Saturday, April 28, 2012

On Term Limits...

Revolution as enforced term limits

Term limits are a natural and beneficial part of constitutional republics.  They acknowledge the inherent propensity for power to concentrate, corrupt, and ultimately destroy sitting governments.

Indeed, there are times when I, The Recapitulator, think it would serve most nations best if they elected a random person from the populace, or perhaps a chronic alcoholic to ensure Government is run so poorly that they cannot create any more problems than are already on the ledger.

Unfortunately, they are too often not applied in arenas where limitations are as essential as enumerated powers.  For example, in the United States, two parties have effectively controlled the Federal Government for the better part of 200 years.  There was a time when the differences between them were easily understood and provided something along the order of “competition” between them.

Now, it appears that only the claims on their respective marketing materials and oratory differentiates the two.

Throughout the world and its history, violent revolution has punctuated the advancement of populace, and one might look upon (admittedly in a very favorable light) as enforced term limits upon Government.   However, this (obviously) comes with massive costs and other “inefficiencies”, and it would be much better for a Country to experience these types of transitions in a more peaceful, orderly manner.

Therefore, Countries today and their citizens should look seriously at official term limits for political parties, should a few number dominate the political class in a certain way and for a certain time.  Or at least (if the myriad problems with the above suggestion hold in practice) term limits for every public servant in the country, both on a local (in a particular office) and global (in public service).  This would at least give a fighting chance in avoiding something more spectacularly violent down the road.

This ties together with one of my interests in the coming decades:  New Country Formation.  When power is concentrated in a few monolithic monopolies in the business world, small start-ups, capitalizing on their agility and lack of bureaucratic inertia, naturally form and flourish.  I fully expect this to happen with nations as well.  Indeed, the U.S. was once such a stripling, and now, as a mighty grown oak, will doubtlessly cause some seeds to seek purchase.

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