Time for Political Term Limits!
A recently completed poll brought the focus once again on an issue which we have editorially advocated over the past few years…an issue we consider one of the most important requiring resolution in this Democratic Republic!
The poll affirmed that 78% of the respondents believe there should be term limitations on political offices at the national, state and local levels. We have seen the effects of unlimited terms.
On the national level we have seen senators like Stom Thurmond and Robert Byrd serve almost lifetime terms. One of the problems that exist with lifetime terms is committee chairmanships which are awarded on seniority in office. With their longevity, many of these entrenched political figures have almost unlimited political power which they wield in an unilateral way.
The problem is more serious at the national level where the most power exists, but it also prevails at the state and local levels. We have witnessed firsthand what happens in the Pennsylvania Legislature where absolute power corrupted. Even in cities such as Pittsburgh, the problem exists.
The party in power – in this case the Democrats who have dominated the local political scene since 1928 – have absolute control. The major decision are made within the Democratic Party, leaving little, if any influence emanating from the opposition forces.
Interestingly – at the national level – we have term limitation on the Presidency, but not in the House of Representatives and the Senate. There is a certain irony in this ruling.
Members of Congress have fought long and hard to maintain the status quo since many of them are career politicians and love the authority that comes from tenured service in office. The career politicians argue that the longer they serve, the more valuable and experience they become.
This obviously was not the intent of the writers of the Constitution who wanted our leaders to be citizen politicians and not career political authorities!
In our opinion, term limitations should be enacted now, as the recently completed poll confirms. It’s time to get this issue on a referendum and let the citizens decide.
Robert W. Dickey
President & General Manager
Broadcast: September 17, 18, 19, 20, 2010
You are absolutely correct in your editorial. The problem is to get the referendum on the ballot and then get the legislature to listen-Anna, Forest Hills
I totally agree with editorial on term limits. I agree with many of your editorials, however,how does one initiate these actions. What can I do to see that this wonderful idea happens in my lifetime?-ronald , pittsburgh
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