Comment 104043

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted August 19, 2014 at 10:06:46

I'm not totally sold on the implementation of term limits, they seem like they don't necessarily address the problem. If municipal elections are effective, then term limits seem counterproductive since they could make ineligible candidates who would otherwise be voted in because they were selected (again) by a sound electoral process. If municipal elections are not effective, and candidates who are complacent or incompetent are being voted in, then what are we getting?

If it's really just a crapshoot, with a 50% chance that an incompetent/complacent official will be elected, then we are kicking out experienced councillors with absolutely no guarantee that their replacements will be any better. There is no cosmic rule that says that a councillor's replacement will be better just because the incumbent was bad at their job - in fact if a bad councillor can repeatedly win in a particular ward, I would expect that its more likely their replacement would share some of the same traits. In this case term limits don't necessarily accomplish anything, but in wards where the election process might be less flawed, they only serve to frustrate a process that is already working, perhaps despite the issues that may be the real culprit for why bad incumbent councillors can otherwise be elected repeatedly.

Furthermore, this article seems to be based on the premise that councillors who have been in office for a long time are necessarily 'stale and complacent', but is this really true? What if the councillors you think are 'stale and complacent' have actually just always been this bad? Maybe it just took them a term or two to become really effective at doing a bad job.

In fact we know that term limits induce complacency and apathy in elected officials during their final term in office, so if complacency is the issue, then term limits definitely are not the answer. They don't make elections more effective, they 'shuffle the deck' so to speak. But if our municipal elections can be compared to pick a random card from a deck, we have bigger problems. Why are we trying to get better at randomly picking our elected officials? That is insane. Why don't we instead diagnose and fix the actual problems that lead to dysfunctional elections?

Permalink | Context

Events Calendar

There are no upcoming events right now.
Why not post one?

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Blog Archives

Site Tools