One claim made by term limits supporters is that limits will provide more opportunities for women and minorities to play a larger role in the political process. Term limits also promise greater representation.
As a white male, I have nothing against white males, believe me. I also think someone’s principles and policies are what count, not their gender or race. But that’s just one more reason why I love term limits. Let me explain.
Term limits create open seats by not allowing any person to monopolize a seat of power. Open seats are much more competitive because the unfair advantages of incumbency are removed. So rather than “giving” advantages to women or minorities, or drawing districts designed to elect specific minorities, term limits simply open up the process to competition. Term limits allow the marketplace of ideas to create a situation where our representatives are more likely to represent us both in terms of their background and in terms of their goals for the future.
Under term limits, Maine and Oregon elected their first women speakers. Since 1990 when California voters passed term limits, Latino representatives have more than tripled. Says Hilda Solis, a state legislator, “When I came on in the Senate, I was the first Latina. Now, there are five. Never in U.S. history has that happened in such a dramatic fashion and so fast.” No quotas, no preferences, no need for affirmative action. Just fair and competitive elections. Term limits bring diversity the right way.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.