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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Term Limits Motivate New York City Voters

The New York Times Metro Section "Tip Sheet" recognizes (or speculates) that outrage over the overturning of two popular term limits referenda by New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and a majority of the City Council will be one of the few topics motivating voters this November.    This is in the wake of a citywide office runoff election for which about eight percent of the eligible electorate (i.e., Democratic Party enrolled voters) turned out.  

What does the small turnout mean?  In my opinion, it signifies a lack of confidence that there is much of a difference between the choices, indifference or an absolute lack of confidence in the political system.   Rest assured, in a crisis, you would have riots in the streets and 95% turnout. 

This is a good time to remember that while we have a democratic system of voting, our system of representation is that of a constitutional republic.   This means that once we vote (or stay home, as most do), our elected officials then have our "imprimatur" to do pretty much as they please.   The people's most effective -- if not only -- voice is heard at the ballot box.   Whining and protesting the year after is relatively pointless.  

The only effective term limits these days seem to be the investigations and prosecutions (or guilty pleas) initiated and secured by the local United States Attorney's Office. 

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