NEW POLL: Do you believe in term-limits?

by Stephen Tall on May 20, 2008

This week, Boris Johnson announced his support for legislation which would limit the term of office of the elected London mayor to two terms of four years. Over at his Liberal England blog, Jonathan Calder applauds the move:

This seems to me entirely sensible. In a perfect world all local councillors would be limited to two terms. When you are elected you fully intend to represent the people in the council chamber. Unless you are very careful, after a few years you find yourself representing the council officers in your ward.

The trouble that all parties have finding council candidates means that this will never happen, but it is certainly possible when it comes to the Mayor of London. I suspect that a widespread feeling that he had outstayed his welcome was one of the reasons for Ken Livingstone’s defeat this time.

In the opposing corner *inserts gratuitous West Wing plug* we have fictional US President Jed Bartlet:

I get nervous around laws that fundamentally assume that Americans can’t be trusted. We better have mandatory sentencing, because judges can’t be trusted to disperse even-handed justice…. We better have term limits, ’cause voters can’t be trusted to recognize corruption. Oh, and by the way… when the playing field is level and the process is fair and open, it turns out we have term limits: They’re called elections.”

So here at LDV we’re asking you the question: do you believe elected politicians should be subject to term-limits? It’s a simple yes or no answer… or use the comments thread if you want to be nuanced.

Result of last poll:

We asked LDV readers – somewhat controversially, it seems – What do you think is the most likely outcome of the next general election?

Here’s how you voted:

> A Conservative victory with a Commons majority: 239 (50%)

> Conservative largest single party but no overall majority: 166 (35%)
> Labour largest single party but no overall majority: 57 (12%)
> A Labour victory with a Commons majority: 17 (4%)
Total Votes: 479. Poll ran: 9th-20th May 2008

So, apparently, a whopping 85% of you think the Tories are heading for victory, of one sort or another.