Dom Post on term limits

The Dom Post editorial:

Term caps might sound all right – the breathless, perk-busting Taxpayers’ Union lobby group wants them for all local councillors – but they are an anti-democratic move.

Consider what might have happened if New Zealand had term limits for the role of prime minister. In 2014, John Key, still exceedingly popular after two terms in office, would have been forced out in favour of one of his caucus. The voters would have been cheated.

The Dom Post uses a silly example. No one is proposing a term limit which is shorter than the average tenure in a job.

Term limits are not anti-democratic. In fact most democracies have them.

To be sure, advocates of term caps do have one strong argument – the presence of certain councillors around the country who have been in the job for generations. On the face of it, many of these people would be doing the electorate a favour by taking voluntary retirement. It seems as though many are returned to office simply because they are familiar.

90% of success at local elections is name recognition.

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