Term Limits

@worldwise1 (14888)
United States
October 5, 2007 8:58am CST
Politics are very much in the forefront of current events lately, and this prompted me to try and think of ways the system could be improved. I have a problem with the number of terms our Congressmen and Representatives are currently allowed to serve. I think they should be limited to two(no more than three) terms in public office. In this way we would constantly be exposed to new people who would have something new to bring to the table. I think so many of our politicians become stagnant and overly comfortable in what are virtually lifetime positions of power. They continue to be reelected even after it is clear they are not bringing anything useful to the table. I would like to know your opinion in this matter.
2 people like this
6 responses
@tigertang (1750)
• Singapore
5 Oct 07
In theory you are right. Term limits ensure that new blood has to take a position every so often and it also ensures that nobody stays so long in office that they become "corrupted" by the power that their office brings. However, there is an argument that term limits reduce the office holder to a lame duck in his or her term. Its particularly obviuous in the Presidency when second terms become lame duck terms. Clinton's second term became about Lewinski and Bush looks like he's taking reckless risk with a possible invasion of Iran. - Why does this happen? Its because they no longer have to account to the voters and feel that they can take risk.
@worldwise1 (14888)
• United States
5 Oct 07
What you say is obviously true, tigertang, however, I do believe that it is the powerful politicians who remain in office for too long that are the major problem. There is only so much harm that a lame duck president can do(hopefully), because at the end of his last 4 years the nation will be able to put into place a new administration with a new agenda if they are wise enough. I think that a lame duck President should be more conscientious than to stir up a hornet's nest and leave someone else holding the bag.
2 people like this
• Philippines
5 Oct 07
there are always pros and cons to every proposal, tigertang. i can see your point and they are also valid. however, if there are term limits as to how long a certain person can hold an elective public office, then at least, the person can move from one position of elective office to another from time to time. in this case, no reelection takes place but, he is still around holding one elective position after another. well, this is how they go around the law, right? as always, politicians and lawyers can always find loopholes to the laws promulgated.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
5 Oct 07
this is a very profound discussion, worldwise. yes, i agree with you on this matter. i have been wondering as to whether these creatures are really rendering good service to their constituents. it seems to me like they are there not in order to serve but to be served. as i see things, this is how politicians have become these days. they lord it over the public, they brag about their positions being elective which means, that they are prominent public figures. then although they display this kind of untoward behaviour, they still get reelected. this is really very bad. this is an indication that even the general public has become lax in their right to choose the right person to be there.
@pismeof (855)
• United States
6 Oct 07
Term Limits are a great idea and I think it has been brought to the forefront many times over the last forty years or so. The trouble is who is going to vote on a policy to cut their own throat. The only way to get a useless Congressman out of office is to vote them out.
@tigertang (1750)
• Singapore
6 Oct 07
Generally, you are right. Term limits are an effective way of keeping people from getting stale in office. Like you, I work on the principle that bad politicians should be voted out of office.
@lancingboy (1386)
• United States
6 Oct 07
I think new people should be brought into the political field once one of them leaves. After a person serves their term, they go on to become senators, congressmen or presidents. After their terms, they go off and serve as something else, which means that everytime there is an election, the same people are getting the positions. No wonder this country is so messed up.
@Destiny007 (5820)
• United States
5 Oct 07
I agree, and am very much in favor of term limits. The government is out of touch with the people and keeps passing laws that really do no good. While the president is changed after a maximum of two terms, we have congressmen who have been in office for the last forty years or more. This situation was never intended to happen and politics was never intended to be a career. To or three terms in Congress is plenty, and I mean a total of two or three terms combined between the House and Senate, not serving those terms in one and then starting over in the other. That would eliminate the influence peddling and the good old boy network that now exists, and it would also make Congress more receptive to what the people want, and not what the special interests want. Big business and the like have far too much influence in Congress, and as a result we get stuck with a lot of laws that do not benefit us as citizens. I am in full agreement with you on this one.
1 person likes this
@anniepa (27242)
• United States
6 Oct 07
This has been discussed by the politicians many times through the years, most notably during the 1994 campaigns when future Speaker of the House, in his Contract For America promised term-limits as one of the hallmarks of the campaign. Needless to say, even though many of the new members of Congress made that campaign promise, very few kept it. Some of them even said the American people didn't mean for THEIR terms to be limited but those of the ones they had defeated. I've always had mixed feelings about this because there are some - albeit not many - really good, dedicated public servants and they do gain "seniority" through the years as well as valuable experience and knowledge so it would be s shame to lose some of the really good ones. Also, before enacting term limits there first should be some kind of pension reform for members of Congress! If they only serve 2 or 3 terms they will then be living off of us, the constituents and voters for the rest of their lives with a very generous pension and life-long health care. I do think, however, we the voters should make sure we exercise our right to vote and to be very well-informed when we do so and we can limit the terms of the ones who become stagnant and power-hungry. We may not have the power to make them pass a law to limit their term but we can limit them by voting for the challenger except if we're totally satisfied with the incumbent! Annie