The Instigator
Con (against)
6 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Term Limits

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/29/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 750 times Debate No: 75918
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




This is a direct challenge to my friend Kylar because I noticed that he is in favor of term limits while I am against them. The BoP is shared between the both of us.
As per DDO and formal debate custom, the affirmation will speak first and will waive the final round.
No semantics, trolling or forfeits.

Resolved: Term limits are, on balance, beneficial.
Term limit - a statutory limit on the number of terms a governmental official may serve
On balance - with all things considered; weighing the pros and the cons against each other
Beneficial - have more benefits than drawbacks

Thank you and good luck!



I accept this debate :).
Thank you my good friend for this debate challenge and best of luck to you :).
Debate Round No. 1


Thank you for accepting Kylar.
I ask the voters to not take off any points for my opponent not posting his constructive case last round, it's really not a big deal. I just ask Kylar to post an affirmative argument with no rebuttals this round. Thank you.

Contention I. Term limits are anti-democratic.

What is a democracy?
Before we can even begin talking about the democratic nature of a term limit, we must tell ourselves what a democracy is in nature. The Merriam-Webster dictionary has a very nice definition of democracy: an organization or situation in which everyone is treated equally and has equal rights.
We can assume that the right to vote is a right in nature in a democracy, because a democracy has also been defined as a government in which everyone gets the same rights in the eyes of the law.

Term Limits are anti-democratic.
I will use a syllogism to prove that term limits imposed by law are anti-democratic.
  • P1: Democracy gives everyone the same rights
  • P2: In a democracy, one of the rights given is the right to vote
  • P3: Term limits take away this right
  • C: Term limits do not follow the values of democracy
  • C: Term limits are anti-democratic
Why is democracy good?
In order for my claim that term limits are anti-democratic to hold any water, I have to defend why this is a problem.
In a democracy, all people are given the same rights and are treated fairly by the law (by definition). This allows for the growth of the individual, because it allows the individual to make autonomous decisions with a vote for the decisions that actually affect the person behind the vote and allow for a meaningful change in policy in the world. When compared to something such as an absolute monarchy, where only one person gets to hold all power, it is plain to see the benefits of making autonomous choices.
A democracy also allows for the growth of humanity, and it is no surprise that in the Human Development Index, a study conducted by the UN to measure how people are treated around the world, shows all democratic nations as the top 20 [2]. When the people develop, so does the nation in terms of production and ability to get things done without a major resistance from striking workers that demand better working conditions.
A democracy leads to a better populace and a better government overall, so having a democracy is intrinsically beneficial to the people under it.

Contention II. Term limits prevent the best people from getting the job.


I will use an example of someone that is not very known to the general public, but if you ask any politically informed person in Nebraska, they will be sure to know who this person is and give you their opinion on him without you asking. He is that influential that he gets opinions out of Nebraskans without being asked.
The man's name is Ernie Chambers, a Nebraska Senator from Omaha who has worked as a senator for 38 consecutive years, and then a constitutional amendment prevented him running for one term, and in total he has worked 41 years in the legislature [3]. By getting rid of this marvel, many freshman to the Nebraska Unicameral Senate were confused on how the system works, because Ernie was the main person who used things such as filibusters and the like.
He was able to get elected for 38 consecutive years, and he is the best person for the job representing his constituents in the Unicameral Senate. However, a term limit would prevent these people from getting a true representative in the Unicameral. The approval ratings for the next senator were lower than if Mr. Chambers was still in office.
Term limits prevent the people that can adequately do their job from ding it for no real reason.

Logical Argument.
P1. A good politician may exist.
P2. A good politician may bring forth positive changes that no other leader can.
C1. A good politician is a net positive.
P3. Term limits do not allow for this good politician to serve.
C2. Term limits prevent a net positive.
C3. Term limits are a net negative.

I would like to ask my opponent some questions that he may choose to answer in this round or in the next, whichever one he feels more comfortable in.
What constitutes the necessity of term limits?
Can what constitutes the necessity of term limits be solved in another fashion?
What is the recommended amount of time that a politician serve before he is cast out because of term limits?
Do you think that we should totally forget about the good leaders that may arise in a representative democracy?
What should we do if we oust a good leader because of term limits? Should they be allowed to bypass term limits?

Thank you.



Thank you for the debate Lexus :).
Refutal I
Term limits do not limit democracy they encourage it. They encourage more people getting to be in government and have a say in the matter.

Refutal II
Sen Ernie Chambers is a great man yes. But I call into account he voted for death penalty repeal in Nebraska, but that is a debate for another time. He does have a good heart though I accept that.

Refutal and answering your questions
Question 1: The necessity is this. It helps give more people a role in their government and gives other people a chance to run for office,
Question 2: Yes, they can with some sort of a deal. Some canidates pledge to serve no more than a certain ammount of terms, for instance.
Question 3: I would say 20 years is reasonable for Senate, and represenatives. Federal Judges should be elected every 5 years not appointed for life.
Question 4: Good leaders are very hard to come by and we should not forget about them.
Question 5: Good leaders must obey the law to the letter, regardless if they are good or not.
Debate Round No. 2


Okay, so, my opponent didn't fulfill his side of the BoP so I don't really have anything to refute. I can answer refutations I guess.

Term limits encourage democracy:
Thought this may seem true at the surface (e.g. everyone gets a shot at being a representative! woop woop!), it's flawed very deeply. They take away the correct men and women for the job and undercut the values of democracy (where everyone has the same rights). In a true democracy, all candidates of equal quality would be elected equally. Whether or not this happens in the US does not truly matter because the US is not a pure democracy.

Ernie Chambers
It was just an example to say that imposing term limits right now would make lawmakers in at least Nebraska, and probably more states, very confused on how the system works. This would cause the productivity to severely suffer and in turn the people would suffer.

Question I.
In a true democracy everyone can run for government, so this is not a really valid justification for the creation of term limits. Whether or not they are quality enough for government is for the average voter to decide.

Question II.
Having a candidate pledge a certain amount of time completely throws away the necessity of term limits as a whole. It will be custom to only serve a few terms, where in term limits it will be regulated. There is no necessity of term limits with this proposition.

Question IV.
So we shouldn't forget about the good leaders, yet we should impose an unncessary system where democracy and the people are hurt? Maybe I'm crazy but this does not add up.

Question V.
What's the purpose of the law when it specifically undermines democracy?

As Martin Luther King, Jr. put it: "There are just laws and there are unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that an unjust law is no law at all... One who breaks an unjust law must do it openly, lovingly...I submit that an individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and willingly accepts the penalty by staying in jail to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the very highest respect for law"


Thanks for the debate and I thought I was fufilling my BOP I apoligize.
Term limits also prevent dictatorship. We have had a number of very bad leaders through the ages of time that should have had limits placed on them.
And yes good points on Ernie Chambers I understand what you are doing there my friend don't worry about that :).

Question I: Good points, however true democracy also involves making sure people rotate in and out, balance if you will.
Question II: Let me see here, term limits also help hold a canidate accountable for his/her actions. And it keeps them from getting too much power.
Question IV: There are good leaders out there yes for instance Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai. However, term limits insure that good leaders are kept in balance as well.
Question V: The law does not undermine democracy. it holds leaders accountable and keeps everything in balance.

Thank you so much for the debate so far
Debate Round No. 3


My opponent concedes that they did not fulfill their burden of proof. I ask the gentle reader to remember this while voting.

Yes, it is true that a term limit will reduce the ability of a dictator. However, the people would likely vote this person out of power if they were to rise into it, because they have the absolute right to vote.

I don't really have anything to rebut apart from this, it seemed as though my opponent was just crystalizing his points. Vote con.


I thank my friend Lexus for the debate and am sorry I could not fufill BOP
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Lee001 3 years ago
= Convincing arguments go to Con, because she fulfilled her BoP. Then she argued why term limits are anti-democratic and gave reasons as to why they are unacceptable. Pro failed to uphold his BoP. He didn't not make any sort of argument, he only refuted Con's arguments. Reliable sources go to Con, because she is the only one whom used them=
Posted by Kylar 3 years ago
I was accepting the debate, and posting my acceptance
Posted by tejretics 3 years ago
Oops, violation--"the affirmative will speak first and waive the final round" ....
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Lee001 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.