A Different Approach to Term Limits

jwoodie

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As we know, there are pros and cons to term limits, mostly dealing with incumbency, fund raising and subject matter expertise. Instead of throwing everyone out to be replaced by a bunch of novices (or worse yet, handpicked successors), why not require a referendum vote on incumbents at specified intervals?

This would allow incumbents to be evaluated on their own merits, rather than as the lesser of two evils. If they received less than 50% of the vote, they would not be allowed to run for reelection. This would also even the playing field for new elections, since none of the candidates would have the power of incumbency behind them.

What do you think about this idea?
 

JakeStarkey

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Interesting. Constitutionally for our legislators, that would require an amendment.

The states certainly could do it individually for those legislators.
 

DGS49

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Nah. We already have a referendum at specified intervals. It's called an election.

Politicians would never allow an up or down vote. Imagine if a "None of the Above" option were available for the past 6 presidential elections. We would still be looking for a president from 1992.
 

candycorn

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As we know, there are pros and cons to term limits, mostly dealing with incumbency, fund raising and subject matter expertise. Instead of throwing everyone out to be replaced by a bunch of novices (or worse yet, handpicked successors), why not require a referendum vote on incumbents at specified intervals?

This would allow incumbents to be evaluated on their own merits, rather than as the lesser of two evils. If they received less than 50% of the vote, they would not be allowed to run for reelection. This would also even the playing field for new elections, since none of the candidates would have the power of incumbency behind them.

What do you think about this idea?
Not the worst idea ever.

What makes more sense to me is that instead of having the House seats set up as gerrymandered districts based on geography and population, simply have a lottery with ZIP codes. Divide the zip codes into categories by population and income. So downtown Baltimore's ZIP code for example will be designated an "A" because it's theorhetically poor and heavily populated. More affluent suburbs may be designated "B" since they are richer and less populated ZIP Codes. The rural areas of Maryland which are theorhetically poorer and less populated will be "C" codes. Create as many designations based on population/income as you have seats in the House. Texas with 34 seats will have 34 designations. Iowa with 6 will only have 6 designations.

For the sake of argument if you have ten congressional districts and 500 zip codes in your State, assign 50 zip codes to each legislator every 10 years. So you will end up with 10 A ZIP codes, 10 B ZIP codes, 10 C ZIP codes etc.... So a member of the House be representing historically Democratic areas such as inner cities as well as affluent suburban districts along with the rural areas. In 10 years, the make-up of the 1st district changes again when there is a new lottery.

Voters will either decide they like their gal/guy or they will want someone new. I'm guessing the demographic changes will carry the day more often than not.
 

whitehall

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"Term limits are for dummies", literally. Term limits (correctly in some cases) assumes that voters are too complacent or the modern (union) educated public is too stupid to understand the freaking issues much less the Constitution. The progressive solution is always to give voters less freedom rather than better education.
 

Steven_R

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Get rid of elections outright. Pick members of the House of Representatives from the random public, the same way we do with jury duty. Repeal the 17th Amendment and let the state legislatures figure out how to send someone to the Senate.

God knows it couldn't be more ineffective or screwed up than it is right now.
 

Daryl Hunt

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Get rid of elections outright. Pick members of the House of Representatives from the random public, the same way we do with jury duty. Repeal the 17th Amendment and let the state legislatures figure out how to send someone to the Senate.

God knows it couldn't be more ineffective or screwed up than it is right now.
How about we turn the clock back. in the early 20th, 19th and 18th century, Senators were appointed by the Governors. While the House was elected, it was a part time job with very low pay. While the Senate attracted career politicians, the House attracted Doctors, Masons, Farmers, Ranchers and more.
 

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