George Landberg: Limit terms

April 10, 2014 

Your March 4 editorial “Democracy lost,” concerning the ills of gerrymandering, was right on point. Both parties have used it as a tool to ensure captive legislative seats in both state and national government.

It is an illness that has contributed to the polarization of our political processes and has made national and state governments ineffective in their ability to reach the meaningful compromises that a democracy depends on to function. It has to be cured for our governments to function as representative of all the people.

Gerrymandering is successful because of another illness: the lack of term limits for our elected legislators. Without term limits, our legislators at both state and national levels focus on their re-election, which coupled with gerrymandered districts magnifies the polarization between political positions and makes compromise a dangerous undertaking for re-election in a gerrymandered district.

Term limits in Congress of eight years for representatives and 12 years for senators would work well with the current term limits for president of eight years. A similar approach could be undertaken in the state House and Senate. Without term limits, curing gerrymandering solves only half of the problem, but it’s a good first start.

George Landberg

Apex

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