Most ballot measures to enact term limits triumph. According to U.S. Term Limits, 100 percent of such measures did so in last November’s elections. Voters also rebuff most attempts to weaken or repeal term limits.
But not all.
Politicians who loathe term limits often use all their resources and cunning to assail them. Occasionally they claw out a victory. Thus, last month Arkansas voters narrowly approved a multi-deceptive ballot measure with provisions to weaken the state’s legislative term limits. The measure passed despite everything pro-term-limit activists could do to expose the dirty tricks.
On the other hand, anti-term-limits forces in Prince Georges County, Maryland narrowly failed to flabbify term limits from two four-year terms to three four-year terms despite generous funding of the anti-term-limits campaign (primarily by local developers).
Much of the credit for saving Prince Georges term limits goes to University of Maryland sophomore Shabham Ahmed, creator of nothreeterms.com, who campaigned relentlessly against the measure. Ahmed believes that the vote was close only because some voters misunderstood what the measure would do; voters “do get caught up in the political propaganda.”
“People are tired of politicians in our county as it is,” she says. “Extending term limits would only increase the likelihood of creating a regime in politics, and voters don’t want that.”
No, we don’t.
But the politicians want that. And they’re not done yet.
Fortunately for the residents of Prince Georges County, defenders of term limits like Shabham Ahmed aren’t either.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.