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Kinder, Gentler Term Limits

Incumbent's required majority goes up one percent a year
  (+8, -2)
(+8, -2)
  [vote for,

Here's an idea that combines something like a term limit with the ability for voters to still keep re-electing their favorite person: at every election, bump the majority vote required by one percent for every year the incumbent has held office.

For example, after two Senate terms (12 years) the incumbent would need at least 62% of the vote instead of 50%.. Thus requiring ol' Strom to get complete consensus ;-)

Other simple formulas would also be possible..


kevynct, Jan 11 2001


       If the House and Senate would abolish the seniority rules, term limits wouldn't be a problem. As it is, things are deliberately set up so that no new congresscritter will be able to do much their first term; any state or district who doesn't like their congresscritter will have to put up with a term without a useful congresscritter if they wish to replace it.   

       Otherwise, the proper (IMHO) way to impose a version of term limits would be to forbid anyone from running for elected office during the duration of their term for that or any other elected office, unless they have resigned from the latter office at least one year prior to running for the former.   

       Note that serving in office would not prevent a candidate from serving a later term, but such later term would have to be non-consecutive with the earlier one.
supercat, Jan 11 2001

       I like that, supercat... nothing (outside of everything about politicians) irks me more about politicians than their maintained duty to themselves instead of the people. They compaign non-stop...
gorn_the_great, Sep 02 2001

       In general, anything that makes politicians less secure in their political jobs makes them more vulnerable to threats, bribes and other inducements.   

       The general problem with a term limit is that, as your limit approaches, there's no way that the voters can reward you if you serve them well. On the other hand, industry lobby groups can do a great deal to make your life after office either pleasant or unpleasant. To whom, then, will you be listening?   

       One of the differences I've noticed between British and Australian politics is that, in Australia, everyone grumbles about the easy ride politicians get at public expense, but you very rarely hear of politicians actually taking bribes.   

       In Britain on the other hand (where I believe conditions are less generous for politicians), there seem to be major problems, both with direct bribes and with people stepping out of politics straight into lucrative jobs, courtesy of people they favoured while in office. (I believe that, in the U.S., this is called the 'revolving door').   

       I think the lesson is that, if the public don't provide politicians with a degree of security in their career and finances, then someone else will.
pertinax, Nov 29 2007


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