Term limits. We like them. So does state Rep.Whit Betts,R-Bristol, Plymouth. He has introduced a bill in the Connecticut General Assembly that could clear the way for a constitutional amendment that would limit a state official’s term to no more than 10 years.
Being elected to any position should not be a life-long commitment.
We have elections for a reason. Think of elections as a performance review for politicians. Those who have been successful in their government roles should be rewarded with re-election, not exceeding 10 years. Those who have faltered should be sent packing.
A majority of voters should decide who will represent them. Realistically, however, it isn’t that simple. Favoritism, legacy and familiarity play a significant role at the ballot box.
It is not unheard of that a voter might cast a ballot based on name recognition of the candidate for example. Or, that party affiliation plays a significant factor at the voting booth.
Add to this low voter turnout and all three scenarios might explain, in part, why the same politicians get re-elected year after year.
Since the state has a part-time legislature which is in session from January through June, some voters and some lawmakers may point to past years in which very little was accomplishment due to the time restrictions, party infighting and a lack of urgency.
Term limit naysayers might conclude that serving for only a decade in the state House or state Senate, is not enough time to accomplish anything of substance.
We say, not only should voters want to bring new lawmakers with new ideas to state government, it is the responsibility of elected officials to work more efficiently and in a bi-partisan manner for the good of the state and its taxpayers.
“I want Connecticut to never resemble Washington, D.C., where the current national leaders are unwilling and unable to work together. As a result there is gridlock in the federal government ...” said Betts.
If Betts gets his way and term limits are enacted, then state representatives and state senators who are committed to making a positive difference will find they have no time to waste.