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- Sep 20, 2018
- SLU Posts
As far as I can tell from the table here, in most places it's generally only the office of the Head of State that's usually subject to any kind of term limit -- legislators in almost every country can continue in office for as long as the voters want them, and in parliamentary democracies, whether republics or constitutional monarchies, the Head of Government serves at the will of the legislature, who are subject to periodic re-election.What I keep seeing here is variations on "term limits are bad, because" and then proclamations on some undesirable activity. Undesirable to us, at least. But in each case, it's an undesirable activity we already deal with on a regular basis in the political sphere. Only without term limits!
The U.S. has never actually implemented maximum term limits at the federal level - except in regards to the presidency, and I don't see anyone here arguing about its negative impact on that office. So claims on how setting max term limits will only make things worse are just conjecture.
To my mind, if you're going to change the constitution to impose term limits on federal legislators, then you should go a lot further than that, and try to fix the system that gives rise to the problems to which term limits may seem a solution (but I don't think they are).
The US system of government looked like a good idea 200-odd years ago, at least to the more or less wealthy and powerful white men who were devising it, particularly since many of them were slave-owning oligarchs, and those who weren't had to accommodate the interests of those who were, but now it looks to the rest of us as if it's showing its age rather.
Nowadays, if any sane person were trying to devise a workable system of government for a democratic federal republic, they'd look to Germany for their model, not the US, and I really think that's where the US should look for ideas.