Why not have term limits?




View Poll Results :Are you in favor of mandatory term limits for federal offices?
Yes 4 40.00%
No 6 60.00%
Voters: 10. You may not vote on this poll

 
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Why not have term limits?
 
September 15th, 2005  
ironhorseredleg
 
 

Topic: Why not have term limits?


Why not have term limits?
This topic grew out of another post. What do you think about mandatory term limits? I know there can still be career politicians, just advancing every 2-3 terms but staying in politics. However, with the forced mixture of experience and newness built into our bi-cameral system, why shouldn't we have mandatory term limits. Say 5 two year terms as a representative and 3 six year terms as a senator. Additionally, I'm not even convinced a life-term for a supreme court justice is necessary. I'd like to see a system of 10 year terms that could either be re-approved by the seated president or replaced by a new presidential appointment.
September 15th, 2005  
Missileer
 
 
You know my position, I'm all for it and I think the terms can be shortened from your numbers. Just think of all the young, bright minds going to waste by keeping rich, licentious, old drunks semi-running Government. I also believe that all Judges should have to be voted on as they tend to become the same as career politicians. The impeachment process should become a little easier to use, with constraints, and if impeached, then censored.
September 15th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
The election system as it is works fine for me. I'm against term limits in that it has two basic problems.

One is that you would be tossing out qualified people just as they've gotten to know the job very well only to replace them with a newcomer for no other reason that that a period of time had elapsed. If a person is not good at their job then elect somebody else.

The second problem is that many government programs take a long time to get going and even then to have the bugs worked out etc. So what if your senior Senator has spent a decade getting something going and just as it's about to get there he's tossed out because he's at the end of his time limit? Lot of wasted time and tax dollars if you go that route. Not to mention alot less getting done.
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Why not have term limits?
September 15th, 2005  
ironhorseredleg
 
 
Charge, I believe our entire political system would change if folks new that they had mandatory term limits. A lot of the long, drawn out processes we have today in politics are precisely due to politicians wanting to draw things out as long as possible so they can continue to garner votes from a slow, steady progress that will ultimately lead to something great "if they can only get relected ONE MORE TIME." Additionally, folks who are really effective at getting things accomplished won't be bumped out of politics. They can move into other elected offices or move on to appointed positions, and working up through local, regional, and finally federal offices will still allow for a good 40 years in elected politics before being forced to move up, on, or out by term limits (28 years alone as rep and senator).

I would love to see an example of a career politician who hasn't lost sight of what's important to the majority of constituents, but I simply haven't had that experience in 22 years of voting in America. I find myself constantly having to choose the least bad option or "wasting" my vote on a fringe candidate that I mostly agree with.
September 15th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Spend some time in committees like your local school board and then tell me that things could be done quickly. No, term limits would just get less done - not more as people spend less effort and less attention to programs and people that need it because their time is up.

I'm sorry you feel that way about your regional politicians. While I am not a fanatic about any of mine, I have found that I like both our Senators, and I think our Governor is doing a decent job as well (I just wish he'd get with the rest of the state on healthcare). I'm not so fond at all of our Congressman, but he has been steadily re-elected because the opposition has yet to put anybody forward that's better. However, even tossing him out for no other reason than time would leave this state with the choice between two less than qualified people who may have great intentions but would suck at the job. Nope, if you want to replace somebody then find someone better and elect them. Nobody should be tossed out simply because it's Friday and geez, but their time limit ended on Thursday.
September 15th, 2005  
ironhorseredleg
 
 
I've served on a committee or two in my years as a public school teacher and then district administrator. The ones that were most effective in my memory were those that had (or developed) a precise focus and pushed forward, neither of which are safe for a politician looking for re-election. The more waves you make, the more you might progress, but the greater chance you have of drawing attention to yourself from powerful enemies.

I still believe that while you may well have an occasional "good public official" forced to move on by term limits, you'll have a many more lackluster career politicians safely moved out. The only thing that 40 years experience in the senate provides is a deep understanding of the "old boys network" that I'm against anyway.

I'd rather have EVERY state have new senators once every 2 decades. I just don't think that's asking too much. Of course, we don't have to agree on this topic. I mean, I know how scary a new way of thinking can be for some folks
September 15th, 2005  
Charge 7
 
 
Okay, let's throw out everything I've said thus far and say you're right about all of it. Here's why it will never work. That Senator who's been there for 40 years has of course builtup a huge amount of seniority for their state. States will be reluctant at best to suddenly lose that power. I can tell you now that my state being a small state with little other influence will fight you tooth and nail on that one. I'm sure we're not alone. Shouldn't it be right that areas of the country have some hope for influence in the Federal government? Or must industry and population density alone decide that?
September 15th, 2005  
tomtom22
 
 
On the whole, I have to agree with Charge on this one. All politics is local. Looking no further than my own town, I look at the possiblities if the long term members of various boards & committees were dumped out simply because they had been there too long, I know that would produce chaos, because the replacements would know nothing and the mistakes made in gianing experience would be costly. When politicians screw up, the voters will vote them out. But as Charge said, all too often the opponent who opposes the long term incumbent, is merely window dressing simply to have someone run against him, or is just too inexperienced. I could cite many examples in my own home state, but I don't want to get in an argument between "Liberals" & "Conservatives", etc.
September 16th, 2005  
phoenix80
 
 
Excuse me all but as an out-siders and a non american, I guess this question is totally obscure.

The federal officials are appointed by elected officials and may be removed from office after those elected officials' terms is over.
September 16th, 2005  
ironhorseredleg
 
 
Pheonix, by federal officials, I meant elected officials on a national level--US senators (2 per state) and US representatives (different for each state based upon population). Currently, the US President has a term limit of no more than 2 complete 4 year terms.


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Also, I wasn't discussing whether I thought term limits would be allowed into law. I completely understand the small state attitude--Kansas, 6 votes total. What I'm saying is that in a system with mandatory term limits, the focus would shift from seniority to effectiveness. Those two don't always go hand-in-hand today in American politics. Keep in mind that I'm not talking about wet behind the ears college kids getting elected to national office. The system would still adjust, it's just that the adjustments would be every 20 years instead of every 40-50. I think that kind of mandatory turn-over would help our elected officials stay grounded and in touch.