Blogs » Politcs Plus » Term limits is not the answer


I guess I am one of the very few that oppose any proposal for term limits of our federal legislators. It seems like this issue comes up every time the supporters of those out of power get discussed because they think they're their wants and needs are not being met. I think constituents want term limits because they are too busy to keep up with proposed legislation and they only want to hear one side of the story; if they don't like that side; they want to fire them all. They lose trust in the government when they see all the partisan food fights or their side of the issue being voted against. Don't get me wrong, congress deserves their low approval rating.

This is a few ideas I have.

(1)…I think we need to start at the very core of our broken government and political system. A third party is not the answer because unless you correct the powers the lobbyist have in Washington; it will be just be another party that will fall prey to corruption and then we will have to begin this merry-go-round once again. The lobbyists have a constitutional right to petition the government but they do not have the right to hold a reign over the legislators nor write a great deal of the legislation. We should insist on a strong campaign reform. Money is at the root of this evil because campaigns are too long, legislators of small states do not have the same access to money as those from the larger states, so they are more vulnerable to lobbyist money, and the media needs to give more airtime to candidates at a modest cost. Public finance could be an answer because the recent Supreme Court ruling (United) will break all previous campaign contributions records. Citizen contributions will not have the impact it once had.

(2)…We need to get a bipartisan, nonpolitical commission to redraw all the gerrymandered districts we have and give some consideration to do away with Governor appointed congressional vacancies. Perhaps we should have all states use special elections. This gives more buy in into a “citizen’s government.”

(3)… I believe we do have some good legislators in the federal government but some are swayed by the loudest constituency in their districts, so they are compelled not to compromise. I think two years for a member of the House is term limits. I will continue to use the bailouts as an example. I still believe the Bush administration did the right thing (bailout) with the information they had at the time but some very good legislators were voted out,even thou they had the nation’s interest at heart.

(4)… I really don't think we should waste Congress’s time with a constitutional amendment to impose term limits…. We can fix what's wrong with procedures at the state and federal level.

I think term limits would have worked in the past and it does have some good points but in our era of 24/7 of “gotcha politics” we don't have an endless supply of candidates with deep pockets or squeaky clean backgrounds. During the health care debate, many freshmen legislators were overwhelmed with the complexity of all the issues brought before them; they had to rely on staff and the lobbyist because the more experienced legislators were at committee hearings. Don't under estimate the loss of knowledge and experience that term limits will produce.

Do we still need two senators for each state? Do we still need the Electoral College?