Friday, December 15, 2006

Does New York need term limits?

The Politicker, the New York Observers blog, noted yesterday that a new Quinnipiac poll shows that New Yorkers overwhelmingly favor term limits for state representatives, 67 - 27%.

While the Brennan Center does not have a formal position on term limits, we believe the perceived need for such a change could be ameliorated by implementing other effective solutions that would go a long way toward making officials more accountable to their constituents.

What New York really needs are elections that matter. Right now, we have a Legislature with an almost 100% reelection rate, yet our representatives dont deliver the kinds of innovative policy solutions our state needs.

We need campaign finance reform (which the Quinnipiac poll found to be very or somewhat important to 82% of respondents) to keep campaign contributions from unduly influencing elected officials and ensure that officials are responsive to all their constituents; we need redistricting reform to promote fair representation and competitive elections; and we need legislative rules reform to make sure that rank-and-file lawmakers have the power and the resources necessary to effectively represent their constituents.

These reforms would enhance the quality of representatives and representation in New York and make term limits unnecessary.

We know term limits have been a hot topic in the state for years, so we'd love to hear your thoughts on the subject!

Categories: General, Campaign Finance, Legislative Rules, Redistricting

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm in agreement with term limits. It appears NY'ers don't have the sense to oust criminals(Hevesi)and such. Heck they just voted Hilary back in and they're lucky if they get another year of her dismal performance out of her. She had no intention of fulfilling her term. While were at it, can we do something about politicians voting there own raises?

neversleep said...

Unfortunately, the public standard it a "two term limit." This would be disastrous for a Legislature with two year terms, in a State with a four year Gubernatorial term, no matter how appealing the Governor-elect may seem at the moment.

Given the existing election law and Legislative rules, this would be a coronation of Party bosses.