidential office itself.

Washington feared that the presidency would evolve into something too similar to a British monarchy if the example he set was a poor one. After all, America had spent years fighting that sort of nonsense. He viewed public office as a service to the people of this country, not as a license to become a monarch. And after two terms of service, he retired to Mount Vernon. This precedent stood for nearly a century and a half -- until Franklin Roosevelt.

I have no intention of bashing Roosevelt in any aspect of his political career as I consider him one of this country's best presidents.

However, the idea of the executive office being held by the same president for 12, 16 or even 20 years is a dangerous one. Washington knew this, and the idea is even more dangerous now than it was in 1797.

The strict and imposing political party lines of today would invite catastrophe if term limits were repealed. Since the presidential incumbent historically holds the upper hand in elections, the possibility of a "ruling party" would be likely. In the 227- year existence of this country, there have been 52 presidential elections of which only 10 have been lost by the incumbent. It has happened only three times since the enactment of the 22nd Amendment.

What the country would most likely be left with if the term limits were abolished is 20 or 30 years with a Democratic or Republican government. I shudder to think of the resulting legislation and foreign policy that would follow. If the Democrats held the presidency for a generation, we would most definitely, at the conclusion of that term, live in a welfare state with 99 percent of a working man's income being funneled through Washington in a socialist income redistribution system.

And there would exist U.S. treaties with every Middle-Eastern fundamentalist Muslim government to boot. On the other hand, if we blindly gave a Republican 20 years to govern, we could very well have an income tax rate of 1 percent and, subsequently, a bankrupt government altogether. Of course, under the 20-year Republican government, the bankruptcy would matter little as the other countries of the world would have already been vaporized by a barrage of cruise missiles and M.O.A.B.s.

The integrity of the presidency is upheld, in part, by the two-term limit. The White House should always be a revolving door of sorts, whisking a fresh leader in at least every eight years while ceremoniously whisking the old president out and back to civilian life. In a way, it is a safety net for the executive branch of our government.

How may times have we elected a guy with a great plan and a twinkle in his smile only to find him turn into an inept, bumbling moron? Let's face it, some politicians don't have the stomach for being the commander in chief. Oh, they may have delusions of grandeur during a hard fought campaign. But after their inaugural address, there have been some presidents who turned out to be nothing more than stuffed suits. There is no need to name names here, but I am sure I could come up with a lengthy list.

Again, history suggests that incumbents usually win elections, customarily on the wings of four years of notoriety. And whose fault is that? It's the fault of uniformed voters -- plain and simple. Unfortunately, the only way to keep uninformed voters in check is to require that the executive office be purged every eight years.

The only reason that term limits don't exist for congressional leaders is that they are the ones who would have to enact such legislation. And don't hold your breath waiting on that one to happen. If they were included in the 22nd Amendment, they would, in essence, be signing their own resignation papers. They might have to get real jobs, and we don't want those moisturized, manicured hands to get dirty, now do we? Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd would have none of that. Come on -- where else can you be certifiably senile and still have a job? Believe me folks, term limits are a good thing.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 02:53:29 pm
Cato in term limits

http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-221.html

Arguments against Term Limits

Of course, there is a standard litany of arguments against term limits. They are undemocratic, it is said--by opponents who sue to block initiatives before they are voted on and void them once approved. Judiciary Committee chairman Hatch complains that term limits demonstrate "a fundamental lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the voters," even though it is the voters who are approving them.(6) And just what is wrong with citizens' reforming the electoral system to discourage creation of a permanent political class? What is more democratic than people choosing, by an average two-thirds majority vote, to reshape their government's legislative branches? As columnist George Will has observed, term limits are "an attempt to change the structure of government to accommodate the time- less human motive and the changing nature of the modern state."(7) Rep. Al Swift (D-Wash.) inadvertently made the case for term limits when he complained about people being willing to "voluntarily give up their rights."(8) The point is, they are choosing to relinquish the right to reelect their members of Congress an extra time.

Moreover, term limits actually increase voter choice by making elections more competitive and encouraging more candidates to run. One study estimates that California's term limits on state legislators caused a rush of retirements, which led to 50 percent more candidates than would otherwise have been expected.(9) Cities that have implemented term limits have discovered the same phenomenon: more, and more diverse, candidates are running for office.

Another contention is that term limits would enhance the power of staffers and lobbyists. However, congressional aides already write most laws. The problem is not with legislative assistants on Capitol Hill: congressional staffers' average tenure in any particular position today ranges between 6 and 18 months; in fact, lobbyists have remarked that overall staff turnover is greater than legislative turnover.(10) Real influence lies with aides, whose tenure tends to be fairly long because they work either for or under the protection of the most senior members. Thus, by encouraging greater legislative turnover, term limits would help to reduce the permanence of both personal and committee staffs. Since passage of term limits in California, for instance, turnover on major committees has more than doubled.(11) Timothy Hodson, a university professor and former state senate aide, concludes that "most state legislatures simply do not have personnel arrangements conducive to career staffs in post-term limit conditions."(12)

If term limits help lobbyists, why do they uniformly oppose term limits?(13) Special interests raised $3.3 million to block term limits in California in 1990; they are literally the only parties that donate to "no" campaigns. Lobbyists in Florida filed suit against that state's initiative. The National Education Association, labor unions, the National Rifle Association, public employees, professional groups, trial lawyers, medical associations, law firms, lobbyists, public relations companies, and many major corporations all oppose term limits precisely because they know they would be the major losers. Today the lines of power in Washington (and state capitals) are largely predictable, and the lobbyists' allies have already been bought. During the California initiative campaign on term limits, Ralph Flynn, executive director of the California Teachers Association, the largest single contributor against the term-limits initiative, admitted that "the reality is the legislative process with all its infirmities is really the best thing we have going for us."(14) The reaction of a representative of the California Trial Lawyers was similar: "Obviously, it's a great advantage to have someone who is a champion of your cause as Speaker of the Assembly."(15) Obviously.

Although the GOP takeover of Congress has changed the relative balance of power in Washington, all of the new leaders are long-term incumbents, well-known on Capitol Hill. What interest groups fear most is a continuing influx of freshmen, who neither know nor care to learn the rigged rules of the game, and the constant leadership turnover that will result. In Ohio term limits accelerated the retirement of the 20-year Democratic house speaker and helped end his dictatorial control. By diffusing power, term limits brought "the trade associations and the constituent groups back on a level with the high binders," observed Robert Schmitz, a representative of state savings and loans.(16) The reaction of independent Ohio lobbyist Dennis Wojtanowski was similar: "The future belongs to those who deal in substance, as opposed to those who deal in relationships."(17) After the implementation of term limits in Michigan, Linda Gobbler, president of the state Grocers Association, explained,

It becomes very important for lobbyists to be extremely credible, to have good reputations, and to know what they're talking about. Gone are the days when you belly up to the bar and ask somebody for a vote on a bill.(18)

Another concern is lost legislative expertise. Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute goes so far as to charge that with term limits "only bums will run, only bums will rule."(19) Surely he cannot mean that bums are not running, winning, and ruling today. What evidence is there that the number of bums has decreased since the last century? Indeed, few legislative leaders today match the intellect and talent of a Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, or John Calhoun, whatever one thinks of their ideologies. (Webster spent decades in the Senate but only five years in the House; Clay served just six years in his longest stretch; Calhoun easily switched between executive and legislative offices.)

Moreover, most of our current problems come from knowledgeable pols kowtowing to well-heeled interest groups. As early American congressman John Taylor observed, "More talent is lost by long continuance in office" than by rotation because ability is "stimulated by the prospect of future employment and smothered by the monopoly of experience."(20)

The manifold faults of experienced, careerist politicians have long been evident. Becky Cain of the League of Women Voters worries about legislators with a short-term perspective focusing on "'quick fixes,' gimmicks and programs that might be wildly popular at the moment but that might result in severe repercussions down the road."(21) That, however, more accurately describes politics today. We should have learned by now that skill in running and winning does not translate into skill in ruling. Consider the disasters inflicted upon us by experienced incumbents: the savings-and-loan crisis, for instance, was created by the most knowledgeable members of the banking committees. Older members are no more courageous than younger ones in addressing such problems as runaway deficits; the actuarially unbalanced Social Security system; and a half regulated, half free medical system. Edward H. Crane, president of the Cato Institute, calls the current system a "circus," one that is "living proof of a special-interest-controlled Congress, orchestrated by our experienced legislators."(22) And Republican legislators, no less than Democrats, tend to become bigger spenders and stronger supporters of the status quo the longer they serve. It should come as no surprise, then, that Congress has become so backward, corrupt, and vacuous.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 07, 2003, 02:54:37 pm
FREEDOMROAD:
Thanks for the last few articles.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: cbisquit on July 07, 2003, 02:58:30 pm
The argument for term limits is similar to that of antitrust laws. You're basically saying that you believe in freedom but sometimes it becomes impractical because people are too foolish to know what they really want. If term limits weren't needed for the first 150 or so years of our government isn't it possible that they were never really needed, and just put in during the sweep of the socialization of America?
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 03:02:49 pm
The argument for term limits is similar to that of antitrust laws.

I disagree.  I am against antitrust laws but for term limits.  See some of the above articles.  

Quote
You're basically saying that you believe in freedom but sometimes it becomes impractical because people are too foolish to know what they really want.

I do not agree with that.  Term limits creat more freedom.  Read the above Cato report for a couple reasons why.

Quote
If term limits weren't needed for the first 150 or so years of our government isn't it possible that they were never really needed, and just put in during the sweep of the socialization of America?

Washington, Jefferson, Coolidge, and many of the other best people understoof about term limits and practiced them.

Term limits take away power from Washington and bring it back to the people.  That is why Harry Browne and Cato support term limits
Title: Re:LP-sponsored term limits initiative wins easily in Palm Beach, Florida
Post by: Zack Bass on July 07, 2003, 03:05:05 pm

A Libertarian sponsored term-limits measure in Palm Beach, Florida was overwhelmingly approved by voters -- proving that "Libertarians can win" when they pick the right issues.


Communists can win, when they pick the right issues.
In this case, it was only a popular issue, and a decidedly un-libertarian position taken by the LP.

Libertarians did not win at all, in the sense of advancing the cause of Freedom.

It is better to lose with a decent position than to win by supporting an evil cause.

Title: Re:LP-sponsored term limits initiative wins easily in Palm Beach, Florida
Post by: freedomroad on July 07, 2003, 03:08:02 pm

A Libertarian sponsored term-limits measure in Palm Beach, Florida was overwhelmingly approved by voters -- proving that "Libertarians can win" when they pick the right issues.


Communists can win, when they pick the right issues.
In this case, it was only a popular issue, and a decidedly un-libertarian position taken by the LP.



Then why does Harry Browne support it?  Why does the Cato I. support it?  Why do many LP members and several state LPs support it?  Why do most people in the FSP support it?  

Do you read any of the above articles.  I tried to post them here so people could read them.  I have dozens more, if you would like.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Penfist on July 07, 2003, 03:08:02 pm
Freedom of the individual, yes. Freedom of the politician, no. They are not the same thing.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Zack Bass on July 07, 2003, 03:09:14 pm

You're basically saying that you believe in freedom but sometimes it becomes impractical because people are too foolish to know what they really want.


That's absolutely correct.  Same as saying you can't let people decide whether to use heroin or not.  If they want to elect someone who you think is a scoundrel, well maybe they have a different opinion.

Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Zack Bass on July 07, 2003, 03:10:41 pm

Freedom of the individual, yes. Freedom of the politician, no. They are not the same thing.


Absolutely correct.  Politicians ought to have very little power.  And individuals ought to have free rein to support any politician they like.

Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: JonM on July 07, 2003, 03:15:02 pm
Term Limits are a bad idea whose time has come.

The problem isn't even with the politicians, it's with the individual voter.  "Sure, he's a crook, but he's OUR crook!"

If you put a general question for term limit support on a ballot it tends to do very well.  When you put a specific question for an individual term limit on the same ballot, it tends to do very poorly (we call them elections).  People vote for the name they recognize, the politician they've seen, perhaps even met once or twice, over the newcomer they may never have even heard of.  Or for the statist, the one they know will keep the feed trough open, which is usually the one already in there.

If you had a better informed electorate, willing to vote on the basis of what is good for the community then you shouldn't need term limits.  I had somewhat gotten the impression that was one of the goals of this project . . .
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 07, 2003, 03:34:33 pm
Quote
Then why does Harry Browne support it?  Why does the Cato I. support it?  Why do many LP members and several state LPs support it?  Why do most people in the FSP support it?
Because it's popular? (most of the Cato articles on term limits point out how popular it is with the voters, instead of focusing on the actual arguments for or against term limits)
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Zack Bass on July 07, 2003, 04:22:44 pm

If you had a better informed electorate, willing to vote on the basis of what is good for the community then you shouldn't need term limits.  I had somewhat gotten the impression that was one of the goals of this project . . .


No, "informed electorate" and "educated voters" are just code phrases for "people who will vote the way I like".
No matter how "uninformed" I choose to be, I still ought to have the same rights as you.
The problem with all this is, the Government has more Power than it ought to have, and therefore some people are able to Force you to do what they want by Electing evil people.  The solution is not to leave the Government powerful and make it chaotic, but to make the Government weak and answerable to the Voters.

Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 08, 2003, 12:01:01 am

Of course, if we're selecting a State to take over, we'd be served well by a State that already has a Term Limit Law.  Use it to our advantage, then repeal it.


Zack clearly explains it.  Even if, for whatever reason, you are against term limits...for this project term limits are a geat advantage.  We can talk about what if everyone know everything all day long.  The truth is, everyone does not know everything.  

Even if you hate term limits, for the good of this project, all other things being equal, a state with term limits is better for us.  It will be the easiest way to get the current politicans out of office.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Robert H. on July 08, 2003, 12:16:21 am

Of course, if we're selecting a State to take over, we'd be served well by a State that already has a Term Limit Law.  Use it to our advantage, then repeal it.


Zack clearly explains it.  Even if, for whatever reason, you are against term limits...for this project term limits are a geat advantage.  We can talk about what if everyone know everything all day long.  The truth is, everyone does not know everything.  

Even if you hate term limits, for the good of this project, all other things being equal, a state with term limits is better for us.  It will be the easiest way to get the current politicans out of office.

There are going to be some rather quixotic contradictions in part of what we do until we succeed in changing a state to reflect a more libertarian bent.  For example, some of us are going to have to be "career" politicians.

I agree that people should be free to vote for anyone they wish, but I also support term limits because the vast majority of those who vote now use that power to steal from others, and many of the most successful politicians are those who represent that group.  Term limits also serve to break up the power of political cartels, groups of politicians who have established a hierarchy and have been "scratching" each other's backs for years at public expense.

Until we can tie the hands of statists by implementing solid constitutional barriers to their agenda, things like term limits are going to be essential to us, both in entering the political arena and in limiting the damage statists can do.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 08, 2003, 08:19:31 am
I guess what it all comes down to is if it is easier to repeal existing term limits than it is to start up the FSP in a state that lacks term limits.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 08, 2003, 09:55:22 am
I guess what it all comes down to is if it is easier to repeal existing term limits than it is to start up the FSP in a state that lacks term limits.

That is true if you are one of the very very independents, libertarian leaders, of minor-party politicans that think term limits are not one of the greatest things since sliced bread.

If you, for whatever reason, feel that way....the answer is yes.  It is much easier to change one law than kick out all of the incumbents.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 08, 2003, 11:00:11 pm
What does the Republican Liberty Caucus thing of term limits?

http://www.rlc.org/?p=FAQ

"The RLC Supports:

Lower and fewer taxes
The right to privacy
The right to keep and bear arms
Balanced budgets through spending cuts
Educational choice
Freedom of speech
Protection of property rights
Market-based health care
Alternatives to the drug war
All-volunteer armed forces
Term Limits
Sound monetary policies
Deregulation
Phase-out of foreign aid
Ending federal welfare
Private options to Social Security
Free trade Privatization of government functions"
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 08, 2003, 11:02:31 pm
What does Ron Paul think of term limits?

http://www.house.gov/paul/press/press97/prfeb12.htm


Paul votes for every term limitation measure
Says defeat of term limits does not negate need for cutting Congress' power, perks

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For Release: Wednesday, February 12, 1997



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

WASHINGTON, DC - US Representative Ron Paul voted for each of the term limitation measures brought before the House of Representatives on Wednesday. While the measures failed, Paul said the real reforms needed to accomplish the same task must still be pursued.

Serving in Congress from 1976 to 1984, Paul was the first person in modern history to introduce a term limits measure.

"Term limits would have been good start, but the real problems which bring about the popularity of term limits can still be addressed," said Paul. "To restrict and reduce the power of incumbency, we should address the sweeping powers which the federal government possesses. It's the power that congressmen yield that makes them so untouchable in the electoral process. Until we return to a constitutional size of government, limiting the special favors congressmen can give to friends and big-money interests, the system will continue to be unfairly weighted to politicians and bureaucrats. Only when we limit the size of the federal government, when we end the programs which allow for federal handouts, will we see our Congress returned to the citizen-legislature intended by the Founders of this nation."

Paul has refused to participate in the congressional pension plan, and has long favored abolishing it. He said that when politicians realize they do not have taxpayer-funded benefits for life, their time in public office will be quickly reduced.

"By abolishing extravagant perks like the lucrative congressional pension plan, we will remove the incentives for people to make a career out of elected office."
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: freedomroad on July 08, 2003, 11:06:26 pm
What does Patrick J. Buchanan think of term limits?

http://www.buchanan.org/pa-95-0128.html


Let the People Rule
by Patrick J. Buchanan
January 28, 1995

This term limits movement has a whiff of revolution about it. We want to overthrow America's ruling class...
 
As the House and Senate mull over which version of "term limits" to write into a constitutional amendment, Republicans should realize this issue is now about more, much more, than term limits.
It is about power in America. It is about who decides. It is about whether America is still a country where we can boast, "Here, sir, the people rule." It is about whether the people are to be allowed any role at all in shaping the institutions that govern them.

In the heart of the nation the issue is already decided. Term limits have won in almost every precinct where they have been put to the ballot. Twenty five million Americans have voted to impose them in 22 states. In 15 states, voters decided they want senators to serve only 12 years, House members no more than six.

According to polling data, of Americans favoring term limits, 82 percent would restrict House members to six years in office, and 45 percent would limit House members to only four years.

More than anything else, what ended the career of Speaker Tom Foley was the lawsuit he filed to overturn the decision of voters in his own state to impose term limits. "Foley vs. Voters," they called it out in Washington.

"Foleyism," a paternal "Father Knows Best" attitude of many elected politicians, may be contagious. For even the GOP is manifesting symptoms of that proven fatal disease.

Though Americans have spoken out loud and clear on the issue, some Republican leaders still make no secret of their contempt for term limits. Others promote a scheme to divide and dilute the term limits movement by allowing states to vote only on whether House members should be given 12 years. Others unsubtly hint that the need for term limits has passed, now that the issue had helped give the GOP what it always really wanted: Hill power.

Republicans ought to reflect on the message they will send if they go in the tank on a constitutional amendment, or enact one tailored to their own desires. If an amendment is approved for six terms for House members -- rather than "Six years and out!" -- the message to 15 states will be: "The only way you folks are going to get any term limits is to have your state legislature overturn the decision you made in that recent election and give us each a full 12 years.

Otherwise, no deal."

The six-term amendment would be a signal the GOP ambition is to become, not the People's Party, but rather the First Party of Government, America's ruling party. In a day when America's political class is held in deepening contempt, a party cannot be both.

The debate has gone beyond the wisdom or merits of term limits. That issue has been decided. The anti - term limits people have been defeated. The newer question is whether recalcitrants retain the power to frustrate the popular will. Will the Supreme Court and Congress even permit the people to impose term limits on Congress? That's the issue now.

If the Supreme Court overturns the Arkansas term limits law, forbidding states from imposing term limits on their congressional delegations, and Congress refuses to send the states an amendment they want, the states and people will be left nowhere to turn -- but against the government of the United States, in its entirety. For the U.S. government will have declared itself above the people.

The U.S. government will have said to the country: "You are too childish, too immature, to be making decisions of such magnitude. We in Washington have the sole claim to such decisions. We will decide, and we will impose a closed rule on any and all amendments we send you for ratification."

The response will come in 1996, when the 104th Congress is given the same respectful treatment as the 103rd .

Behind the term limits movement is a radical populist call for a return to a "People's House," a House of Representatives where a third of the members are newcomers, and a third depart every two years, a body that reflects the nation, and the will of the people, as expressed in the last election, is manifest.

This term limits movement has a whiff of revolution about it. We want to overthrow America's ruling class, it is saying: "We want to rid ourselves of professional politicians and replace them with citizen legislators." Parties and people who get in the way of this movement are going to be run over by it.

 
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Sebastian on July 09, 2003, 08:12:26 am
Are term limits a necessary evil?
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: JasonPSorens on July 09, 2003, 08:20:37 am
Here is a policy proposal that might be superior to term limits but accomplish the same thing: "tax" incumbency.  The tax is not a dollar tax, but a signatures tax.

The first time you run for re-election, you have to obtain 10 signatures; challengers do not have to obtain signatures.  The second time you run for re-election, you have to obtain 100 signatures.  The third time you run, you have to obtain the signatures of 2% of the voters in your district.  The fourth time, you have to obtain the signatures of 5% of the voters.  The fifth time, 15%.  The sixth time, 30%.  Then for the seventh and all subsequent attempts at re-election, you have to get the signatures of at least 50% of registered voters in your district to even appear on the ballot.

The advantage of this is that it doesn't automatically kick anyone out.  They can continue in office if they are really beloved by their constituents, but the hurdles are very high.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Kelton Baker on July 09, 2003, 08:41:13 am

The first time you run for re-election, you have to obtain 10 signatures; challengers do not have to obtain signatures.  The second time you run for re-election, you have to obtain 100 signatures.  The third time you run, you have to obtain the signatures of 2% of the voters in your district.  The fourth time, you have to obtain the signatures of 5% of the voters.  The fifth time, 15%.  The sixth time, 30%.  Then for the seventh and all subsequent attempts at re-election, you have to get the signatures of at least 50% of registered voters in your district to even appear on the ballot.

The advantage of this is that it doesn't automatically kick anyone out.  They can continue in office if they are really beloved by their constituents, but the hurdles are very high.

This does nothing to combat the problems of incumbents casting wide power to buy votes with pork and use their positions to shut-out opponents, but still better than just "kicking out the bums" who occasionally are actually really valuable.  Better yet, how about moving to new voting methods like instant run-off voting to ensure a majority for whichever candidate wins?

But since we are here under the topic of which state, I wanted to point-out that the electorate in Idaho is probably just as undecided about the efficacy of term limits as is this discusion, Idaho voters were split to within four tenths of a percent of the votes cast (http://www.idsos.state.id.us/ELECT/results/2002/general/tot_stwd.htm) in deciding to approve the repeal of term limits in a proposition in the last election.
190
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Zack Bass on July 09, 2003, 11:27:13 am

Idaho voters were split to within four tenths of a percent of the votes cast (http://www.idsos.state.id.us/ELECT/results/2002/general/tot_stwd.htm) in deciding to approve the repeal of term limits in a proposition in the last election.


Seems to me people can't logically be voting to restrict their right to vote.  I bet they're actually expressing their discontent with the fact that they have few choices to vote for and they just want the bums out as soon as possible.
I bet if they were allowed to vote NOTA ("None Of The Above") they'd prefer that to term limits.  How come that's never a solution put up against the term limits solution in these propositions?

Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: JonM on July 09, 2003, 11:39:20 am
Seems to me people can't logically be voting to restrict their right to vote.  I bet they're actually expressing their discontent with the fact that they have few choices to vote for and they just want the bums out as soon as possible.
I bet if they were allowed to vote NOTA ("None Of The Above") they'd prefer that to term limits.  How come that's never a solution put up against the term limits solution in these propositions?

The main argument against a binding NOTA that I can think of is the additional expense of subsequent elections.  But then, considering how many times the tax and spenders try to get prop 2 1/2 (property tax increases beyond 2.5%) overrides passed around here after being defeated time and again shows little concern for that.

Abstract of a failed NOTA try in MA:

Legislation implementing Voter Consent with a binding "None of the Above" (NOTA) on the ballot, allowing voters to reject all candidates for an office and to call for a new election with new candidates to fill the office. In all elections for office (not primaries), where more votes are cast for NOTA than for any candidate, no one is elected to the office, and a First NOTA Election is held, not less than 60 days and not more that 90 days after the prior election, to fill those offices. Listed candidates who lost to NOTA are not eligible for election to that office in that term. If NOTA wins in a First NOTA Election, the election for those offices goes to a Final NOTA Election, not less than 60 days and not more that 90 days after the prior election, in which the candidate with the most votes is elected.
Title: Re:Term limits: good or bad
Post by: Zack Bass on July 11, 2003, 12:19:39 pm

Abstract of a failed NOTA try in MA:

Legislation implementing Voter Consent with a binding "None of the Above" (NOTA) on the ballot, allowing voters to reject all candidates for an office and to call for a new election with new candidates to fill the office. In all elections for office (not primaries), where more votes are cast for NOTA than for any candidate, no one is elected to the office, and a First NOTA Election is held, not less than 60 days and not more that 90 days after the prior election, to fill those offices. Listed candidates who lost to NOTA are not eligible for election to that office in that term. If NOTA wins in a First NOTA Election, the election for those offices goes to a Final NOTA Election, not less than 60 days and not more that 90 days after the prior election, in which the candidate with the most votes is elected.


WOW that sounded really neat right up to the zinger at the end!
It's a Trick!!

All each Party has to do is have two unacceptable candidates, and although the Voters will reject the first, they cannot reject the second!  That's not my idea of NOTA.  We ought to be allowed to reject them and reject them and reject them until they come up with someone acceptable, or just do without any Politician at all if that's how we want to vote!