Thursday, October 2, 2008

Democracy and Term Limits

In the aftermath of 9/11, New Yorkers rightly rejected the idea of postponing the mayoral election to give Mayor Giuliani more time to steer us through the aftermath of the attacks. We're a democracy, we vote even when there is a crisis, and no elected official is indispensable. The same logic applies to proposals to do an end-run on term limits through the city council in order to retain Mayor Bloomberg.

Let me be clear: I think term limits are stupid and un-democratic. The proper way to eject incumbents is by voting them out. Term limits substitute law and an arbitrary timetable for the will of the people.

But the current proposal, which amounts to working through the council to suspend the law, is timid and undemocratic.

If we are to end or modify term limits, let us do it in an open election.

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