What is your favorite term limit scheme?

Continuing the discussion from Senator Ron Wyden introduces a bill banning FBI backdoors:

I have one or two that amuse me and another that I think would be practical and effective. But I always like to hear others address this issue :sunny:

Edit to add: As @Eksrae notes, no limit on terms is also a term limit scheme.

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My grandfather’s favorite:

He was more than a bit curmudgeonly by the time he felt free to use that language in front of his grandson, but the older I get, the better his suggestion seems :stuck_out_tongue:


Granddad is a wise man. He can say this…


But, seriously, why not two terms, same as the president (but maybe shorten the senate terms from 6 to 4 years, and extend congressional from 2 to 4 years?).

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It’s not a bad plan, and certainly keeps professional politicians from getting into office in a safe district where they will basically legislate until they’re carried out in a box.

My only objection to a specific hard cap is that institutional knowledge is a real thing, and generally a good thing. 8 years would mean that the institutional average length of service would gradually approach 4 years, which would limit the reservoir of institutional knowledge.

Make no mistake: If I had to choose between the current scheme and the one you’ve offered, I’d take yours in an instant!

Edit to add: You and @dacree seem to have pretty much the same idea.

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I’d be happy if every year all politicians were replaced. Nothing would please me more than a bunch of politicos not knowing where the bathroom is but 4 years seems a reasonable compromise to me. The thing about institutional knowledge is that it’s the number one thing you need before you can become really corrupt.


Institutional knowledge is a good point, but the congress is not just made up of congresscritters, but a whole host of people who work behind the scenes to make it happen. Keep other employees the same, and you can carry on that institutional knowledge.

Also, I like the idea of making the job as unattractive as possible. Cut out pretty much all perks - they shouldn’t get awesome health care and a pension for life. They should get paid shit. They need to go to DC, do their votes, and have to be a real citizen to qualify for the job. The people who should be there should WANT to be there for the reason why they are there - to pass laws that impact us all and that represent a balance between the will of the people and what is constitutionally legal.


That’s a great point, too. I also like the idea of a lottery system, where everyone gets a chance to be a congresscritter, but that might work better for the one year idea you have.


An excellent point.

My own favorite looks kind of like

In my pet scheme, a politician can be elected to any number of terms, but no two in succession. There would be a mandatory ‘cool-down’ period of exactly the same length as the term just served.


I’d say have a mixture of hereditary and appointed for life senators.

Sounds like the old House of Lords :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, that was my model. It’s such a great way of doing things. So why not copy it?

Oddly, though, the removal of the need to get elected does allow for sensible decisions to be made over popular ones.

Benevolent dictatorship FTW!

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I want them to all have to wear jumpsuits covered in the logos of companies who donate more than $2,600 and paper hats with their state motto on it.


Dang it! I just hit my :heart: limit and have to wait 5 hours before I can give another!

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I think lottocracy - with Congress Duty being similar to Jury Duty - would be a step forward, but would be vulnerable to the same sort of shenanigans as the random part of jury selection.


I cringe thinking about the damage some of my neighbors in Texas could inflict with an entire year to mess around with. Most of them have definite plans for “If I was in charge”. You don’t want to know the details.
The only way I see a lottery working is with a vetting process. The problem there is that we either have to elect the people we choose to do the vetting or we are back to straight elections.


Sounds simple and straightforward on the surface, but considering the work that grand juries have been doing of late makes me think that it might not be the best solution.


Part of the problem is that grand juries are one-sided procedings manipulated by the prosecutors, and regular juries aren’t always much better. If grand jurors were elected, grand juries wouldn’t necessarily be any better.

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I would like to see a variable term limit – you can stay as long as a group of folks don’t ride you out on a rail…

@3:19 if the link doesn’t work