Term Limits

    I  think we can all agree that we are tired of the intrenched career politicians. You know the type. The person who has been in office for thirty years. And is the dream of every lobbiest out there. They’re  either the chair of the most important committees or they are the ranking member.

   Often this sparks the conversation about term limits. Though the talk of term limits is usually brought up by the party that is out of power. They feel like the opposition has a strangle hold on certain seats in government and the only way to wrest control is through term limits.

  Personally I think we already have term limits. They are called elections. As we saw in the  2010 GOP primary, career politicians can be unseated. Unfortunately the GOP didn’t pull together afterwards and lost the seat. But the fact remains, that years of service do not guarantee you anything.

    Currently there is talk in Delaware of instituting term limits on state elected officials. This may sound good if you are living in a district that has been held for many years by someone you disagree with. But what if you are happy with your elected official? Obviously the majority of the voters in your district are. So term limits would mean losing someone who has been an effective leader. Simply based on term limits.

  If you happen to be in the minority and you want someone removed from office, then work harder to build support for your own candidates. That is the American way.

  Those supporting term limits here in Delaware are trying to make the argument that term limits would somehow make the elected officials more responsive to the voters.

  I’m not sure I understand just how that would work. The way I see it, term limits would actually have the opposite effect on our leaders.

 Think about it. By instituting term limits we would be creating any number of lame duck officials. Even if they were re-elected for their final term, what influence would they have? Imagine here in Delaware having ten or more legislators who were in their final term. They would be there as a party vote and little more. There would be little  reason for other legislators to work with them.

   Also think about that lame duck official in his or her final term. With no need to heed the will of the people, so as to be re-elected, they could vote on legislation based on special interest groups influence and promises of employment after their term is over. I feel term limits would actually make our elected officials more susceptible to this type of power brokering.

  When we consider the idea of term limits, let us not forget that though we may remove leaders who we don’t agree with. We are just as likely to remove those we do agree with. Think about your local Representative or Senator. Are you happy with their record? Would you like them to continue to represent you in Dover?

  Now imagine that they are in their final term.

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