The Instigator
Leonitus_Trujillo
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
Rousseau
Con (against)
Winning
41 Points

Term Limits should be abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/30/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,046 times Debate No: 1157
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (16)

 

Leonitus_Trujillo

Pro

Term limits are unnecessary. Especially in the United States government. There are enough checks and balances on Executive power to provide for a check on tyrany. We are not going to have another king which was the fear of the framers of the constitution, even though term-limits came much after the constitution.

If it's not broke why fix it?
If we have a good leader in office, who gained his position through popular elections, and who the people favor why force him to leave office?

Now in the Presidential arena this has not been a big issue becuase most presidents since WWII have dived under 50% popularity by the end of their second term, and on some occasions like Bush Senior by the end of Their first. But It effects the country the most in governatorial elections. Where good governors with great popularity are forced out of office.

Term limits takes the rights away of citizens to vote perfectly good men into office. There is nothing that makes you more qualified for your position than to have faithfully served your constituents for two terms, in most offices that almost a decade.
Rousseau

Con

Well, first off (to satisfy my curiosity) why exactly did you challenge me? Did you just see we disagreed on this? Or was it another reason?

Well, I'll go ahead and respond broadly, but are you against term limits in general? Or against specific ones? Well I'll respond to the general idea.

Your Arguments:
1. If there is a good leader, than why force him out?
2. Undemocratic
3. Enough checks and balances that term limits are unnecessary

My Responses:
1. Well your first point operates on the assumption that the leader is good. I'll respond to that situation first. In order to answer that, I would like to take a look at how, historically; great leaders have handled this situation. Some, like George Washington, just retired. Others, like the fabled Great Triumvirate (Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and John Calhoun) just juggled offices. I think that a good leader shouldn't be forced from office, but rather forced to move to different jobs. This is because of several things. However, I believe the former Congressman John Taylor said it best with: "More talent is lost by long continuance in office than by rotation because ability is stimulated by the prospect of future employment and smothered by the monopoly of experience." Simply put, staying in the same office for a while stifles the talent of a leader and leads to stagnation of ability. The leader should switch from office to office if he is good, and has a career in politics (which is a different matter).
However, your point assumes that the leader is good. What if he is bad? Well, you may argue that he wouldn't get re-elected. However (and I won't point fingers), there have been several high-prestige jobs that, because there was lack of serious competition, a bad leader got re-elected. Added to that, incumbents have a humongous advantage over new comers. Incumbency increases a representative's expected vote share by 11 percent (http://www.cato.org...). Also an intertwined point is that seniority is power, and if one Senator is elected over and over, he gets a serious advantage over new runners, regardless of whether he is good or not. If a bad incumbent could get re-elected easily, than term limits are very necessary in order to promote the cream of the crop. Moreover, term limits actually increase voter choice by making elections more competitive and encouraging more candidates to run. One study estimates that California's term limits on state legislators caused a rush of retirements, which led to 50 percent more candidates than would otherwise have been expected. This makes it that much more feasible for a day when there will only be the best of the best in office.

2. - There are term limits on executives, of course the President of the United States. Age, citizenship status, and criminal record requirements on many elected positions. Restricting voter choice has always been a part of American democracy. Most importantly though, is the fact that term limits are so popular among voters. Many states have term limits, and if the people themselves are in favor of limiting their own choices to candidates who have not served more than a given number of years, how can that be undemocratic? America as a whole has a history of limiting the amount of candidates who can run, and as the study above suggests, more people run BECAUSE of term limits.

3. - Well, you might think that there are enough checks and balances that term limits are unnecessary. However, when have we ever had a corrupt official trying to keep him in power despite limits? Never, to my knowledge. This means that it isn't that there may or may not be enough checks and balances, and wouldn't it be great just to have term limits as a safety net, protecting us from a corrupt and inept government? You said: "Why fix what isn't broken", and I agree. America has been stable for 200 years and change. We've had term limits (whether formal or informal) for nearly all 200 of them. What has been the negative impact of them? We have been governed pretty well, so why try to fix something that isn't broken?

My Arguments:
1. Term limits stop politicians from merely making decisions that would prolong their career. Say there was a bill that, in the long term was awful, but short-term was great. With term-limits, the official wouldn't be thinking about getting re-elected, and would do whatever is best for the people he represents. Without term-limits, he does what gets him elected.
I'm sure I can write others, however I have things to do. I'll get back to them next round.

Looking forward to the next round.
Debate Round No. 1
Leonitus_Trujillo

Pro

Leonitus_Trujillo forfeited this round.
Rousseau

Con

Well, assuming that my opponent just may have forgotten about the debate (which shouldn't reflect the decision), I won't attack anything about him agreeing with me. However, if he does so once more, I will regard that as agreeing with my points.
So until my opponent responds, I'll let my previous round's arguments speak for themselves. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 2
Leonitus_Trujillo

Pro

I cannot finish debating this debate or any other debate Winter Break is over and I need to study for mid-terms.

However Russeau made a very good argument and was very clear and concise and eloquent in presenting them. I think I could have done better, but I don't have time.

One thing I was planning on doing was combating his very good line(paraphrased) " Your right, if its not broken don't fix it -it's been working for 200 years."

I'd like to say " The Geneious of the United States, is that it wasn't built to be rigid, it was built to change and adapt to the times. If it's not broke we should not fix it that is correct. But In this situation the opposite applies. Term limits are detrimental to the country, - it is broken, and it needs fixing. "

Please vote for Reasseu .
Rousseau

Con

Well, first off, I'd like to thank Leonitus_Trujillo for his compliments, and for this debate. Unfortunately, he doesn't have time to respond (quite respectable) and feels that it would be better if he dropped the debate. I strongly advocate what he is doing, as it is for his education, and this debate (in the long-run) is most likely just for fun. His stance is interesting and has made me think about the subject, which I appreciate. That said, I'll move on.

His one-argument/closing stance was that term-limits are broken and need to be fixed. An interesting idea, but one peppered with opinion. In my opinion, it isn't broken. Without term limits, a corrupt (or, not even necessarily corrupt, which I'll get to in a bit) politician would have the chance to prolong his term. Now, with good candidates... this wouldn't be a problem. However, there is inevitably the chance of bad ones as well, and that is what we must prepare for. Tagging back to my little sub-point on the corruption thing, I believe it is possible for a politician to want to prolong his term without being corrupt. Now, I must note that this would mean the politician wouldn't necessarily be bad (although the option isn't unforeseeable), but I digress. The dictates of human nature make it so a human strives for comfort. The best way to do this would be to get rich or powerful, and hold on to it. Thusly, a powerful position would be lucrative to anyone. Carrying that further, it would make sense that a human who had the office would want to keep it. This would make him base decisions off of what was best for keeping him in office, which wouldn't necessarily coincide with what is best for our people.

Just another point I thought would be nice to include. Once again, I thank Leonitus_Trujillo for the debate, and I wish we could continue, as he seems very concise and eloquent. Maybe some other time.

Thank you, and please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by sethgecko13 9 years ago
sethgecko13
For perspective: term limits have helped contribute to one of the worst government crises Michigan has ever seen. Right now with our absurd system, every election cycle we have one third of the seats up for re-election and we have very few people with experience to do the very difficult work of negotiating complex legislative solutions.

Term limits are also a disincentive for politicians to actually do the work they were elected to do, because if they know that they're going to be leaving - they'll be aiming to please either the interests in the private sector (where they'll be looking for a job), or if they're seeking higher office - everything they do is aimed at making politically-expedient decisions to get themselves into that higher office (regardless of whether or not they make sense in their current role).

Plus it encourages very little accountability to the voters.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
Ahh Rosseau, stop owning

The comment is now over 25 characters.
Posted by Leonitus_Trujillo 9 years ago
Leonitus_Trujillo
Thanks for pickling the debate up, I will reply whithin a day or two, I have a few other debates that I need to focus on.

And at the time I made this debate you were online and we had a 59% disagreement ratio so I looked up your profile you supported it I was against it and so I challenged you.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
My response will come tommorow, most likely. Can't say for sure, but I will remember to get it in there.
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