Term Limits - Legislation Not Needed

I saw this sign at a pro-democratic website.. I doubt that they would be in favor of "re-electing no one" these days.. but I have been thinking about the idea of never voting again for an incumbent.. and wondering if that would be a way that voters could get term limits without involving the actions of incumbent legislators. It would mean that I might have to vote for a person that I did not ideologically agree with. I wonder though..
  • would it make a difference if incumbents knew that they only had one shot to make a difference?
  • if people could jettison their ideology to truly change the way that "their" government works?
  • what the affect would have on institutions like lobbying and government pensions?
How about you? Are you in favor of term limits? Would you be willing to vote out an incumbent even if you did not agree with their opponent?


  1. Great idea Bob, and I don't mean to rain on your parade...but...as long as "we" continue to be primarily concerned about our own self-interests I suspect we will keep voting for incumbents because they generally deliver what the people want. Think of it like a co-dependent relationship between government and it's people.

  2. Bilbo's characterization of the relationship as codependent seems fairly accurate to me. Since I do not wish to be the enabler in this situation, I do not vote at all.

    Don't want to encourage the rascals, you know?

    Your idea would necessitate a vote for the lesser of two evils, which means you'd have to be OK with voting for evil.

  3. I am all for term limits. New Yorkers voted twice - in 1993 and 1996 - to restrict local elected officials to just two terms in office. And the dire predictions that term limits would lead to chaos in government were proved wrong. Then this year, without a vote from the people, they went and undid the two-term limit rule. The idea that ‘no one else can do this job but me’ is preposterous.

    It’s all about people in power staying in power. If we had more former congressmen and ex-senators back in the private sector – while still being the active, engaged, public servants we all should be – I think the ever-widening gap between Washington and the real world would shrink a bit.

  4. Institutionalized Codependency.. what a great description Bill!

    Maybe if we always vote out incumbents then maybe politicians will eventually not be so evil Mike :)

    Very sad what they did in my home city Ed.. hard to believe that they could do it :(

  5. This representative from Michigan has been in the U.S. Congress as long as I've been alive.


    Good grief, enough already!

  6. As long as we are developing a 'wish scenario' (because it is now likely that the foxes will ALAWYS be in charge of the henhouse), I would much rather see an 'income limit' (in all areas - including gifts and campaign support from lobbiests and special interest groups), rather than a 'term limit'. I could then assume that our representatives are serving out of a passion for the office rather than a greed for its benefits. Wouldn't THAT be something!?!

  7. Good points Ken.. which is more ludicrous.. term or income limits.. LOL

  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUfpaGzeP6k


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