Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Radical Term Limits - a simple solution

I interviewed Frances Moore Lappe tonight - an inspiring woman who, forty years ago, wrote "Diet For A Small Planet."  She's been advocating for a more sustainable food system, and a better, more sustainable world, ever since.  Her newest book is "Ecomind- Changing the Way We Think To Create the World We Want."

Hunger, poverty, climate change, war - it all boils down, she says, to the need for a "living democracy."  That means a system that actually is for the people and by the people.  And the way to achieve that, she says, is to get the money out of politics.

I've been thinking much the same thing, and my idea is simple:  Radical Term Limits.  Politics was never meant to be a career.  It was a public service.  Let's go back to that concept.  Here's how:  no one, absolutely no one, can hold political office for more than two terms at any level.  Two terms at a local office, two terms at a state level, two terms at a federal level.  Thank you very much for your service. Go home.  Someone else has to step up.  No multiple offices at any level. 

This has to be accompanied by strict transparency requirements for all donations, disclosure of all interests in any businesses, ironclad restrictions on lobbyists.  But radical term limits is the key.

We'd have to have a lot more people involved in government.  That means we'd better educate our population, because a lot of them are going to have to serve.  No one would be in office long and that would make buying politicians a poor investment.  No political insiders - the turnover is too great.

Job security wouldn't be a worry - there wouldn't be any.  Instead of serving their own wallets and career aspirations, politicians would represent the voters who elected them.  Otherwise, one term only.  And the two term limit would ensure that there would be a sense of urgency to accomplish something.

Radical term limits.  Spread the word.

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