How our governments – and governance – could be improved by term limits | The Spectator Australia

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After a contentious two-year term capped off by a tumultuous 2020, January 3 marked the beginning of the 117th Congress of the United States.  Amid all the turmoil, last week also marked the departure…
After a contentious two-year term capped off by a tumultuous 2020, January 3 marked the beginning of the 117th Congress of the United States.

Amid all the turmoil, last week also marked the departure of former House Foreign Affairs Asia-Pacific Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Ted Yoho. First elected to represent Florida's 3rd Congressional District in 2012, Yoho pledged to his constituents that he would serve no more than four terms in the House. While many American politicians make similar pledges when first seeking elected office, fewer ultimately keep them, with many finding reasons to bend their promises once they reach Washington. This is why it was so noteworthy when Congressman Yoho announced in December 2019 that he would retire at the 2020 election.

I must admit that I am not entirely impartial. I had the immense pleasure of joining Congressman Yoho's D.C. office for several months at the beginning of the 116th Congress in early 2019. During that time, I came to know the Congressman as a man of firm principles and deep conviction with a strong commitment to upholding the U.S. Constitution and the ideal of limited government. Even during his final weeks in office Yoho continued to demonstrate this strong character, recently leading an international coalition of lawmakers in supporting Australian winemakers against Chinese Communist Party boycott. There was never a doubt in my mind that he would honour his word and keep his term-limit pledge.

The virtues of congressional and parliamentary term limits are manifold. Among the more obvious are eliminating incentives for careerism, providing regular opportunities for renewal, and promoting a broader pool of lawmakers with greater…
Xavier Boffa, Alexandra Marshall, Matthew Mckenzie, Declan Mansfield, James Macpherson, Emilie Dye, Robert F Kennedy, James Allan, Kevin Andrews, Maurice Newman
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