Thursday, August 8, 2013

#LaRevolucion: One and Done?

File Under: Politicking

Are term limits the answer to our problem with government?

It would seem like we already have a built-in "term-limiter" - the ballot - and it is not working.  People seem to want term limits (on bad politicians) but have no qualms re-electing someone decade after decade, whether good or bad.  However, would limiting the number of years an individual can do damage in office, stop them from doing damage while they are there?  It seems to me that if people knew they only have one or two terms to to get their fingers in as many pies as possible, they would spend even less time doing their jobs than they do now.  It would become a revolving door of bad politicians, and good politicians would still be squeezed out by bad politicians with more campaign capital.  One of the side effects of not having a term limit is that a person amasses more political pull over time, which they have to use to the benefit of their constituency every so often so as not to get hanged on election day.   The ouster, by popular vote, of a long-seated politician for their lethargy or corruption is significantly more emphatic to the next would-be hack than simply waiting for the new guy's act to finish in the term limit circus.

Moreover, what happens when we actually get a good politician in office, he or she spends the term limit fighting against the establishment, and then is gone forever?  Of greater primacy to the securement of a functioning republic would be campaign finance reform, increased transparency, performance standards, and increased accountability for reaching those standards.  If elections are fair and cannot be bought.  If politicians create policies that encourage business and job growth.  If politicians respect the Constitution and civil liberties.  And, if politicians regularly pass balanced budgets.  Then what difference does it make if they are in office 2 years or 2 decades?

"Doom and Gloom" by The Rolling Stones from GRRR! released 2012 on Capitol

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