Saturday, February 09, 2008

Term limits

There was an interesting discussion in my political theory class one class period about this. My professor says that term limits doesn't address the problem that are inherent in our government. For instance money in politics.

It could also be said that turnover might be high with term limits. That is after an officials term is up it's time to find someone new. In other words we now have a new argument, get some fresh people in.

OK I can address that one better than money in politics (I don't know much about that). Let's see there have been a lot of complaints about this in Illinois or Chicago. One person being in the state legislature or city council or even an executive office for too long. In that regards term limits could makes sense but let me add an angle to this. The art of politics or governing.

Do you think there is an art and practice in it? Does it take time for a "green" or "n00bish" public official to really learn his or her job or craft. Well so does legislating or leading general or governing. This is stuff that can't be learned in a set period of time.

Of course if you can get what you want accomplished done in 2 or 4 years then more power to you. Better yet perhaps if you're able to make the necessary adjustments that you seek to make is there really a reason you want to stick around? I know that for some that is very difficult to do.

Now let me tell you where this is coming from. Our current reading in Machiavelli's The Prince. Yeah I hear the collevetive gasps out there but they do teach that book in our colleges. Not a bad idea either to talk about his ideas of acquiring power. That's what the book is all about, heh maybe when I'm thru with this reading I'll give you my reflections. I hope that you'll read it yourself and remember folks it's just a book. All you have to do is read it.

Anyway the first day we talked about this book we talked about a lot of things. For example who might have been "Machiavellian". I discussed that the other day and to be sure that's not the only example provided. Still somehow we happened to run into this subject.

Another point can be made, if the point of term limits is a matter of getting rid of the bad apples in the process. You know people like, for example, Rod Blagojevich. Would term limits change that?

It's not likely that it would since in every profession or avocation (more accurately when I use that word I'm going back to the idea of citizen politicians people who aren't governing full-time if that's possible) there are people who are bad at it. Also if people choose to elect these bad apples then perhaps we should talk about personal responsibility. People deserve the government they get.

If the general consensus among say your friends is that taxes are too high, but instead of going to the ballot box and voting out the ones who continue to raise your taxes, you still vote for that regime. Then what do you expect? Did you expect them to stop raising you taxes after you gave them your vote again?

If you did and they did the deed anyway, then you got exactly what you were asking for with your vote. You could give me your reasons why you did what you did, but it doesn't matter if you have a basic complaint. The complaint being that taxes are too high. Of course again that's only one example.

You know these answers policy wonks come up with as the solution to all our problems, before we jump on it, we should really give it some thought. I'll be honest when I say hey I do it at times to. Still I wonder if I should have the right to continue to vote someone in, who I believe, is doing a great job at the helm. If they are then I should continue to vote for that person.

If it's time for a change. Then what happens in that case is, either you be the change. Or you find someone who can be the change. And then get some people out there to think there needs to be a change and then they will support you. Of course complaining about it or finding a sacrificial lamb to give it a shot won't help. I suppose that's the way democracy must work.

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