Should a president's term be 2 years?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by yg17, Jan 16, 2007.

  1. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #1
    Dubya's last term is possibly the biggest reason myself or anyone would support shortening a president's term to 2 years. Anything can happen in 4 years, and we're stuck. In 2004, Bush (barely) won. 2 years later, no one in this country can stand him, and if the midterms were any indication of what Americans think of him, then it's obvious we want him out...but we're stuck.

    Obviously, I know my opinion on this is meaningless, but it might be good discussion. I think a president's term should be 2 years, with a 4 term limit, still allowing one to serve 8 years. And if they do a good job, the people like them and choose to re-elect them, then they can still serve those 8 years, but if they completely fail at their job as president, then we can get them out quicker, before they have a chance to f*ck up the country even more. Of course, the only bad thing is, it would be constant, nonstop campaigning and I know most of us get sick of the mudslinging that goes on between 2 candidates.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. zimv20 macrumors 601

    zimv20

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    #2
    assuming that:
    1. it takes an administration a year to really get organized and find its bearings, and
    2. campaigning takes nearly a year

    ... then i don't see how much of anything could get done in a 2 year term.

    i don't think the problem is term length or limits, i think it's that the voting public tends to be woefully uninformed on the issues and way too emotional and impractical when making voting decisions.
     
  3. MACDRIVE macrumors 68000

    MACDRIVE

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    #3
    That would just mean that the idiots would vote him in 4 times instead of just 2. :cool:
     
  4. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    With a hostile Congress, you'd effectively hamstring any President who was from the "other side." Personally, I'd prefer to see limits on two terms for Congresscritters. Professional politicians are an idea the founding fathers didn't anticipate.
     
  5. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

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    #5
    I absolutely despise Bush and the policies and actions his administration have put forward. I cannot begin to tell you how much of a distaste I have for people who are clearly not that smart (don't post a bs comment about how he is a smart politician for how he associates with people, that is not the issue I am addressing) and then hold such notions of self-grandeur that they will only listen to people who support their view and completely dismiss, without addressing the merits (I wonder why), the opposing view.

    With that said, I completely disagree with the concept of having a President serve 2 year terms, even if it were by way of a four term limit thereby keeping the availability of 8 years. I am going to be brief b/c it's late and a fully developed answer requires much more than I am willing to spend on MR. The reason I do not support this idea is because a 2 year term significantly reduces the efficacy of a president and introduces even greater instability into the executive branch. The most problematic manifestation of the concerns I raised would be the inability for a President see to completion many, many policy decisions and programs. Obviously the rebuttal to that point is well if he/she is good enough there will not be a problem seeing the policy out. While we can debate this "electability" argument, the reality is that the executive is meant to provide stable leadership (ignoring qualitative considerations obviously. Furthermore, people tend to forget that the President, while the specific person elected, brings with him/her an enormous amount of people that fill the top tiers of every agency, their departure would still cause further disruption. Campaigns would dominate more than they already do, etc.

    My final point as to why this would be a bad idea, or rather, unnecessary when assessed with relation to constitutional principles and the objectives of the Federalist Papers. Specifically, the entire purpose of a 435 member 2 year legislative body (the House of Representatives ) is that they serve as the representative body of the American people and that their elections are held at such rapid intervals so as to express the sentiment of the American public.
     
  6. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

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    #6
    That is simply not correct. Professional politicians were abundant during the 18th Century and 19th Century. The lines were less clearly defined as to what constituted a professional politician. Instead these individuals took on roles that would be best understood as public citizens, such as Benjamin Franklin for example. Today, there is definitely a different and more clearly defined approach; one that is quite often described as professional politics. I agree the level to which it has been taken is problematic, but I do not agree with the notion that the Constitutional framers did not anticipate the "professional politician."
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #7
    You're right, I stand corrected. I think describing it as professional politics is accurate given folks like Senator Kennedy and Senator Bird. Perhaps my thinking is more slanted by George Mason than I thought, as he detested the thought of a professional politician and the idea of citizens serving briefly and then returning to private life seems to have been a cornerstone of his thinking, and my understanding of "Of the People" was that the founders and framers didn't anticipate the US having a political class.
     
  8. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #8
    Problem with term limits is that it doesn't stop professional politicians. They just move from office to office, and never learn the intricacies of their field. Remember, most "Congresscritters" sit on committees that specialize in some area. Transportation, finance, defense, etc. When they first show up, they are not likely more than casually acquainted with that field. It takes several years to become expert enough to formulate good public policy, and committees are where the nitty gritty of the legislative process really happens.
     
  9. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #9
    We're having the opposite argument here, our PM's have a maximum term length of 3 years (no limit on how many terms you can act as PM) and because the PM can call and election whenever he/she wants it could be much less than 3 years.

    Most people are in agreement that it should be 4 years as ~3 years is not enough to get anything done - they just make promises and plans for the next term rather than the current one.

    It's an election year here this year, will be interesting to see if Harry Potter, Hermione and the rest of the Labor Party can put up a fight against Little Johnny. Somehow I doubt it.
     
  10. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

    Swarmlord

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    #10
    No, for at least two reasons. First, the term length is specified in the Constitution and making changes like that would be next to impossible and a waste of time. Second, does anyone want to double the amount of Presidential campaigning that goes on from year to year?

    I think it would be easier to justify increasing the terms of Congress critters to three or four years than to shorten the terms of any of the branches of government.

    Changing laws based on a single person or event is never good policy. Remember that until Roosevelt archived himself into the position for a record four terms, there was no law limiting the number of terms that the President could have.
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #11
    If a Constitutional change was to be made, I'd rather see a president serve for only one, six-year term.
     
  12. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #12
    I disagree, 6 years is to long if you get someone like Bush, I also think that a president shouldnt be limited to 2 terms. If we get a good president lets keep him for as long as we can. I think our current problems rests on the fact that a republican congress was corrupt and did no oversite at all on George.
     
  13. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #13
    How about one nine-year term during which his (or her) foot must not touch the ground, followed by immolation?
     
  14. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

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    #14
    A four year term is a two edged sword. For the good ones, it's necessary for settling in to the job and for implementation of good policy. For the bad ones, eighteen months seems too long. Maybe a vote of confidence prior to mid-term could be put in place which had some Constitutional teeth to it where an outrageously poor performance by a president could be called by the public who voted him/her in, though there would likely be too many problems with the logistics and ramifications of such a thing.

    Living in a country which has had like 8 Presidents in 10 years, I'd say that precedent lends little credence to such an idea or model.
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    If you create a "no confidence" (recall) process, then every president would find him or herself constantly facing recall efforts -- because that's the nature of politics. I like the single six-year term because it gives the president a decent opportunity to implement their policies, without the overhang of a reelection campaign. Sure, we could end up with a bad president for those six years, but it's not like the current system hasn't given us a bad president for eight.
     
  16. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #16
    I don't think so, for reasons already mentioned. In fact, I might consider a five or six year presidential term more appropriate for the same reason.

    In reality, how often do we have a president who has shown such reckless disregard and incompetence as the Bush administration? Weird times indeed.

    On a side note, I would actually like to see the 22nd amendment repealed. If the people are satisfied with a particular leader, why not allow him/her to continue to serve past eight years?
     
  17. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #17
    That has not happened in the UK or many other countries which have a "No-confidence" option.
     
  18. Lord Blackadder macrumors G5

    Lord Blackadder

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    #18
    Two years is too short. Heck, when we have an effective president (I won't say "good", that's too subjective), four years seems to short.

    But I would hesitate to change the term law, it has worked reasonably well so far. It ain't broke, so...
     
  19. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    Because of the unique nature of the office. It's the only branch of the federal government controlled by one person.

    Not to belabor the obvious too much, but U.S. politics are not the same as elsewhere if only because we don't have a parliamentary system. The Legislative and the Executive are separate branches of government with separate and distinct powers which were designed to be in tension. If the Congress had the power to directly attack the office of the President, then you can be sure it would become routine, whenever the government was divided politically.
     
  20. aquajet macrumors 68020

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    #20
    Well yeah, but does that really invalidate my reason?
     
  21. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    #21
    As polarized as this country is, I don't think we could get any Constitutional amendment passed short of one giving out free money.
     
  22. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #22
    Invalidate? Not really. It just makes for a counter-argument.

    As beloved as FDR was by most of the nation, it was recognized that he'd become an increasingly imperial president and that perhaps it wasn't wise for the nation to place so much power in the hands of one person for such a long time. I tend to think this is true. I also believe the framers of the Constitution did not anticipate presidents serving for multiple terms.
     
  23. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    #23
    I agree with not having the recall thingy but six years is a long time not to have to answer to someone. Bush has shown how a president can use an excuse to do anything he wants as long as his party runs congress. Torture,ignoring law etc. By having to run in 4 years he has to pay some attention to the voters desires, a 6 yr term would just have a guy off and doing anything knowing full well he would never have to answer for his actions to the electorate. Thats why I like the 4 yr term.
     
  24. Zwhaler macrumors 603

    Zwhaler

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    #24
    I think that only any member of the Bush family gets 2 years, everyone else gets four:D
     
  25. MacNut macrumors Core

    MacNut

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    #25
    You might want to extend that too the Clinton family too.:D

    And I agree that windbags like Kennedy have been there far to long.
     

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